Hi readers! I’m not much of an advocate for New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, I like to reflect on the past year and set intentions for myself. My intention this year is to let myself off the hook when it comes to scheduling. I’ve had a lot of changes in my personal life in the last year which have made it crystal clear that I am not destined to be on the schedule I dream of. I have always been under the impression that people who lived by a schedule led happier, more productive lives. It seemed like there was a sort of serenity they must experience, a calmness I wasn’t able to access. Instead of worrying and being upset or disappointed with myself for not being able to pin down a schedule, I decided to embrace routines.

This shifted my thinking from “I need to be awake by 7 am in order to prepare for my day and get ahead” to “I’ll wake up early because then I’ll be able to make some coffee and not be rushed.” The routine I embraced is having time in the mornings to relax and drink coffee, not just waking up early. This simple change in my thinking motivates me more than trying to stick to a schedule ever did. Routines allow me to look forward to doing something that helps me be a happier, healthier person instead of being weighed down by guilt for not being more organized.

Along with my relaxing morning, there are two other routines I’ve embraced that have helped me become a little more structured and a lot less stressed:

1) “Do Not Disturb”

I love my iPhone but I’m sure all smartphones have this feature. You can either set ‘do not disturb’ times in your settings or just put it on when you need to delink yourself from technology. Every night after dinner until right before bed – gotta get that last insta scroll in – I put my phone on ‘do not disturb’. I look forward to this time away from my phone and it’s surprisingly relaxing. Just because we all have cell phones doesn’t mean we always need to be accessible. I get more homework done in less time and am able to immerse myself in whatever I’m doing, instead of comparing myself to others or worrying about what I may be missing.

2) Gratitude Journaling

Another routine I’ve started doing is keeping a gratitude journal. After a workout, I just jot down a few simple things I’m grateful for. I find it’s best to do it after a run or whatever exercise I feel like that day because my head is so clear and I’m always in a good mood, which makes it easy to write. Simply stating that I’m thankful for a certain friend or finding a new place I like to eat helps me stay positive and gives me something to reflect on when I’m having a bad day and nothing can seem to lift me out of it.

Instead of fighting against your natural rhythm, embrace what makes you happy. Now that I have made peace with the fact that having my days scheduled is just not how I’m hardwired, I’m not fighting against myself anymore, leaving more time for things I enjoy. We’ve all thought to ourselves “if I could be a little more like that, I’d be happier”. Instead, I’m trying to be exactly who I am without judgment. I hope you found this post helpful and that it allows you to start wondering how you could adjust your thinking so you aren’t working against yourself. Whatever ideal you have in your mind of how you should be, embrace who you are and the rewards will start adding up. Let’s make this our best year yet! For me, it starts with just being happy with who I am instead of focusing on who I thought I should be.

Thanks for reading!