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How to create a daily routine.



I'm a writer, author, and online educator who loves helping others build intentional lives through the power of habit and meaningful routines.







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I deal with depression daily.

I’m really careful with the language I use when I talk about depression. I never say “I struggle with depression” or “I suffer from depression.” Words hold power and I don’t ever want to give off the impression that I am in a fight that I cannot win. I say things like “I handle depression” or “I battle with depression.”

I like the word “battle” because I know that you must be prepared to go into a battle. You don’t just show up with a plan. You need ammo, a strategy, and an army behind you. This is how I battle that daily depression: with strategy, purpose, and an army behind me. 

The biggest weapon I have when it comes to fighting depression: a routine. 

Routines add a rhythm to the day. Routines are something stable to look forward to. Routines ensure that you are pushing towards something— a goal, an aspiration, a better version of yourself. For someone who faces depression and the possibility of being derailed by emotions throughout a day, establishing a solid, unshakeable routine has been a game-changer for me.

I wanted to spend today talking about daily routines because I honestly think the “get it done” mentality begins with what you actually do every single day. I wasn’t born as a disciplined person, I became one. I studied the art of discipline and I have been working daily to grow in this area because I’ve found that discipline=freedom and freedom=joy.

001. Track your current routine.

Before setting out to revamp your entire life in one day, take a few days to track what your current routine looks like. A routine is anything you’re doing on a near-daily basis.

Are you waking up at a certain time?
Are you pouring coffee first thing? 
Are you working out? 
Are you checking emails? 

Yes, this includes negative things you’re doing, as well: sleeping too much, waking up late, watching Netflix, spending too much time scrolling on your phone. Even the things you wish you could change right now are a part of a routine that is happening daily for you. Good or bad habits— there likely are things you’re doing that you wish you could a) stop or b) do more often. Don’t shame yourself for these things– it’s part of the process.

The most valuable wisdom I’ve gained in this journey is that I cannot hate myself into self-love. I must be patient. I must be kind. I must be gentle. With that, I must be willing to admit where I am distracting myself and stealing from myself by doing things that are counterintuitive to the person I want to become.

002. Map your ideal day.

What would your perfect routine look like? Would you be up early? Would you have time to read for pleasure? Map out your most ideal days and place stars next to everything that is not already a part of your daily routine. It’s important to know what you’re going after, what you’re striving for.

Vital parts of your best daily routine might look like:

  • Drinking water.

  • Waking up before the sun.

  • Unplugging at 9pm.

  • Going for an evening walk.

  • Making a smoothie.

Your list is going to look different than anyone else’s but make sure to include some things you wish you could do more of. You wouldn’t think you’d need to schedule all these things out but it’s very hard to make a pattern or build a habit when you don’t put these sorts of things on the calendar.

Routines don’t show up without hard work.

003. Set a goal + make that goal attainable.

Let’s say the goal is to build up to a workout regimen that happens 5 days a week for 45 minutes each time.

Let’s be honest: It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to hurl yourself into that kind of routine if you’re not used to working out so consistently. Baby steps are queen. Repeat after me: small things on repeat.

So maybe set this big goal as your 6-month goal and work back from there. Tell yourself, “I would like to be working out 5 days a week within the next 6 months.”

Now, take that big goal and chop it up in 6 smaller monthly goals.

Potential ideas:

  • Workout 2 days this week

  • Workout 10 days this month

  • Take a walk for 20 minutes each day

If a goal is attainable you will experience the taste of victory. Once you get a taste of that victory you’re going to want more of it.

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004. Addition works better than subtraction.

What if you just stopped criticizing yourself for the next 15 minutes? What if, instead of figuring out all the things you need to “delete” from your life, you added some things to your life? 

Add more presence. Add nights on the porch. Add more reading. Add more avocados. Add more meaningful conversations. Add more forgiving jeans. Add more love letters. Add good books. Add kinder speech.

Adding is always easier than subtraction. When you add things you love, there is less room for things you don’t want to do but feel like you can’t help but do. 

