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Routine -- GarlicAndLemonsLLC.comWhat words do you think about when you hear the word, “ROUTINE?” Do you think of…

BORING

MACHINE

ZERO PASSION

And the list can go on. However I have found a new way of thinking about routine that I hope will help you as well.

For many years, I had a routine that didn’t serve me — it seemed to serve everyone else but me. It mostly served working at a job I had long grown out of love with. But I continued the routine because I was too afraid to try anything else. If I left that comfortable routine, I was afraid that there would be nothing left. But what I found out was that all of that was a damn lie.

I now have plenty of routines that serve me. And because the routines serve me, I am able to serve the world in ways that don’t deplete my core.

I wake up most mornings now at 4am. I find that having an early start to my day helps to center me. I give my best self to projects that make me feel energized. The first half hour of the day is purely for myself. I open my eyes and before I even put my feet on the ground, I thank God for allowing me to live to see another day. I open the windows and let the fresh air in before the sun rises. I look for the moon light and appreciate the still of the morning before most of my neighbors greet the day. I practice stretching while repeating to myself in my head that this moment is all there is and I love it. I’m not thinking about everything that has to be accomplished. I’m simply appreciating my surroundings and the fact that my body can stretch the way I want it to.

After stretching and affirming my life, I open my laptop and I write. I have health writing clients that I love working for. I also recently took on a 9to5 consultancy job that has allowed me to drop a lot of my low paying clients while I work on finding better paying ones. But before I go there, I spend an hour and a half writing for my clients that I love. The morning is best because, honestly after a 9to5, my brain is so tired, I couldn’t even contemplate coming home and try to write then. I give my clients the best of my brain and my creativity at 4:30am — not at 10pm when I’m struggling to stay awake.

I have already told you about my love for geranium oil. I use it after my evening shower. The smell is so intoxicatingly calming that I have no problem going to sleep after putting it on with my coconut oil. I spent so many years just collapsing on the bed, too tired to shower until the morning. I just laid there on top of clothes and whatever else was around. This was no way to treat myself. I know many of you are doing the same thing. You are running yourself in the ground giving the best of you to a job that gives you nothing but stress, extra weight on your thighs, and headaches in return.

Don’t you want to do something different?

I am creating new routines daily. Movement is still a struggle for me all the time. I am committed to finding a routine for movement that sticks. Monday will be my first running day with Black Girls Run Orlando (pray for me…). I’m not a runner in real life, but I am in my head. I want jogging and movement in general to be part of my routine that serves me.

What are your daily routines? Are your routines serving you, or do they serve your job, your bad relationship, the extra weight you want to get rid of but can’t? What are you willing to do change?

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5 Responses to Does Your Routine Serve You?

  1. Hetta says:

    Yes it made me smile, most especially the bit about God. Then, the statement about not being a runner – i dont run either but i dream about changing my routine too. Go for it.

    Cheers,

  2. valerie says:

    Thanks Halona for the article and encouragement.

  3. shana says:

    Interesting, I can definitely relate. Those early mornings are really a good time to concentrate. I need to start there now.so far I just work and do my green smoothie every morning. That’s one consistent routine. Also, hot yoga when I can afford it really is effective in balancing my emotions and keep my hormones intact. I found that as difficult as it is, its worth it BC I get so many benefits later. Thanks for sharing this article.

  4. Cay James says:

    I was just like you were too and then one day I wondered why I was doing some of the things that I was doing and what purpose they served. It was like I was on autopilot doing everything for everybody else not really being sure why the remainder of my tasks were being done at all. It wasn’t until my hysterectomy in 2010 that I decided to drop the whole over-the-top “superwoman” persona that so many black women have been taught to become and to pay some attention to my personal development and well-being. After all, how can I be of any value to anyone else if I wasn’t a value to myself?

    At that point I decided to only do those things that were directly related to my goals. I sat and thought about what I wanted to accomplish. I realized that some of my goals were ongoing goals that I would always have to do in order to keep them in existence (ie health, financial management). Then I had other goals that had end dates – once I did them I’d have them and I wouldn’t have to do much more. For each one of my goals I wrote all of the tasks needed to accomplish them and how long it would take to do them. Then, I built my day around these goals-plugging in all the tasks that I needed to accomplish into each day. After a while, everything I did each day went towards the betterment of my life. Of course, since one of my goals was mindfulness and general state of well-being and that’s something that’s needed in the very beginning and the end of your day, my day kind of starts like yours and ends like yours as well. This has led to a more stable and peaceful life and I’ve been able to reach my goals a lot sooner by structuring my routine around my goals. Sometimes it’s hard to explain this to other people and it seems to take a lot of work at first to find out who you are. But after it’s done, it makes life so much more rewarding and that’s why I was happy to see that you posted something like this. People need to read something like this and understand how important their routine is to their entire life so thanks for this post!

  5. Aanchal Kapil says:

    Hi, I’m 27 yrs old and facing fibroids problem from last 4 yrs. Consulted several doctors but could not get rid of this.I suffer with extreme pain and get almost collapsed, also had to take pain killer tablets or injections because of fibroid. Please suggest on how can I cure my fibroid. I’m single and don’t want to go for surgery.

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