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Daily Routines: What They Are, What They Aren’t, and Why They Matter

BY Danae Smith TIMEJanuary 19, 2022 PRINT

Daily routines are deeply familiar territory here at This Wondrous Life and an integral piece of my slow living journey. Maybe you’re reading this and agree. Maybe you’re reading this and have no context around daily routines. I feel you and that’s why I’m here.

Before we dive in I do want to say this: whether you are on the slow living journey or prefer the fast-paced life, having daily routines is vital. To have one in place doesn’t require you to move to a remote place and live off the land (though that sounds so dreamy). You can have daily routines—-dare I say, you can live a paced life in a high-energy, fast-paced environment. It may take more effort and intention, but it’s attainable.

So, what are daily routines? What aren’t they and why do they matter?

First, Daily routines are not Schedules

Let’s just clear the air about this alright? Daily routines are not a schedule. The creation of the habit may be (think Atomic Habits habit stacking and intentions), but the essence of a daily routine is not an hour by hour or minute by minute breakdown of your life. Developing a daily routine is not locking yourself into a prison. It’s actually the opposite. It’s liberating.

Second, Daily Routines Are A Rhythmic Pattern That Protects And Makes Room For What Matters And Grounds You.

Life happens. We know this. It is full of plot twists and curveballs and some really, really flat spaces. Daily routines challenge us to rise to the occasion. They bring a level of intentionality and ownership to our lives. The purpose of a daily routine isn’t have a perfectly structured and curated day. That’s not realistic.

I believe the purpose of a daily routine is to protect and make room for what matters, however that looks for you. It’s also creating room for you to hold space for yourself in whatever capacity you are needing. Bottom line: daily routines are an investment in your personhood.

Third, Daily Routines Matter, Your Well-Being And Personhood Matters. Daily Routines Matter Because They Offer Us A Way Out Of Burn Out. They Help Us Sustain The Vision We Have For Ourselves And Our Daily Life.

Life can come at us fast and it is easy to get swallowed up in it. It’s easy to accept a life of burnout, to fall into a cycle of running on fumes. It is easy to sacrifice ourselves, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically and never fill up again. Too often we go through the motions of daily life just moving to get things done. We find ourselves being Martha’s, busybodies but never Mary’s, finding and knowing when to rest, when to be.

Thing is, we don’t have to live that way. We have a choice to get out of that race and lean into something better. We have the choice to fill ourselves up so we are able to pour out into the different areas of our lives fully. I believe daily routines help us do that.

Developing and maintaining a daily routine allows you to find a constant in the midst of inconsistencies life often brings. It’s not a rule or law but a boundary. When you creating a daily routine is an act of setting a boundary with your time and space. It’s telling your life, your day, and those around you, “hey this is my time to invest in me so I can be my best self”.

Daily routines matter because you matter. Your well-being and personhood matters. Your dreams and passions matter. Creating and maintaining daily routines give you permission to investment in yourself and what matters to you. It allows you to get creative on what investing in you looks like in a given season.

Whether you are on the slow living journey or living the fast-paced life, having a daily routine is vital. It is not a prison, law or box. It is liberation from the race that says you must be burnt out or running on fumes. It is a boundary that says to yourself, your daily life, and those around you that you matter enough to have time and space to fill up so you are your best self. Daily routines matter because you matter.

Danae Smith is the founder of This Wondrous Life, a lifestyle blog rooted in pursuing a life lived simply, slowly, and with community. She believes there is more to the mundane than meets the eye. You can also find her on Instagram.

This story originally published on This Wonderous Life.

Danae Smith
Danae Smith is the founder of This Wondrous Life, a lifestyle blog rooted in pursuing a life lived simply, slowly, and with community. She believes there is more to the mundane than meets the eye. You can also find her on Instagram.
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