february 2018 goals check-in

Setting a Routine for Success

Erik Exercise and Health, Personal Development and Lifestyle, Personal Growth, Thoughts of a Mastermind 3 Comments


Living in Minnesota, these next couple months are going to be cold and dark.

In the Winter, the sun goes down before 5 PM and rises after 7 AM. In addition, it will be icy cold, with temperatures below freezing for weeks at a time.

Inevitably, a lot of my time will involve being indoors. Without the temptation to go out and enjoy the weather, I’ve decided it’s time to actually set a routine for myself; set a routine for success.

There’s a lot to get done over the next couple of months, so let’s get to it! I have a number of house and woodworking projects I want to get going on, blog and podcast goals, and also the holiday season for my subscription kit service.

With all of this, it will be important to set a routine and stick to it.

What Do You Want Your Schedule to Look Like?

The first question I thought of when getting into scheduling out a routine was, “what would I want my schedule to look like?” This question follows from “what do you want your dream life to look like?”

In my dream life, I’d like to have a little more simplicity, and a balance between work, fun, and exercise, than my current life has.

I’d like my schedule to have work in the mornings, hanging out with friends and family from time to time, and being active during the night.

When Do You Work Best?

Another question which makes sense to ask here is, “when do you work best?” Some people naturally can get more work done during the morning, others are better in the afternoon, and some work very well at night.

I’m not a level of financial security where I “don’t have to work”, but I do also enjoy working. I like being productive and creating things.

I’ve found I work really well from 6 to 9 AM, and then I’m able to get a little work done later on in the day. That being said, afternoons usually are tough for me to focus.

At night however, I am able to get a lot of work done as well.

With this knowledge, I can start to get into the details a little more.

Wake Up Early or Stay Up Late?

Sleep is incredibly important. I’m not going to downplay the importance of sleep, and that you or I should get minimal sleep to reach our goals.

Saying you don’t need to sleep is stupid. I’ve said it before… and I realize I was wrong.

With that said, being goal driven and action oriented pushes me to think about what do I want my sleep schedule to be. What are the optimal number of hours of sleep that I should shoot for? How does work play into this? Should I wake up early or stay up later?

Some people can feel good on 6 hours of sleep. Other people need 10 hours of sleep.

I fall somewhere in the middle – 7 to 8 hours of solid sleep is great for me.

Also, given that I work well in the morning, I think it might be best if I wake up early, rather than going to bed later.

In the past, this has proven a good strategy, so I’ll give it another shot.

My Proposed Routine for Success

I’ve collected the data from the questions above and have a plan of attack. Let’s see if it makes sense.

For weekdays, I have work from 8:30 AM to 5 PM. That time is locked in (unfortunately, for the short term).

Given that I think waking up early would be best, and I work well in the mornings, I’m going to give waking up at 5:30 AM a shot, and doing work on this blog and on the computer in the morning before work (from 5:30 AM to 7:45 AM). This is where I’ll be writing blog posts, responding to emails, tweaking the website and marketing, and getting ready for the day ahead.

Then after work on weekdays, I’m going to focus on things in the physical world. This will involve exercise (I’m going to join a yoga studio – the one I went to in July), working on house and woodworking projects, getting out into the world with friends and exploring, and finally reading (something I’ve gotten away a lot recently).

If it’s a busy time, maybe the night time will be used for computer time, but I’m not going to put this in the plan.

Bed time will be 10 PM, and I’ll read a chapter or 2 in a book before turning off the lights.

If I can sleep from 10:30 PM to 5:30 PM, this will put me right at about 7 hours. This is a little on the lower end, but I think with a healthier lifestyle, I can certainly adjust.

On the weekends, I’m going to look to replicate this schedule, but maybe sleep in a little later (6:30 or 7?).

In the mornings, I’ll get work done on the computer, and after lunch, I’ll get out into the world.

This sounds like a great plan… now, time to execute!

Time to Get to it!

With all thoughts and ideas, they are useless without ACTION.

Now that I have a routine and schedule set, I need to stick to it. If it’s not working, I can tweak it, but I need to give it a chance.

This will be an interesting change, but I’m excited to see what the results are. I’ll be sure to share them with you here on the blog 🙂

Thank you for reading!

Readers: do you have a routine? Do you have any tips for me for setting a routine?


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Comments 3

  1. Sounds like a good plan! While I still had my 9-5 job I got myself into a routine of waking up at 6am, doing some yoga, and then working on my personal projects until about 8am. I’m now glad that I built up that discipline – I’m currently on a mini retirement where I have all the time in the world, but therefore more of a chance that I will let progress on my goals slide. So even though I’m no longer working, I still try to get up early, get on with some personal work, and go to bed knowing I’ve done something productive during the day.

    1. Post

      Oooo thanks for sharing Mindy! that’s awesome that you still stay going! I want my retirement to be busy.. humans aren’t meant to sit around! Thanks for the comment!

  2. For over twenty years I’ve been getting up to run at 4:50 AM. Even since retiring my wife and I still keep that schedule though on longer run days we get up even earlier. It was originally picked because it gave us enough time to get a decent run in and still get to work on time but now we are retired and we still do it. It is nice because you still have the full day after finishing and it is nice to be able to run eight miles in our 60’s when some people have trouble even getting off the couch! I think your plan sounds like genius and I think having that kind of schedule will just continue you on your way to success! I can’t prove it but I think getting up early really helped my career which was very successful. There were some days when I got to the office I had already run 20 miles that morning and everyone else was still trying to wake up!

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