005. Why am I failing every goal I set?

I went through a phase where I was failing every goal I set for myself. It led to a lot of defeat and negative self-talk. I kept thinking, “I am never going to be happy with myself. I am always going to be stuck in this place.”

I think the reason I was failing at my goals is that I was setting really big goals without any form of habits to back them up. Habits take some time to build. They’re like the bricks that form the foundation to your discipline. 

You might be failing the goals you are setting for a number of reasons:

1) You’re not paying attention to them.
2) You’re always saying, “I can start tomorrow” and breaking promises to yourself.
3) You’re setting goals that are too big and you need to scale back and take some baby steps.

Goals are like plants- they need time, attention, and the grace to be small before they grow bigger.

006. Face your feelings.

There are going to be days where you simply don’t feel like it. And let me tell you straight- if you give your feelings all the space to breathe then you will follow them. 

You will want to skip the workout. You will want to sleep in. You will want to scroll, scroll, scroll. 

But what if you felt the feeling but didn’t choose to follow it? What would change about the way you view yourself and the promises you make to yourself?

007. How do you build a routine when your work schedule fluctuates? 

This is why I think mapping your week out before it begins is essential.

Just because you do something at 10 am one day and 1 pm another day does not mean it isn’t part of the routine. On days where I am traveling, it might not be 9pm until I get into the gym but I make a daily promise to myself: I will get my workout in. I will read my bible. I will take my medicine.

I rarely give myself excuses or free passes. I know these essential parts of my day make for the happiest, strongest, and kindest version of me.

If you have a schedule that fluctuates, plan your week out whenever you get that work schedule. See the week in front of you. Mapping my week out on a Sunday is an immovable commitment I make to myself and it guarantees that I never walk into a week blindsided by what is to come or how I am going to get it all done.

You can learn how I map my weeks— step by step— through this course.

008. Do you think it’s better to go 100% in on Day 1 or gradually build up to a big routine change?

I have a few thoughts on this. I am a pretty big “go 100%” advocate BUT I think you can only afford to do it well ONE AREA AT A TIME.

When I went for the 5am hours, I committed wholeheartedly and daily. Yes, I still failed. But I didn’t give myself the wiggle room of 2 out of 5 days of 1 day a week. I exerted my best energy into waking up that early.

I absolutely would have failed if I tried to tackle 5am hours, 5 days in the gym, and clean eating all in one month. It would have been a recipe for failure.

Pick one thing you want to go hard in the paint with and then give yourself grace in the other areas. Set smaller goals in the other areas. Willpower is a limited resource so don’t be surprised if it runs out on you. There is such a thing as discipline burnout. 

009. But what if I fail?

Here’s the thing: you’re going to fail. You won’t eat all the kale. You will go for the donut instead. You will scroll for too long. You’ll beat yourself from scrolling too long. You’ll get to the gym and only have the energy to sit. You will miss a workout routine. You will forget your sneakers. You will mess up the recipe. You will sleep in. You are going to fail and the world is not going to fall apart. You will mess it all up and that’s perfectly okay… building a routine isn’t about being perfect 100% of the time. It’s about building towards something better. It’s about going after what truly matters most to you. Figure that stuff out. Set the small goals. Ask for the daily bread and don’t worry about tomorrow’s bread. Rejoice over the small victories. Start over new each day with new mercy and new hope. It’s a clean slate. Have at it.

Building a routine takes time and patience. Celebrate the good, often + always. You’ve got this.

I always want to hear from you:

Which bullet point did you need to read the most today? Let me know in the comments section!


  1. Christina says:

    As odd as it may seem, the first two meant so much to me: Track your daily routine and map your ideal day. I’m really struggling to figure out what the best routine is for me. These two ideas felt doable and beneficial. Have you ever posted a page from your planner or a week from you planner? I would to see how you organize/schedule your day.

    Thanks for being the “friend” that sits beside you, lets you be yourself and helps in the journey we’re all going through.

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Hi, I'm Hannah

I love writing about all things faith, mental health, discipline + and motherhood. Let's be penpals!


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