The Power of Routines | Ashley Varner

The Power of Routines

No matter what you say your priorities are, your daily routine shows your true priorities. And that’s good news! Because that means you can create a daily routine that honors your priorities.

And an added benefit of routines is that they reduce the amount of stress in your life and get the mundane (but still important) stuff on autopilot. Creating routines eliminates the inner mental battle of decision-making.

Resources Mentioned:

Reducing Stress with Routines Workbook (Free): https://ashleyvarner.com/routines-download
Priorities Bible Study as part of the Thrive Bible Study Vault: https://ashleyvarner.com/thrive
The Mindset Reset: https://ashleyvarner.com/mindset

Highlights From the Episode:

No matter what you say your priorities are, it is going to be your daily routine that shows what they truly are. And that’s good news because that means that you can cultivate a daily routine that honors your priorities and an added benefit of routines, and especially daily routines is that they can significantly reduce the amount of stress that is in your life, and you get the mundane but still important stuff onto autopilot in your life. And there’s something about creating routines that really eliminates this inner mental battle of decision making, we’re gonna talk all about how your daily routines impact your stress levels in this video, and I am excited to share it with you. So let’s get started.

Welcome back to “The Renewed Mind”. If you are brand new, I wanna say welcome. My name is Ashley Varner, and I am a Christian life coach. I am made Bible teacher and I really specialize in teaching women how to get a handle on their thoughts and emotions, and then how that impacts their daily actions and productivity and really getting to reach the goals that they wanna reach.

And before we jump in, I just wanted to share a free resource that I have for you guys today, that is all about routines. It’s a free workbook called reducing stress with routines. You can go to Ashleyvarner.com/free, and you can download that today completely free.

Reducing Stress with Routines Workbook (Free): https://ashleyvarner.com/routines-download

But I also wanted to mention one quick, additional resource that I have in regards to this topic. And that is the “Priorities Bible Study”. That is part of the Thrive Bible Study Vault. So the Thrive Bible Study Vault is a whole vault of a year’s worth of audio Bible studies that you can get downloaded on your phone and listen to. And there are printable workbooks that you can use for those.

Priorities Bible Study as part of the Thrive Bible Study Vault: https://ashleyvarner.com/thrive

So make sure to check both of those out. Now let’s jump into this idea of routines and how they impact your stress and your priorities and how creating routines can lead to less stress in your life. If you haven’t watched the video all about stress and stuff, I will make sure that there is a link in the description for you to watch. And all of this month, we’re talking about stress. So make sure that you continue to watch the following videos.

1. You have to know your priorities first.

So whenever you are creating routines, something that doesn’t always get talked about is the idea of setting your routines based on your priorities. If you want to have a daily routine that lessens the stress in your life, that really honors the priorities that you’ve set for yourself.

First off, you have to know what your priorities are first, right? You can’t just go onto YouTube and look up somebody else’s morning routine and start doing that. It’s not gonna have the same impact because their life, their circumstances their priorities are going to be different from yours.

So if you go on to say a That Girl video, and it’s someone who is single, has no kids, works from home, and has a pretty flexible schedule. Their routine is not going to create less stress in your life. Even if you follow it to a T, it’s not going to have the same impact because one, it’s probably not a realistic routine. It’s probably not one they do every day but it’s also not set up for your specific life and your specific circumstances.

I want you to know what your priorities are first. Set your priorities based on God’s priorities for you. That means your relationship with him has to be number one on there, your family, your marriage, your kids. It could be that you’re taking care of elderly parents. Maybe you’re not married, but you are doing that.

So look at what God’s priorities for your life are first. And then I like to call it your job description. That means that’s God’s purpose for your life. That could look like a secular job. It could look like a ministry, whatever it is, there could be several things. Think about the priorities in your life and then start to determine how your routine is gonna flow out of those.

2. Determine what small changes need to happen daily to honor your priorities.

So step one is to know what your priorities are. Step two is to determine what small changes need to happen on a daily basis to honor those priorities. And we’re gonna get into how this impacts your stress in a second but I want you to see that routines really are those daily actions that you take to impact you that come in kind of in a compound way.

For example, if you want a clean home, start with a routine that includes making your bed. If you want a strong prayer life, start with five minutes a day. And this is why I wanted to mention the Thrive Bible Study Right Away because all of those audio Bible studies are under five minutes a day.

Priorities Bible Study as part of the Thrive Bible Study Vault: https://ashleyvarner.com/thrive

It’s a great way to start building a daily routine of prayer and Bible study. So make sure to check that out. You can go to Ashleyvarner.com/thrive to download all of those. You get a year’s worth of Bible studies. It’s really affordable and it’s all right there. You can put it right on your phone.

So if you want a strong prayer life, it doesn’t start with praying for an hour, setting an hour aside for all like a whole on-your-face prayer session because what God really wants is consistency from you. He would rather have five minutes a day for a whole month than one time of you praying for an hour and then not being able to keep that routine up.

Think about what those priorities are in your life. And then look for small changes. If you want to have a better marriage, start with one kiss a day, right? Start with having that one two-minute conversation or whatever that you need to do to connect with your spouse. So look for things that you can add to your daily routine and then build from there.

