kids-evening-routine

Habits are the key to success. I’m doing pretty well with my long list of habits, but… it’s a long list of habits. I’m thinking it would be best to boil it down to Morning Routine and Evening Routine. I could track it with a single sticker and have more room for other planner stuff.

eveningroutine

Or if that was too much of a challenge, I could use these sidebar stickers with just 4 items to check off.

evening-routine

In order to develop habits, you have to pay a lot of attention at first, until it actually becomes a habit. Then you can relax and let the hindbrain take over.

I’m starting with my evening routine because I think it will be simpler. First, I’ll work backwards. My Fitbit alarm goes off at 6:00 a.m., so I must be asleep by 10:00, so I should try to be in bed reading by 9:00.

Then I’ll work forwards. My workday should end at 6:00 p.m. So that gives me three hours of evening. Some evenings I go out, but I’ll ignore that for the moment and fit those in later.

The top priority for the evening is a mindful, healthy dinner. I do no-decision breakfast and lunch, so dinner is my chance to be a Clean Eating foodie. With the use of the slow cooker and some weekend planning and prep, I can make a proper dinner in half an hour. Half an hour to eat with my husband or on my own if he’s out. 20 minutes to clean up the kitchen, and I’ll add another 10 minute chore:

  • Monday: wash and change the sheets.
  • Tuesday: clean the bathrooms.
  • Wednesday: dust and tidy the bedroom.
  • Thursday: clean the kitchen thoroughly.
  • Friday: dust and tidy the living room.
  • Saturday: clean the floors.

Even if it’s not precise, I can still expect to be finished with these things by 7:30 if I stop working on time. At this point, the kitchen is closed and the screens are off. Limiting these kinds of physical stimulation leads to better sleep. A cup of decaffeinated tea can be the signal for no more food or computer/TV.

That leaves an hour and a half of time. I certainly want to include some knitting, but I also need to get things ready for the next day:

  • Set out my clothes for the next day.
  • Do routine care for skin, teeth, and hair, possible including a shower.
  • Check the next day’s meal plan for any do-aheads or missing ingredients.

I will have set up my to-do list at the end of the workday, but I think checking goals and reflecting on the day could be a good habit.

I feel as though I can do these things in half an hour and have an hour for knitting and reading or hanging out with my husband.

This is how it works out:

  • 6:00- 7:00 dinner
  • 7:00-7:30 chores
  • 7:30-8:30 knitting or other needlework
  • 8:30-9:00 get ready
  • 9:00-10:00 read
  • 10:00 sleep

I will carefully and mindfully do this routine this week. Then with any luck I will move on to the Morning Routine.