A balanced daily routine is one of the most important things to build for yourself. I have always been a routine oriented person, thriving off of doing the same things weekly, and daily, but balanced can be very difficult to find. It really wasn’t until 3 years ago though where I took a life changing course and started feeling SO good that I could never go back to my old ways… of self-sacrifice and the exhaustion of putting everyone else’s needs before my own. I call them seasons, and I have been through many in my 38 years here on earth. Finding my personal “balance” took years of practice, trial and error. Balance has a different meaning for everyone. When I stopped trying to be what the world told me I should be, and stopped comparing my health to others, that is really when I found what worked for me and my family.
Make health choices and changes for yourself that are sustainable and that make you feel good. A balanced daily routine is all about finding what works for and that you can continue on a daily basis.
The seasons of life
I was always “healthy”, but not great at listening to my body. It took me getting pretty sick (a couple of times) to really start to tune in to what my body was telling me. I have learned more in the past 3 years than in my whole 38 years of life. Most importantly, life is not linear, and body’s change, along with what our bodies need. We just have to be listening to evolve along with it. What worked years ago might not be working for me anymore. I also learned the value of proper sleep, and now I prioritize it over anything else, even if it means going to bed before everyone else.
I call these seasons. Sometimes super challenging seasons are when I went through injury and illnesses including tendonitis and gut health issues that left me in constant pain. BUT whenever there is pain there is growth if you listen to what your body is telling you. I have also had amazing seasons of balance. Right now I am in a season of pushing my body, and learning how to nourish and recover during this push. Training for my first marathon is teaching me so much about myself mentally and physically. Finding my new balanced daily routine has been about adaptability. Adaptability has been my motto as I push my body farther than I ever have before. Adapting to training, recovery, nutrition and mental growth, while also keeping it fun.
The thing about balance…
My routine has always been pretty rigid, the past year has opened up my eyes that I can still have my secure schedule while being flexible. The great Tom Brady says, “Balance is as much about creating the right mixture of strength, conditioning, and pliability as it is about lifestyle choices—what we eat, how much rest and recovery we get, and what daily activities we engage in. The more balanced we are, the better. In my experience, most athletes like to work on things that they’re already good at. It reinforces their confidence in their own abilities. Strong athletes like to work on strength, and fast athletes like to work on speed. But that doesn’t create balance. To create balance, we need to work on our deficiencies as well.”.
My daily routine.
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret to success is found in your daily routine.”John C. Maxwell
Balance is sometimes a touchy word, and seems impossible as a mom, but I do truly believe you can find balance within yourself and your health when you tune into what your body is telling you. Whatever season I am in at the moment I keep my priorities in mind at all times. And always in this order; my self-care needs (sleep, nutrition, exercise), Family (my husband and daughter), service (my work).
Putting myself first ensures that my needs are taken care of and I can show up for my family with the energy and presence of my best self. Same goes for my work. My first purpose in life is allegiance to me. Before I put on my mom hat, wife and a coach … I am me, Megan Elizabeth Vandevanter.
I accomplish most of my work day before 12pm.
425AM: my Hatch alarm chirps. Depending on the day of the week I usually exercise first. Running, strength training, and yoga are my fitness go to’s right now. I will lift weights for a half an hour, or go for a 30-60 minute run (I am training for a marathon).
5-530AM: Creative work and coffee. I do my best work in the wee morning hours. If I have a blog to be written or a sleep plan to be created … I will do that then.
6AM: 11 minute Meditation
615AM: More coffee, wake up Greye for school, shower and get ready for the day.
6:40AM: Pack lunches, prepare breakfast. I usually have a bowl of oatmeal, with fruit and nuts, sometimes along with two eggs sunny side up(depending on mileage for the day). I love breakfast!
7AM: Eat breakfast and journal with my daughter.
730AM: Get Greye on the bus, and walk the dog.
8AM: Household chores.
8:30AM: Check in with my husband, kiss him goodbye and look at my email and notifications for the first time.
10AM: Movement break, then back to work (I try not to sit for more than one hour).
12PM: Lunch and email and notifications check, check in with clients. (salad with grilled chicken).
1pm: Finish up work meetings or go run errands.
2pm: Take the dog for a walk and get Greye off the bus.
230PM: Mom mode. Time with my daughter then off to sports. We usually have a snack and read books or play outside together.
430pm: Check notifications for the last time of the day.
5-6: Dinner with my family.
6pm: Clean up, play a game, and stretch together.
7pm: Head upstairs to get ready for bed. Wash my face, brush teeth, set my clothes out for my morning workout.
715pm: Read books with Greye.
730PM: Read a book in bed.
8PM: Lights out.
The mundane is exciting for me.
More or less this is what I do each day… timing is sometimes slightly different, and the order of things can change depending on meetings and my daughters’ sports. But for the most part this is me! I accomplish more in the wee morning hours, so I am able to finish and show up for my daughter in the afternoons. Healthy meals are a must, no technology after 6pm, early to bed and early to rise. I look forward to my day EVERYDAY. It makes me feel good. I wake up feeling rested and focused on what’s most important to me. Is everyday perfect? Of course not! But I do know that tomorrow is always a new day to be better, and that I have a solid foundational routine that keeps me feeling my best.
Top sleep priorities that help me get 8 hours.
- No technology at least an hour before bed.
- I get in bed for 8.5-9 hours of sleep.
- Don’t overeat, or eat a big meal right before going to sleep.
- No processed food before bed.
- No alcohol. (Not ever, but if you want a good night’s sleep, avoid it).
- Movement. Exercising and moving throughout the day builds my sleep pressure so I am relaxed and ready for rest.
- I go to bed and wake up at the same time every single day. Sometimes bedtime will vary a little, but for the most part it stays around 8pm. This sets my biological clock, and my natural melatonin kicks at the same time each night. Consistency is the only way to do this.
My 7-year old daughter told her Taekwondo class that I wake up at 4:30am everyday to run, and work all morning. It is the truth so I sat there and listened as the coach said he wished he could get up and do his workout then. The truth is you CAN. It doesn’t have to be 4:25am, that’s just what works for my husband and I. If you set your day up to create habits that prioritize sleep and overall health, and do them every single day, you can create whatever routine you desire. What happens during the day matters for what happens at night.
What does your balanced daily routine look like?
- Write down your dream schedule.
- What time is best to wake up, and go to sleep.
- What do you want to accomplish each day? 3 healthy meals? Exercise? Productive work?
- What does your family need from you? Remember you must put in time for your needs to be met.
- Always remember your day starts the night before. Create an ideal bedtime routine for the whole family with the tips listed above.
Need help with consistency?
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