How I finally Created a Morning Routine

Usually Labour Day weekend marks the end of summer, and the beginning of back to school, and back to work season.

It’s the feeling of new goals, new routines, renewed hope — and also a season I usually dread.

End of year deadlines, the last push to get your targets and quotas met for the year.

Of course this year, nothing seems the same. 2020 has thrown a wrench in any semblance of routines or plans.

But somehow, this is the year I started to crave a routine and embrace the monotony of structure.

Routines have never been my thing

I always hated having to wake at the same time every day, having a “morning routine” and anything else that forced some form of structure in my life.

Anytime that happened, I craved spontaneity or change. That used to mean living for the weekends or having that next vacation planned in advance.

But in the last few months, when the only thing certain has been uncertainty, I’ve been craving structure and routine. When everything else seems uncertain, it’s nice to count on structure and sameness, sometimes.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve finally gotten myself into a little routine. Giving my days some structure, and finally following through with grand plans with intention.

These were the things I detested — routines, structure, setting reminders, doing the same things daily. Living life by the clock or calendar.

Lately, though, that’s what has really made me feel better.

I’m not sure if it’s a lack of structure in my work, a function of getting older and turning 30 this year, or just the uncertainty all over the world that has made me feel more inclined to pursue more structure, and a semblance of a routine.

Creating new routines

Routines can be good. It means that things that need to get done, still get done.

So how has this translated into my life?

  • Creating a weekly meal plan — and knowing exactly what my next meal will be
  • Working out or at least stretching every morning for 30 minutes, right when I start my day.
  • Scheduling household chores in my calendar.
  • Setting a daily alarm to remind me to stop watching Netflix, and instead, read a little before bed

Adopting a new routine

I finally have realized that structure is not the worst thing in the world. Having structure can be good!

Routines aren’t the demons I thought they were. It’s probably the reason every article about successful millionaires focuses on their morning routines. Maybe they’re all on to something!

Yes, routines can be good. Having a routine, and a little structure allows me to be more intentional with my habits, to do things that actually make me feel good.

My routine means that I’m not stuck in a daily trap of watching Netflix every night instead of reading a little before bed. It means that I wake up a little earlier to workout so that I am doing a little for myself every morning. These newly adopted habits really have made me feel better. It means that I go to bed every night without guilt and wake up the next morning with energy and renewed hope.

Because that’s what I really wanted at the end of the day: to call the shots and to control my days the way I wanted.

When I had too much structure, I wanted more flexibility. Now that there is so much uncertainty, all I want is structure. A little bit of a routine that I create, the kind that allows me to call the shots.

New Routines and Renewed Hope

Getting into a new routine also means having a blank page to start over. To strip out old bad habits, and replace them with new habits. And I think that’s why this time maybe I don’t hate the idea of a routine. Because I am choosing to create a new routine, and I am in ultimate control of sticking to it.

Has this year forced you to change your habits and routines? I’d love to hear that in the comments below!

Originally published at on September 7, 2020.

Finance professional / CPA on a break from corporate life. I write about wealth, well-being & blogging. A weekly-ish newsletter

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