4 Life-Giving Routines to Try

4 Life-Giving Routines to Try

by: Emily Thomas

Routines help us cultivate what matters most.

They are the details that define us. They ground our lives in consistency, give us the structure we crave, and ensure that our everyday lives are filled with the things that actually matter most to us. At their best, routines create an intentional foundation that hums in the background with little effort, allowing us to spend our creative energy, focus, and willpower on meeting the needs of each day and the people around us.

And they're unique! While we're adamant in our belief that the best routines are born out of your unique life and what matters most to you, we know it can be helpful to be inspired by others. So today, we’ve gathered up examples of different routines from Team Cultivate and friends in the hopes that they’ll inspire you to think creatively about your own. Just like in a physical library, feel free to browse the shelves and learn from others cultivating alongside you. 

Cultivate What Matters Routines Workbook on a dark wood table

A 30-Something's Daily Evening Routine

The team member: Emily

The goal: To wind my body and mind down and end my day well by focusing on what matters to me

The why: So I can get a good night's sleep (and feel satisfied and content just before I do!)

Cued by: The clockI begin no later than 11pm, ideally 10:30pm

  • Head to the bedroom and pull up a 10-minute full-body stretch video on the Peloton app. My husband and I usually complete this side-by-side.
  • Head into the bathroom and turn on the audio for my Bible-in-a-year reading plan through the Bible app. I know most people prefer to listen in the morning, but I've found evening to be extremely effective for my life!
  • Hop in the shower as I listen.
  • Put on pajamas and complete the rest of my evening skincare routine (toner, moisturizer, brush teeth, lotion).
  • Plug in my phone for the night (on the opposite side of the room! This is key!)
  • Pull back the covers, climb into bed, and read for 30-45 minutes before turning out the light no later than midnight.

A 20-Something's Daily Morning Routine

The team member: Casey

The goal: To chip away at some of the hardest goals to grow (but that are the most meaningful to me!) first thing in the morning

The why: Getting them done first means it's harder for excuses or "fires" to get in the way of completing them. And when I start my day winning at things that matter, I feel grounded and stable!

Cued by: My alarm, usually set for 6 or 6:30

  • 15-30 min: Roll over to grab my Bible and study materials (next to my bed!) to read my devotional, read Scripture, and journal.
  • 10 min: Change into my workout clothes and sneakers (at the end of my bed), put my hair in a ponytail, and head to the gym. I put in my headphones while driving so I'm ready to get to work once I arrive! 
  • 60 min: Strength train for 30 minutes and walk for 30 minutes. I use my walk to check my email, respond to texts, log my workout and food for the day, and check any to-dos ahead. 
  • 30 min: I drive home (wide awake!), change for the day, and prepare breakfast as I listen to music, a podcast, or a webinar. I'm ready to go! 

A Toddler Mom's Evening Reset Routine

The team member: Alli

The goal: To reset my mind and space to shift from go-mode to settle-mode

The why: The state of my environment greatly impacts the state of my mind. I often need a reset to close out the day externally and internally.

Cued by: My toddler's bedtime—he goes down around 7:30pm, and the next 15-30 minutes comprise this post-bedtime routine

  • After putting my son to bed, I say a brief prayer outside his door and bring down anything from upstairs that migrated throughout the day.
  • I put in my headphones and pull up an audiobook or podcast to make the often-mundane tasks ahead much more enjoyable!
  • I wash any dishes remaining in the sink. (I do this first because it's my least favorite! When my husband is home, this is his task.)
  • I start in one corner of our main floor and work my way to the other putting away any items strewn about and toys that didn't get put away before bed. Going room to room in this way is like a visual checklist for me, and keeps me focused.
  • I check our family calendar for any lingering to-do list items for the day and to get an overview of the following day.
  • I wash my face and get mostly ready for bed, then pour myself a glass of kombucha mixed with sparkling water and cozy up on the couch for time to rest, read, or work on a project.

A Family's Weekly Meeting Routine

The team member: Tori

The goal: To unify our family, build relationships, and sync our schedules

The why: Creating a safe place for our family to express thoughts and feel seen is very important to me. We use this time to set our intentions for the week so we can keep what matters front of mind. We study scripture together, share feelings, and uplift one another to create a strong family unit. 

Cued by: The day of the week. We have family meetings on Sunday afternoons.

  • Before we meet, I use the Family Workbook to set our agenda and write down anything we need to cover together.
  • We open in prayer, then read a verse and discuss it.
  • Someone tells the joke of the week :)
  • Each person shares a high and a low from their week.
  • We discuss the week's lunch schedule (what days are the girls eating at home or at school, and what are they taking).
  • We pull out our calendars, discuss what's ahead, and make any necessary plans.
  • We pick our fun event for the week.
  • We open the floor to check-in for areas that might need support.
  • We take prayer requests, and then one of the girls prays.

Cultivating your routines? We think you'll love the Routines Workbook! It's a natural companion to your PowerSheets® goal planner or Season by Season™ planner, and will help you uncover, build, and stick to the best routines for the season of life you’re in. Far from adding unnecessary rigidity to your days, the right routines will give you relief from the chaotic, reactive life you’re living now. We think you'll love it

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Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas is Cultivate What Matters' Content Strategist and Writer. With over a decade at Cultivate, Emily loves helping women uncover what matters, set good goals, and live them out with joy. Her free time is spent with her high-school-sweetheart husband and three young kiddos.

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