Building Your Routine (Harnessing the Power of Habit) | Summer Boot Camp

Good evening! It’s Monday!

If you follow me on Instagram, you might know two things:

  1. my fam moved into a new house
  2. I went on a mini vacation to Chicago to visit some friends this past weekend.

And if you read the blog, you’ll also know that I’m behind in my boot camp. I reeaally wanted to just quit since I’m already behind BUT! there is still time so I’m pressing forward. This third post in my experiment is about building a routine.

3 Building Your Daily Routine

So when I was planning to do this boot camp, I didn’t really factor in moving from one dwelling to another and how much that would impact this process. Oh goodness, have I so quickly forgotten what it’s like to load up your life in boxes and not be able to find anything for days? I own more stuff than I’ve owned in a very long time finding my groove again is slow in coming. This is going to be a difficult week to build a routine.

However, on the flip side, with this move comes a shorter commute to work, more space to work at home if I want to, and more room to do early morning things without disturbing the rest of the house which is a huge plus!

One thing that I’m working on this summer is my morning routine. I wrote about this in my post, The Ultimate War Room Game Changer as well as My 5 Simple Rules for the Best Morning Ever. Mornings are such a great time to get things done if you carve out the time. It’s much easier to roll out of bed just in time to take a quick shower, maybe grab something to eat and rush out the door to my job. It’s much more challenging to wake up early enough to have my quiet time, get in a work out, do some writing, drink water, eat breakfast, and get ready for work.

The benefits are huge but the habit is hard to come by.

This week, I’m going to start building my morning routine again. Now that my life and circumstances have changed, I need to tweak what I’d been doing before. The process is simple:

  1. list the activities I want to get done in the morning
  2. address the trade offs–what needs to be done, given up, or rescheduled in order for me to accomplish these tasks?
  3. plot them out on a schedule
  4. try it out for a set amount of days
  5. tweak as necessary
  6. Don’t give up. Work at it until it’s a habit.

That is my assignment for the next week, maybe two. My family is going out of town for the 4th of July weekend so I’m going to need a little extra time…

As far as habits are concerned, I’ve got a couple of books on my list that deal with early morning as well as habits.

5 AM Miracle

The 5 AM Miracle by Jeff Sanders {Amazon}

I actually started this book earlier this year but haven’t finished it. Sanders also has a podcast by the same name that I’ve listened to for awhile and definitely recommend as well. I’m going to revisit this one during this process :).

better-than-beforeBetter Than Before by Gretchen Rubin {Amazon}

I’ve had my eye on this book for a long time but haven’t pulled the trigger and purchased it yet. But I love Rubin’s podcast, Happier, which she co-hosts with her sister Elizabeth Craft and it’s high time I check this book out. In it, Rubin talks about what she calls the 4 Tendencies and how they relate to habits and living a happy life. You can take the 4 Tendencies quiz HERE on her website. Check out her site, her books and her podcast, she’s got great stuff! I plan to purchase this book before the week is over.

Trade-offs, schedules, and lists. This is some of the stuff of productivity and project and life management. Fun. Hard but fun.

On that note, I’ve got to prep to hit the sack. It’s 8:30 and I need to be in bed in the next half hour if I’m going to get up in time to start re-building my routine. Here we go!

Good night!


The blogger at Purple Ink Studios is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

My 5 Simple Rules for the Best Morning Ever

It’s the first Monday of 2016. How’s it going so far? Did you start off on the right foot or get up on the wrong side of the bed? Don’t worry if you’re still adjusting to your after-holidays-back-to-reality routine. It’s still a new year and you still have plenty of time to take charge of your morning.

Right now, I’m working on my 2016 early to bed, early to rise goal but last year, I locked down a routine that, when followed, makes for my best mornings. It’s nothing special or new but it’s simple and it works. As you settle into this brand new year, make sure you’ve got your morning routine locked down. It may take some practice to make it habitual but it’s totally worth the work! Need a place to start? I got you. Ready? Here are My 5 Simple Rules for the Best Morning Ever.     

the mornings hours are so important and worth the extra investment. Kick your day into gear with these 5 simple rules and have the best mornings ever!

1. Don’t Hit Snooze

This is my WORST morning vice–I ALWAYS hit the snooze button! It’s the most difficult habit to kick! When your alarm goes off in the morning, don’t think–just get out of bed. On a good morning, my alarm sounds, I get out of bed and make a beeline for the bathroom before I can think about how comfy and warm it is under the covers and I need just 5 more minutes of sleep! Don’t Hit Snooze people. Go to bed early, and get up and get going when the alarm goes off.  

2. Water Your Mind and Body

Once I’m up and sweeping up the cobwebs in my head, I grab a bottle of water and start hydrating my body. Water is purifying, renewing, and invigorating. If weight loss is a goal for you, water first thing in the A.M. will help aid that process. Don’t shock your system with cold water, stick with room temp or even better, warm water with lemon 🙂 The vitamin C in the added citrus will give an immune system boost and promote healthy glowing skin too!

