Creating A Nightly Routine

The terms ‘habit’ and ‘routine’ may be used interchangably by some, however they are not the same thing. A habit is a piece of a large routine. Habits require a cue to get them started, for example washing your hands after going to the bathroom is a habit. This hand washing habit is cued by you going to the bathroom, whereas other handwashing habits may be cued by chopping peppers, handling raw meat, or food being ready to eat. Washing your hands is not a routine, though it may be part of your morning routine or your meal prep-routine.

Routines then are collections of cues and habits that we do with consistency. A morning routine is a set of cues and habits that we do every morning when we wake up and then a nightly routine is a different set of habits and cues that we do every evening before going to sleep. These routines help us to maintain consistency in our lives and makes it easier for us to get redundant daily tasks out of the way without out requiring much thought or effort.

While morning routines are very important for starting your day off right, in order to set yourself up for success there are things you should do the night before to ensure that you are at your best. Routines, especially in the evening, allow us to set limits and better control our own behaviors. Evening and night time are when we as humans tend to be more lax on our discipline. You are more likely to overeat or overindulge in other areas in the evening than any other time of day. Having a routine that you do regularly helps to maintain the discipline that you’ve had throughout the day into the evening.

This is just a high level overview of the things you can do to set up your nightly routine. Many of the suggestions here have had their own episodes in the past or will have them in the future. These are not hard and fast rules that you must follow in order to have a good night’s sleep or be more productive. It is a lifestyle change and that takes time to alter past behaviors and previous habits. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a bit to get into the routine and you have to remind yourself constantly or keep setting reminders to do things. Along the same note, give yourself some understanding if you miss a day. Rather than think the whole week is ruined, pick back up the next day as if you didn’t miss. Doing so will give you better progress toward starting a goal than having a perfect week.

Tagged with: , ,