That’s something that I think is important to remember, is that as you are setting up routines, you don’t wanna cause stress with your routines, right? You don’t want to create this idea of, well, I have to check off all these things off my list and then I’ll be less stressed. That just adds more stress to your life, right? ‘Cause now you’re thinking, I have all this to do. I’m not getting it done. It triggers all these thoughts in your mind.

But if you start with something small, once you get that on autopilot, then you add something else. Once you get those two things really cemented, then you add something else. The next thing that you’re gonna have to do after you have figured out what your priorities are and then created some small changes is you need to process any emotions that come up.

3. Process the feelings that come up.

So just because you plan to do something doesn’t mean that you will always want to do it. In fact, if you just base your life on whether or not you want to do something, you’re not really gonna get very far because there’s always going to be times whenever you don’t wanna do things.

In fact, just even recording these videos, I had this scheduled to record this video and this morning I woke up and really wasn’t feeling it. And I thought I don’t have to feel it in order to do it.

Realize that the same is true for you. You don’t have to feel like making your bed to do it. You can just do it. And it’s okay to have those feelings. As long as you take the thoughts captive first and say, that’s okay. I don’t feel like doing this, but that’s okay.

So you wake up, you don’t wanna make your bed. You just wanna stay in bed, I don’t know. You just wanna get on with your day and you feel unmotivated to do this, but you can think, I know that I’m feeling unmotivated right now but I can do it anyway. And then you do it.

That’s how routines really get started. ‘Cause, realize that your feelings your emotions are created from your thoughts. So you have to change your thinking. And you know, this is really why it’s so important that we know God’s priorities first because then we’re able to really take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to him.

As you are creating this routine for yourself, what I want you to see is, that it’s not about how you feel. It’s about changing your thoughts to lead to less stress, right?

As you are creating these routines, what happens is things go on autopilot. And this is where routines definitely work to reduce your stress. So you have all of these things that you need to do, right? You have all of these tasks that are on your to-do list and what they are is one decision after another.

If you haven’t kind of made it a routine to make your bed in the morning, that is now a decision that your brain has to make. I don’t know about you but I have way more important decisions in my life to make on a daily basis than that. So I don’t wanna use my brain’s decision-making power on making my bed, I just do it. And whenever you have routines where things are put on autopilot, what ends up happening is you’re not using that decision-making energy on those things.

There is something called decision fatigue, which means that after a certain amount of time in your day, you’re tired of making decisions. That’s why whenever you are home all day and you have fewer decisions to make, say on a Saturday, it’s easy to make dinner and plan and really put a lot of effort into making dinner. When you’re at work all day and then you have to come home and figure out what’s for dinner, it’s a little bit harder because you’ve been making decisions all day. This is another reason why like a lot of women like to put slow cooker meals in the morning because they use that energy right away. And then they’re not worried about it once they get home.

Think about the things that you can do in your daily routine that are going to make it easier for you to make decisions on the harder things. So if you have a routine where you wake up, you drink a glass of water, you make your bed you go read your Bible, take shower, and get ready for the day. And those are the things that you do on a daily basis. After a while, you don’t have to think about those things. And so the decision that you make to do this, that’s not really a decision because it’s just on autopilot.

I hope that this is making sense because the fewer decisions that you have to make consciously, the more that you have that energy available to make decisions that you need to make, really thinking about them.

4. Just keep swimming.

The last thing that I wanted to share about this is to just keep swimming. So we all have seen the show, Nemo, “Finding Nemo”, where Dory is just saying, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” I love this idea of that because what it is all about is consistency. So routines are only formed, the only way that you can have a routine is with consistency. That’s why I always recommend to women to start small and then build from there because consistency is where the magic is. Right?

You can have this huge long list, you can spend all the time that you want creating this big list of routines. This is what I’m gonna do. Then I’m gonna do this and then I’m gonna do this, and if you don’t do it, there is no benefit, right? But if you say, I’m gonna start this one thing, I’m gonna read one chapter in my Bible a day, I’m gonna make my bed. Before I go to bed, the one thing I’m gonna do is clean up the dishes in the sink, whatever it is, I want you to consider just starting with one thing, being consistent, and then adding something else. And the time is gonna pass anyway, ladies.

And so if you just are patient to say, I’m gonna follow through with this one task for 30 days and then I’m gonna add something else for 30 days, and then I’m gonna add more and go from there. By the end of the year, you’re gonna have a rock solid routine where you’ve been consistent and you’re seeing the benefits, not only in your productivity but also in less stress in your life because there are gonna be things that used to be kind of this inner battle, inner mental battle with yourself that now there’s no question about it.

You just make your bed every morning. And I think that having just this knowledge and being aware of this idea of the power of routines is huge because what it tells you is I can create a routine that honors my priorities, that lessens my stress, and makes me more productive. And that’s what it’s all about, right?

It’s about being efficient and knowing that you are using the time that God has given you wisely, that you are being a good steward of the things that he has given you in regards to your home, your marriage, your kids. Those things that he’s entrusted to you, if you can set up routines, that is going to make you a better steward of the things that he has given you that he’s entrusted to you.

I am really excited to share the last couple of lessons on stress and really how you can change your thinking and mindset around stress. But if you haven’t watched the previous video all about less stuff equals less stress, make sure to watch that if you are enjoying these videos make sure to comment below so that I know this is the kind of content that is helping you the most. I am here for you. And so definitely let me know how your routines are going, and how they are impacting your stress levels. And I will see you guys next time, have a great week.


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- Ashley Varner

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