3. Pray & Read

Now you’re up, your mind and body have been hydrated and refreshed and now it’s time to fuel up spiritually. Sitting at the feet of Jesus for some time in prayer and in the Word is THE best thing you can do for your morning. Now, it’s important to note that reading the Bible and studying the Bible are two different things. You may only have time for some prayer and reading in the morning and then Bible study later on in the day. Spiritual growth and maturity doesn’t happen just by reading some passages of scripture or a few pages of a devotional book. Maturity in Christ happens when we study His word. But that’s another post. Whatever you choose to do for your morning routine, do set aside some time for prayer and the Word. Just as water refreshes your mind and body, the Words of God will refresh your heart and soul. 

4. Get Moving

I love working out in the morning! Working out in the evening is a great way to decompress and destress but morning exercise is the best way for me to fully wake up and get going. If you think fitness isn’t your, then experiment. Just because your friends are into something doesn’t mean you have to be too. Try new things and find something that you enjoy. The more you like your work out, the more you’ll engage consistently.  

I actually find it easier on myself to exercise before my quiet time. I’m less likely to fall asleep while reading and praying cause my mind is fully awake after working out. However, it is also easier to get distracted. I make sure that if I work out before I read my Bible, I don’t check my email, I stay off most social media (unless I’m posting), and I keep my music or audiobooks spiritual and inspirational. That way, by the time I sit down with Jesus, my brain’s not already cluttered with worldly things. 

5. Feed Your Mind and Body

Okay, by this time I’m super hungry. I haven’t eaten yet cause I want to give the water I’ve been drinking time do it’s work in my body. I find that when I follow this kind of schedule, by the time I’m ready to eat, I’m less likely to eat junk. Your body needs a good, solid breakfast to continue the day on the right track you started on. Your mind and body will function only as good as you feed it. Make sure your giving yourself proper nutrients to help your body recover from your exercise as well as aid your mind in tackling the challenges of the day. 


Morning routines are challenging because life is unpredictable often gets in the way. But even so, A.M. routines are essential to keeping life simple & highly productive. Without a routine, you are more likely to get distracted and derailed and the less productive. It may take some painful, sleepy practice. It may mean altering your evening schedule so you can get some extra sleep. It may mean sacrifice. But the mornings hours are so important and worth the extra investment. Kick your day into gear with these 5 simple rules and have the best mornings ever!

Happy Monday!

5. You’re Not Good at Everything | 31 Days

This is post 5/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

One point. One measly, stinkin’ point. How in the world did I fail by one point?!?!

This wasn’t my first CLEP exam but it was my first fail.  Standing there with my score in hand, my fried brain feeling so utterly at sea, I had no idea what to do next. The worst part about the whole thing was I had to wait six months to retake the test. Stupid test.

It was my first attempt at the College Algebra CLEP exam. Math. The one subject that always been my arch nemesis in school. I don’t have a natural liking or ability for it so any good grades I managed to receive came from long hard hours of working at it. And I generally did not enjoy it. Math. The only subject I’ve ever been tutored in while in high school. And now, after all the blood, sweat, and tears I put into prepping for that exam, I failed. By one point.

Ugh.

I have a confession to make. I wasn’t going to share this but…I snoozed again this morning. Yeah, I know, Monday morning and I already fell off the wagon. Now I’m behind in my routine. Again. 

We all have a list of things we’re not particularly good at. Those things we can’t seem to conquer, master, or get over. Sometimes they’re such simple things and we don’t know why it’s so tough to just do it

I should be able to do this! My friends can do it, why is it so hard to get it done?!

We compare, we calculate, we reason, we make excuses. 

Stop it. Let me tell you something. 

You’re not good at everything.

You’re just not. And that’s okay, you don’t have to be. I think we all know this intellectually but then we face a task or situation that requires us to perform and we kick ourselves for not being able to deliver. It happens in school, on the job, in our families, with our friends. 

So I want you to say it. Go ahead and say it. 

I’m not good at everything and I don’t have to be.

Now the pressure is off and you can focus on two things: 1. cultivating and capitalizing on the things you’re naturally good at, 2. searching out the help you need to work on the things you’re not good at but still need to get done or delegating the task to someone else who is actually good at it.   

Obviously, that College Algebra exam wasn’t something I could delegate, so I got a tutor to help me work through the material and prep for a re-take. I passed the second time around and washed my hands of math classes forever.

Until my final term at TESC when I had no choice but to fulfill a three-credit slot with a math class. Are you serious!?

Sometimes you don’t win. You have to grin and bare it.

I’m still not great at math. I still snooze in the morning and struggle with my routines despite my best intentions. I’m not good at everything and I don’t have to be. I do know what I want to be good at and I have to work hard at it until I am. However, I won’t kick myself when I fail at the things that don’t come naturally to me. I tried and I’m going to try again. I tried and I’m going to figure out what needs to change in order to get it right the next time around.

f497f21198b80f3f07a204929e1ed68f

The BF and I have this saying about knowing enough to figure out what we don’t know. And that’s education. You know that there are things that need to be done and knowledge and expertise that are required to accomplish them. So you figure out how to get it done, you don’t just leave it or do it halfway cause you’re not good at it.

