The Power of Routine


By Emily Dickerson, ND

Have you ever wanted to start a healthy habit, but just couldn’t figure out how to fit it into your day? Well, the saying “Thirty Days Makes a Habit” has a lot of truth to it. In fact, doing something every day for even three weeks will get you into the swing of your new daily healthy habit. I LOVE routine. Many of my patients will tell you that. I love morning routines, I love relaxation routines, I love bedtime routines. They help us to fit all of the important things into our busy days. If we don’t schedule important things like exercise, stress management, or special time with our loved ones into our days, they often don’t happen. Our schedules have a way of making these important aspects of our lives less of a priority.

Morning Routine:

My personal favorite morning routine is inspired by an article titled 10 Morning Habits of Super Successful Women by Camille Styles. When I am busy, having an intentional morning routine helps me to make the most out of my time and to feel accomplished early in my day. The following morning routine is one that gets me excited about waking up and focused on a successful day ahead.

  1. Wake Up Early – To fit a highly productive morning routine into your day, one must have the time to do so. Waking up early, at preferably the same time daily, helps us to accomplish our morning routine without feeling rushed.
  2. Phone – When you wake up, don’t let your smart phone be the first thing you connect with. Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram can be an absolute time suck. There is no time to waste during a highly-productive morning routine.
  3. Meditation – I like to do this while my morning coffee or tea is brewing. I am pretty novice when it comes to meditation, but I still gain substantial benefit from a 10-minute mindfulness meditation in my morning routine. Just like our bodies, it is important to train our brains as well.
  4. Eat a Healthy Breakfast – Eat a breakfast with protein in it within 60 minutes of waking. This helps to support energy, healthy blood glucose levels, cellular and neurotransmitter production, and in effect you will feel happier! In my breakfast I also like to work toward my vegetable goal of 7-10 servings per day. If I get 3 servings of vegetables in at breakfast I am well on my way to reaching my veggie goal for the day!
  5. Exercise – This is where you need to be organized. Have your exercise plan ahead of time. Working out in the morning ensures that it will happen, without time for any excuses or a busy schedule to get in the way. Even if you can only fit in 10-15 minutes, that is great! I like to go for a short run with my dog before work. This is a great way to get energized and focused for the work day.
  6. Make Your Bed – Add a bit of organization and accomplishment to your morning with this easy little habit! Organization in your space will help your mind feel more calm.
  7. Set Your Intentions – While doing mundane things like hair, makeup, or packing a healthy lunch, I like to set my intentions for the day, thinking about how today might be the perfect day and reflecting on things that I am grateful for.
  8. List, List, List – Make a list of what you need to do for the day and get the biggest To-Do’s done first thing. By checking off the big things first, you will feel accomplished early.
  9. Schedule Everything – If you are super busy, (as many of us are), obligations can often get in the way of personal priorities such as time with our loved ones. Schedule date night or dinner with your friends/family and keep it as high of priority as the other demands in your schedule. Your happiness will reflect this prioritization.
  10. Loved Ones – Take time in your morning to interact with someone you love. This might be your partner, children, or a pet. If you live alone, this might mean sending a positive text to a family member or friend.

This may seem like a lot, but once you get into the swing of a productive, healthy morning routine, you will likely realize that it is not only doable, but also your favorite part of the day!

Another great resource for morning routine inspiration is the book called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, in which the author pushes his morning routine to maximum productivity and inspires readers to do so as well.

Here is my challenge to you for the New Year. Pick something that you want to prioritize and fit it into your daily routine. Do this for at least 3 weeks and see how your new daily routine helps you to evolves into a healthier, happier you!

To schedule, call Boise Natural Health at (208)338-0405.