Parents of young children generally only visit places that they know their children would enjoy. So, when you find a place that both the kids and the parents alike can have fun at, you know you’ve stuck gold! One of the places we love to visit with our boys is Sun City.
Whilst one of our recent visit – I couldn’t help to wonder about what it took to create an oasis like this and how big Sol Kerzner’s imagination should’ve been to dream up this oasis in the middle of the bushveld.
Thank heavens Uncle Sol didn’t give up each time someone said his dream would never become a reality and that he completed this and many other projects with confidence and courage.
I’m sure we are all well aware that realizing our dreams takes much more than just dreaming about it. No one can achieve greatness without a “tribe”, teammates and a steadfast network. But more than the people you surround yourself with, things like time management is a critical factor in success!
I haven’t heard of one successful person who simply went about their day without any planning. It’s like going on holiday without a roadmap or a GPS or an end destination in mind.
As every Mom knows, there are few things that are as beneficial for a child’s well-being as routine. Routines keep our children safe. Daily routines, systems and processes help to keep us on track, ensure that we can function optimally and get everything we need to get done, done.
You may be someone who LOVES routine and has systems and processes in place for everything in your life. Or you may be more like me ‒ someone who struggles with rigid guidelines and preconceived ideas of how each day should progress.
In the past, the mere thought of these “structures” made me feel claustrophobic, until I realised that I’d have to change my mindset about routine if I wanted to be more effective.
Once I realised that routine, “a series of actions followed often”, didn’t necessarily mean that everything had to take place at the same time and in the same order each time, routine took on a whole new meaning. So, I decided to put my own “spin” on routines.
Some routines are non-negotiable, but the way in which you implement them doesn’t have to be! Let me explain:
As I’m a morning person, I follow a morning routine ‒ but here’s the secret… I don’t follow the routine in the same order each morning. I have a list of everything I want to get done provided I can tick off the items within a certain time, I score my first WIN for the day. I apply this at work too. I know exactly what needs to be done and ensure that I get things done in the time available.
Naturally, you don’t always have the option of changing scheduled appointments, meetings, kids’ drop-off and pickup times as you see fit, but there are ways to deviate from specific routines.
If you’re wondering whether more rigid routines or more flexible routines will work best for you ‒ ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you enjoy driving along the same route to work every day?
- If you’re a runner, do you prefer running along your old familiar route?
- Do you enjoy keeping the week’s menu the same each week?
If you answered YES to these questions, you are a routine “animal” as my life coach would say and more rigid routines will work well for you. You may, however, deviate from your routine occasionally to enhance your creativity and productivity.
If, like me, you answered NO, you will need more flexible routines and adapt things to remain creative and productive.
Fortunately, we’re not all the same and we have to do what WORKS best for each of us.
A working wonder woman can build several routines into her day, but most successful people have established morning routines and many also believe in structured evening routines. But for the purpose of this blog – I’d like to focus on your morning routine.
Why is a morning routine important?
There are three important reasons ‒ (1)it provides energy, (2)stimulates creativity and (3)helps with your planning.
1. Provides energy for the rest of the day
Natural light, water, a good breakfast, and movement at the start of the day are important to boost your energy.
Natural light: Get out into the SUN!!!!
- Serotonin is released (stabilises our mood and gives a feeling of happiness and positivity)
- Well-rested feeling
- Endorphins (reduce pain and increase pleasure to create a sense of overall well-being).
- Important throughout the day, but studies show that if you drink 1 litre of water in the first hour of the day, you will have more energy, lose weight, and experience increased awareness throughout the day.
- Exercising at the start of your day increases your concentration and decision-making skills as adrenaline is released.
- You could exercise for longer, but 10 minutes of movement is enough to kickstart your brain ‒ anything you’ll be able to stick with every morning as part of your morning routine.
- A good breakfast gives you enough energy to focus throughout the day.
2. A good morning routine stimulates creativity
Meditation and breathing exercises help to calm your brain and think clearly.
Gratitude: Thinking about all you have to be grateful for, is one of the most powerful habits to feel happier, less stressed, and more optimistic about the day ahead. One of the key elements of a good morning routine is journalling.
Another element to a good morning routine is reading intentionally and doing research about things that are important to you. Keep it brief ‒ find interesting reading or listening material like podcasts that add value. That’s why I recommend being INTENTIONAL about what you choose. A max of 10‒20 minutes are enough.
Reading or listening will stimulate your brain, creativity, and ideas.
3. A good morning routine increases focus and helps you to plan better
Review your goals, your daily programme, and your MOST IMPORTANT TASKS.
Your goals will change over time
- Ensure that you “check in” on your routine every day ‒ is it still on track and sensible ‒ and are you still making progress.
- Remember that your “to do” list should support and promote your goals each day.
Quick review of your daily programme
- Your daily routine can’t be rigid ‒ it must be flexible and change as needed.
- Be realistic and ensure your list reflects what you want and need to achieve each day.
To ensure that you are working purposefully towards your dreams, you need to be aware of the MITs ‒ these are your MOST IMPORTANT TASKS.
- I find it easiest to break them up into three sections:
- Personal life
- 1 Important project I need to attend to today
- 1 Important long-term goal ‒ that ONE THING that’s going to make it easier to get everything done daily. This is something that is going to make life easier and more fun on all levels.
- The ONE THING and your “why” are closely related and will be the driving force behind all your hard work.
I know this sounds like a lot ‒ but your total morning routine, including all of the above, should never be more than 30 minutes. You could start with just 10‒15 minutes.
I know this sounds like a lot… so here is the condensed version:
Sit in the sun, drink water, dance a little, and eat something healthy. While doing this, think about everything you are grateful for, write them down, and reflect on them. Meditate and pray and spend quiet time with God ‒ let Him help and guide you in approaching your day.
Check if your goals are still on track and change or adjust them as needed. Write down your daily “to do” list, plan, and always be aware of the MOST IMPORTANT TASKS in your life.
And remember… to breathe! Life was made for LIVING and to see and experience the MAGIC in between your boring routines and to dos each day.
The art lies in finding your own special way of doing this and doing what you need to do with enthusiasm, in the most creative and productive way possible. Whatever you and I envisage in our future, needs to be reflected in our daily routines today.