You know you need those credits for school so figure out how to get it done. You may not like the subject and that class may not apply to anything in your real life but you have the satisfaction of figuring out a problem and doing your best.

You know that project needs to be done at work or in your home so you figure out how to get it done yourself or delegate it to someone who will do it for you. Now you have the satisfaction of a job well done and the added experience tucked in your pocket for next time.

You’re not good at everything. That doesn’t me you can’t or shouldn’t get it done, you just have to put in extra effort to make it happen.

I’m through with CLEP exams and I’ll never take another math class (fingers crossed) but that just leaves room for the million and one other things that I’m not good at but need to figure out a way to get done. So I’ll keep learning and growing so I can master and conquer.

I’m not good at everything but I’ll do my best to do my best at everything.

#write31days

April Report Card

April Report Card

1. Establish a Sleep Schedule and Morning Routine – B-.

I don’t have this down perfectly yet but I have made some really great progress. I’ve been going to bed at a decent hour more consistently and waking up at a decent hour more consistently. My worst bedtime habit was listening to podcasts & audiobooks while falling asleep. I’ve had a reeeeeeally hard time admitting that this was not doing me any good because I was not letting my brain shut down properly. I FINALLY nipped that in the bud and downloaded an app that plays nature and ambient sounds to help me fall asleep. One of the best decisions I’ve made this month. I sleep better and I’m not as groggy in the morning. Old habits die hard for real, but it was a necessary death and I’m glad I finally sucked it up and made the change.

The morning routine still has some bugs but it’s almost there.

2. Read/Finish at Least 5 Books – A. 

Finished 1 book I started last month and started and finished 4 this month. YAAAASSSSS!!!!

3. Try 4 New Juice Recipes – D-

We did juice but I didn’t try any new recipes.

4. Establish Writing/Blogging Schedule – D+

Sooooooooo I’ve decided on a M-W-F schedule. Implementing that has been a whole other challenge. I’ve just been writing whenever I can find the time.

5. Catch Up on Book ReviewsC-

I wrote one and have others that are started but not completed…………

6. Recipe Binder – D-

Yeah, nope, didn’t happen.

7. Update My Resume – A+

I did update my resume and it looks beautiful if I do say so myself. Aaaaaand I updated my Monster and LinkedIn profiles so those are bonus points ^.^

8. Get New Calling Cards Printed – B-

I designed them but didn’t get them printed because my budget is tight and I’m trying to space out my expenditures if you know what I mean. Maaaaybe next month cause I really need to get this done.

9. Spring Clean and Organize My Bedroom – D-

Yeah, nope, didn’t happen.

Overall Grade = C+

Not great at all but better than I anticipated!

Now onto May!

April To Do List

april

 Why hello April!  So nice of you to arrive!

1. Establish a Sleep Schedule and Morning Routine – I keep failing at this and I refuse to give up!  My plan is to go to sleep no later than 10 o’clock and rise no later than 6. After I get that down, I’m going to switch to sleep at 9 o’clock and waking at 5.  And while I’ve been working out faithfully, my devotional time continues to be at sporadic times.  Sooooo…

  1. Wake Up
  2. Devotions
  3. Work Out

If I can just establish these 3 things, my days would fall into a better pattern.  I’m not sure why this is so hard but it is and I want to get it together already!

2. Read/Finish at Least 5 Books – Audiobooks, audiobooks, audiobooks, baby!  I have several titles to get through besides whatever print books I can manage to sit down with.

3. Try 4 New Juice Recipes – My family’s been on a juicing kick that we’ve no desire to let go of.  My mom’s got this great juicing recipe book and I want to try some new combos!

4. Establish Writing/Blogging Schedule – This is pretty self-explanatory.  It goes along the same lines as establishing my morning routine – I need a writing routine!

5. Catch Up on Book Reviews – I’ve been behind in book review since 2013  – oh the shame XD lol.  Over on my book blog, I made the goal to blog about every single book I read this year and I pledged to read 100 books in 2015.  Yeeeeeeah.  Let me just catch up on the books I’ve read so far this year and back track as much as possible.    

6. Recipe Binder – I started this project last month and need to complete it! 🙂

7. Update My Resume – Self explanatory.

8. Get New Calling Cards Printed – Back in the day, people left their card when they went calling on neighbors or potential associates.  It bore their name and information so the person who was called on knew who had been by and how to get in touch with them.  A calling card is like a business card but for an individual who doesn’t own or represent a company.  It has your name and whatever information you want to give people so they can get in touch with you!  I had some made a few years ago and they need to be updated.

9. Spring Clean and Organize My Bedroom – I’m not sure why but I feel like my room has gotten smaller in the past month or so and it’s driving me nuts!  I need a new desk situation and some more storage.  I also need to go through my clothes and get rid of stuff I don’t wear anymore.  It’s so easy to keep pieces cause you may wear them again someday.  But seriously, dude, if it’s been hanging there and you NEVER wear it, then give it away so at least someone else can and you gain space for things you actually use.

Recurring Goals

  1. Work out daily, M-F
  2. Blog at least twice a week
  3. Practice piano for at least an hour daily

This is my longest list so far this year and I’m determined to get an A at the end!!  Here we gooooooooo!