Happy New Year!
This month I’m hosting a series on Instagram called January R+R: 31 Days of Cultivating Life Rhythms and Routines. Each day, I’ll be posting a quick life rhythm or routine that helps me focus on the things that really matter. I invite you to join me, and feel free to focus on any of them that really speak to you. I’ll be posting a weekly digest of the daily posts here on the blog, so if you can’t follow along daily, you can still grab them here.
// January 1: Morning Reading//
Morning reading: I start my day with reading my Bible. It is a great way to settle my heart before the day, to ground myself. The simple act of beginning the day with reading is a way to quiet my heart and emotions for the coming day, whatever it might bring. Reading from a devotional, prayer collection, or self-growth book are also great options to help you set your intentions for the day.
//January 2: Morning Routine//
My morning routine includes my reading time (yesterday’s post), but also my coffee. Part of our morning routine is that Jon gets up about a half hour before I do, so the house feels warm and welcoming as I come down the stairs to join him. Once we’ve had a quiet few minutes in the morning with our reading and our coffee, I head upstairs to get ready for work. I often listen to a short podcast, such as The Next Right Thing, or a favorite playlist as I’m getting ready. Once I’m ready, I gather what I need for work, make one more cup of coffee for the road, and head off on my short commute. My morning routine is simple, yet sets the tone for the rest of my day.
Focus prompt: Is there anything in your morning routine that feels rushed or that isn’t working for you? What is one small adjustment you can make to change that? Personally, I need to adjust by getting up just a few minutes earlier so that I have time to start a load of laundry before leaving for work.
January R+R Day 3: Sunday Evening
Sunday evenings are for quieting my soul in preparation for the coming week. Often, this means chilling out with a movie and my favorite people, or curling up with a good book. Sometimes it means a yarn project in my hands. I also make sure that I’ve gone through my internal checklist: what I’m planning to wear on Monday, is there anything out of the norm that i need to take with me to work (set it out so I remember!!), alarms are set, etc.
Focus prompt: How can I set myself up for success this week?
January R+R Day 4: Meal Planning
I currently plan my dinner menus a week at a time. This is a life rhythm I’ve cultivated for years, and while we don’t always follow it to a “T,” it’s so helpful to have a roadmap for the week: what to take out of the freezer, what I need to get at the store, etc. I post my weekly plans on Mondays each week if you need inspiration.
Focus prompt: What is on my menu plan this week? Would this be a helpful life rhythm to start cultivating?
January R+R Day 5: Afternoon/After Work
Even in the midst of a pandemic, if I’m not intentional, my afternoons and evenings will fill up with extra stuff. Depending on what we have going on that evening (Zoom community groups, or kids working at a certain time) my rhythms adjust based on what time I need to have dinner ready. This month, I’m focusing on an intentional after work schedule that includes movement, personal growth, and writing time before I dive into dinner prep and other activities.
Focus prompt: Do I feel scattered when I get home from work? Do I need time to decompress before jumping into other things? Make a plan to communicate your needs with your people.
January R+R Day 6: Daily Journaling
This is a practice that I’m focusing on this month. This can be based on morning reading, or just working through feelings about whatever is happening that day/week/month. As a writer, getting back to a daily habit of writing is critical for me. This year, I’m using a daily theme for my journaling. You can get the free printable by signing up for my newsletter.
Focus prompt: How could a practice of daily journaling be beneficial in my life? What tools do I need to implement this practice?
January R+R Day 7: Daily movement
As I mentioned in my afternoon routine post, I try to get my workout in before I start dinner each night. Finding a way to move my body every day not only makes me feel better physically, but it gives me mental clarity and more creativity. Ways I’ve been moving lately: walks with friends and family, running, kitchen dance parties, and cycling on a bike trainer. If you’re actively training, remember that rest days are just as important as training days. I love to do restorative or recovery yoga on my rest days so that I still get my muscles moving without overtaxing them.
Focus prompt: What is one simple way I can incorporate movement into my daily life?