Evening routines.  Do you really need one? 

If you give me a few minutes of your time, I think I can convince you that you do, and explain how to go about creating one.

It’s all rather simple, but the results can be quite powerful.

Now, I recently wrote an article about the importance of having a morning routine, and the truth is, your evening routine is just as important as your morning routine.

In fact, your morning routine actually starts the night before, with your evening routine.

The one sets up the other.

Because if you don’t prepare properly in the evening, it can negatively affect your morning.

And even though you might be quite busy with your business, work and family, a well-crafted evening routine can help soothe some of the chaos and anxiety that comes with having a very full schedule.

I’m even inclined to say that the busier you are, the more you probably need an evening routine.

So let’s get into it.

An evening routine will prepare you for a great morning.
An evening routine will prepare you for a great morning.

Why Create an Evening Routine?

Here are the main reasons why you should invest in creating a purposeful evening routine.

1. Your evening routine will help you relax

Include at least one habit or activity that will help you “shake off” any stress from the day.

It could be something as simple as watching a funny TV show, playing some online chess or just having a relaxing bath.

Or you might decide to add a short session of slow stretching or gentle yoga.

2. An evening routine gives you a plan for tomorrow

Spend just a few minutes to set some important tasks that you want to complete for the following day.

The evening is the best time to map out your day. You’ll wake up with a plan that’s all ready to go.

Review any appointments in your calendar so that you know exactly what’s happening and so that you don’t miss any appointments.

3. Your evening routine “resets” your physical environment and removes friction points

“Reset” your kitchen, bedroom and office to its default state: Clean and organized

If you do this on a regular basis, it won’t take up much time and it’ll be easier to maintain.

By keeping your spaces organized, you’ll remove friction points in the morning so that you can start your day smoothly and with minimal stress.

4. A good evening routine will help you sleep better

Set a consistent time for “in bed, lights out” and aim to hit that at least 80% of your nights or higher.

You’ll wake up with better energy and feel more capable and confident to take on the day’s challenges.

Dim household lights a few hours before bedtime.

Add any other habits that will prepare you for a comfortable, deep sleep.

5. An evening routine blocks out time for your personal development, health and personal activities

This is the space where you can add things like reading, a hobby, light exercise or stretching, among just a few examples.

Even setting aside just 15 minutes can be helpful.

What to Include in Your Evening Routine

Here are some habits you could include in your evening routine.

Relaxation

  • Yoga
  • Slow stretching
  • Meditation
  • Breathing exercises

Health

  • Exercise
  • Skincare routine
  • Fasting (not eating after a certain hour)
  • Taking vitamins and supplements

Sleep

  • Set a time for “in bed, lights out”
  • No screen time at least 1 hour before bedtime
  • Dim all household lights at least 1 hour before bedtime
  • No liquids in the hour before bedtime

Review/Planning

  • Review and reflect on your day
  • Write out main tasks for tomorrow
  • Check your calendar
  • Short visualization of key timelines and activities for tomorrow

Example of an Evening Routine

Create an evening routine that ties up loose ends in your day and helps set you up for success for the following day. Here’s just one example routine:

  • 7pm-8pm: Wash dishes and clean the kitchen. Prepare clothes for tomorrow. Set out your documents, tools, briefcase in preparation of tomorrow’s work.
  • 8:00pm-8:30pm: Dim household lights. Slow stretching, slow yoga or meditation.
  • 8:30-9:00pm: Journalling (review/reflect on your day). Create a basic plan for tomorrow. Review your calendar for appointments.
  • 9:00pm-9:30pm: Brush teeth, skincare and other healthcare routines
  • 9:30pm-10:00pm: Reading in bed
  • 10pm: Lights out, ready for sleep
  • 10:30pm: Be asleep

How to Deal with Challenges in Your Evening Routine

There are several challenges when following an evening routine. Here are the most common issues:

1.  Not enough time

Solution: Create a short routine and keep it simple. It’ll still be helpful. 

2.  Too tired

Solution: Add habits in your routine that help you boost your energy or are relaxing.

3.  Being inconsistent

Solution: Track your evening routine habits in a habit-tracking app or spreadsheet or even on a physical calendar. You’ll be much more consistent simply by tracking. A simple “checkbox” format is quick and easy.

Your Evening Routine Prepares You for Success

Don’t leave your day to chance. Plan for success and prepare for a smooth day.

When you wake up on time, feeling well-rested, in an organized living space, with a clear plan for your day, you’ll be starting out with the best chance to have an enjoyable and productive day.

Try a few of these ideas out and let me know how things go for you. If you’d like some personal support and accountability in setting up your own evening routine, morning routine and other goals that you’re working on, you can get more info and book a free coaching call on this page.

To your success!

Nigel Cook
Accountability Coach

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