4 Daily Routines That’ll Help You Get Closer to Reaching Your Goals

updated Oct 26, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

Reaching your goals doesn’t just take vision and willpower. You also have to establish routines and rhythms that serve whatever it is you want to achieve. Basically, just doing the same thing, over and over, for a long period of time.

When it comes to less concrete goals like health or productivity, integrating specific, timely routines into your daily life is a great way to create habits that stick. To help you reach the goals you’ve set, we came up with a few simple routines you can pepper in throughout your day.

Even doing just one or two of the things will go a long way toward making you feel more accomplished. In the future, a more creative or healthier you is cheering you on, hoping you’ll get started today! 

A Daily Routine for a Healthier Life (Whatever That Means to You) 

1. Have a glass of water when you wake up

Even though we all know how important it is to drink water, how many of us actually prioritize hydration? Make a habit of starting your day with a tall glass of H2O (yes, before coffee) to set the tone for health and hydration as things get busier in your routine.

2. Track your healthy habits

If you’re motivated by checking things off a list, keep track of wellness milestones like how many glasses of water you consume daily and the minutes you exercise, whether you go for a walk with a co-worker or hit the gym. Keeping a record of your choices throughout the day along with how you feel will serve as a reminder that putting in the effort truly does lead to more energy and balance.

3. Take time for gratitude 

Practicing being thankful is a great (and science-backed) way to invest in your mental health, which also has positive effects on physical health. Set aside time after lunch or before bed to list out five things you’re grateful for that day.

4. Stop screen time two hours before bed

While it’s tempting to hunker down on the couch with your fave Netflix series, blue light never did anybody any favors—especially when it comes to sleep. Since ample rest is key for mental health and an effective immune system, prioritize sleep by cutting out your phone, computer, and TV at least a few hours before bedtime. 

A Daily Routine for a Cleaner Home 

1. Make your bed first thing in the morning 

Isn’t it wild how big of a difference a made bed can make in your room? Not only will straightening your bed as soon as you get out of it make your experience going to bed a whole lot more enjoyable, but starting your day with a chore sets the tone for cleanliness and organization throughout your day. 

2. Clean as you go 

When it comes to a clean home, so much of the work is prevention. The biggest messes happen when we move on without taking care of them immediately. To nip messes or clutter in the bud, make a habit of cleaning up after yourself right after you make a mess. For example, try to wash up the breakfast dishes right after you eat, wipe down counters after baking, and put away laundry after you pull it out of the dryer. 

3. Do a load of laundry

One of the biggest offenders when it comes to clutter? Clothes. Dirty ones, clean ones, and everything in between. In an effort to keep your wardrobe fresh and organized, aim to do one load of laundry every day rather than letting it pile up. If you live alone or it doesn’t make sense to wash daily, set a reasonable goal that works for you. The aim is to keep things from getting out of hand.

4. Take 10 or 15 minutes before bed to tidy up

Do yourself a favor and be proactive with any clutter that’s lingering where it shouldn’t before you hit the hay. Turn on your favorite podcast or Spotify station and finish up the cleaning tasks that didn’t get done during the day, like folding laundry, putting away the dishes, or walking through each room and tossing trash or putting random items where they belong.

A Daily Routine to be More Productive 

1. Set an early alarm

Yes, tons of startup leaders claim their 4 a.m. wake-up time is the key to their success, but you don’t have to get up that early. The point is to buy more time in your day. When you rise earlier, you’ll have more opportunities to get things done. Just make sure you’re getting ample sleep, or the whole waking up early thing will be counterproductive.

2. Do short media fasts throughout the day

Since the goal of productivity is output, take intentional breaks from taking in information, which will only serve as a distraction. It may help to slot out blocks of time where you don’t read or listen to anything that could keep your eyes off the ultimate prize of what you need to get done. (In other words, put down your phone or close the browser.)

3. Take a power nap 

Did you know a quick, 30-minute cat nap can increase your mental alertness and, therefore, boost productivity? It may seem like a waste of time to crash rather than check another item off your to-do list, but if you’re more rested and refreshed, you’ll ultimately get more done in the long haul.

4. Plot out your next day 

Before you hit the hay, take some time to plan out what tomorrow will look like, including all the chores and tasks you need to get done. Not only will you have all your to-do’s laid out for you, you’ll also probably get better rest if you’re not mentally jogging through everything you need to accomplish. A win-win for productivity!

A Daily Routine to be More Creative 

1. Start with morning pages

Whether or not you consider yourself a writer, your creative juices will flow more freely if you set aside time each morning to stream-of-consciousness journal, which author Julia Cameron calls “morning pages.” The key is to take advantage of your creative mind before distractions enter the picture and write without the interference of your inner critic. See what comes up, and get inspired!

2. Take advantage of your most creative timeframe

When do you feel most inspired? Are you at your creative best first thing in the morning or late at night? Whether you’re an early bird, a mid-day bird, or a night owl, be intentional about identifying which time of day you best “flow” in creativity, and allot your creative projects to that time. Not only will you accomplish more, but you’ll set yourself up for your best work.

3. Spend 30 minutes on something arbitrary

When you practice creativity for a living or some level of creativity is required of you at home, it’s easy to feel drained when a new project comes up. To keep things fresh (and perhaps come up with unexpected ideas), try to take time each day to do something creatively stimulating but not demanding, like an adult coloring book, making a collage from magazine cutouts, or writing a poem based on a writing prompt.

4. Go for a walk

Moving your body, of course, contributes to a clear and alert mind—but it also engages your senses. Everything you’ll observe and think about going on a walk could inspire you in whatever project you’re working on.