8 things I'm incorporating into my routine

I’m not gonna lie -- I’ve had a fabulous run doing whatever I want whenever I want with minimal consequences.

For the last year and a half or so I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being the skinny friend by default since around 80% of my best girlfriends were all pregnant around the same time.

It felt so good to hear “You’re so skinny!” or “Don’t lose a pound, you look great!” or “Have you lost weight? You’ve lost weight, haven’t you?”

It didn’t matter that most of these compliments came from pregnant women, who were actively growing by the second. You know, from creating another human being and all. No. No I didn’t lose that weight, you’re just pregnant and unaware that I, too, am eating for two. Except I’m not supposed to be. But I was more than happy to take the compliments and always responded sweetly, “Awww, thank you!”

Like I said, it’s been a good run. It’s always a good run until reality sets in. My world changed when I realized that almost all of my friends had their babies. With each new birth, my heart grew, and it wasn’t long before I realized that my heart wasn’t the only thing growing. I lost my standing as the skinny friend. I mean, I knew it was coming, I was enjoying the top spot so much I forgot to do what it takes to stay in that No. 1 spot. (In all fairness, I am not overweight, but everyone knows her own body, right? Also, let’s be honest, I will never take that top spot again unless everyone decides to have baby number 2 at the same time. I love my body, but I am not one of those naturally skinny people like a lot of my friends are!)

So here I am -- now the fourth skinniest friend and the only one who hasn’t given birth to anything (unless you count food babies).

And now? Now it’s time to do something about it.

Except I don’t just want to be fit and look good. I want to feel good, too.

So I’ve decided to take the time to do something I’ve never done before: Create routines and actually stick to them.

1. I will make my bed every morning.

It’s weird, I’ve never cared about this before. Why make your bed if you’re going to get back in it later? But I’ve been doing this for about a month now, and I think I get it. There’s a sense of accomplishment. You’re starting your day by doing something. It oddly feels good to make my bed. And I can’t tell you how disappointed I was the one day I didn’t do it. (How shocked are you about this, Mom?!)

2. I will work out regularly

I say this all the time. But I think I’ve come up with a daily routine that will help me get this done. Thank God for “Bunches,” the baby I watch twice a week; she’s the perfect excuse I need to go for a long walk. Another shout out to the Lord: I’m thankful this kid loves being outside. That makes it easier for us to go on long walks. We’re currently up to about three miles! On the days that I don’t watch her, I’ll wake up early to get some weights and cardio in. My goal is to do this on the three week days I don’t watch her. But right now, I can forgive myself for only doing two considering my current workload. In general, my only workout goal is to work out more days than I don’t. So four to five days a week is a great start.

3. I will take time in the morning to write down a plan for each day

I have a planner I love, and I’ve found that my days go better when I plan my day. I work for a couple of different companies, so assigning planned time for each job is extremely helpful for me. I even schedule in times to run errands or do other things. I don’t always stick to the day’s schedule, but even if I’m using it as a guide it helps me.

4. I will set time aside at night to pick up clutter

I live by myself, but I had a distressing thought the other day: What if someone were to be in the area and ask if they could swing by? What would I say? Would I just throw everything in my closet and hope for the best? Since I’m the kind of person who plans a whole day to clean, cleans one room, finds one weird item while cleaning and then proceeds to waste the rest of the day sitting with that item then finding other items and getting all nostalgic about all of the things I should’ve thrown away years ago, I’ve decided to go a different route. Every night, I will take 30 minutes or so to pick up the clutter in at least one room and make sure it looks great.

5. I will follow a night-time beauty routine

I’m a rinse your face with water and go to bed kind of gal. Unless I’m wearing makeup, in which case I’m either great about washing my face or absolutely terrible. But I’m buying some new facial products that are meant to help get rid of some of the scarring on my face and are meant to be used at night. So I’m taking time every night to really take care of my face. Brush teeth. Wash face. Tone face. Spot treatment. Night-time moisturizer. Done.

6. I will get off of my phone at least one hour before bedtime and will no longer fall asleep to shows on my iPad

Obviously we know how bad phones, iPads and laptops are for us. I literally spend my day in front of a computer, occasionally stopping to play a game or two on my phone. So why do I get in bed, turn off the lights and get on my phone while a show plays on my iPad? And then, why do I wonder why I don’t sleep all that well? I’m working to change that by turning off everything by 10 (earlier if I know I’m going to be in bed before 10). It started off a little rough, but I have found myself sleeping much better and waking up fewer times during the night.

7. I will read before bed

The time after I shut off all of my screens is now spent cleaning up clutter, taking care of my face and reading. As someone who really REALLY wants to write a book one day, I read far too little. I like setting aside time to read every day (or most days). Cuddled up in my bed with a good book -- what a perfect way to end my day.  Actually, if you have any book recommendations, leave them in the comments!

8. I will drink more water

This sounds like just something I want to do, but I’ve found a way to incorporate water in my daily routine. I drink one glass as soon as I wake up in the morning and one glass before I go to bed. I use the same water cup throughout the day, so I fill it up one last time at night, drink from it, put it in the dishwasher, fill a new glass with water and put that glass on my nightstand.

So those are the things I’m working on incorporating into my routine. I’m going to keep doing them until they’re second nature.

What are some things you’ve decided to make part of your routine? Sound off below! And don’t forget to recommend a book or two for me to read.

8 things I'm incorporating into my daily routine