I’m going to be thirty this year.
There: I said it. I admitted it for the first time in writing — and on the internet, no less!
Surprisingly enough, it’s not bothering me like I thought it would, though. First of all, I don’t feel like an almost-thirty-year-old … if there’s even supposed to be a feeling that comes with entering a new decade of one’s life; secondly, I’m kind of excited about the challenges and changes that a new decade will come with. Bring it on!
However, when I turned twenty-nine last year I realized that I actually wasn’t ok with what the next birthday held, so I made a committment to make the last year of my 20’s something special. Not out-of-the-ordinary special, but special because I decided to commit to becoming a better person, special because I decided to change my mentality of the daily by creating a routine that would allow the light and goodness of Jesus in every single day.
I’m going to be thirty whether I like it or not. November 29th is going to be a date on the calendar this year just the same as it always has been. I’d rather be the person I want to be when that day arrives rather than the person I don’t want to be.
Through this five-month journey of “last-hurrah-ing,” I’ve discovered it’s quite a process to break habits. Fitness blogs announce that it takes twenty-one days to form a new habit. If that’s true, it takes twenty-one days to break an old habit. You wanna become a better person? Great! Good for you! But you’ll have to simultaneously say bye-bye to the old habits while committing to a new routine in order to have the most effective success. THEN it takes ninety days to turn that habit into a lifestyle! In other words, if you really desire a change, you have to be committed to the routine — otherwise, it won’t stick and you’ll fall right back into those hold habits.
I am committed to grow as an individual, as a Christian, as a business owner, as a friend, as a daughter, and as a blogger in this last year as a twenty-something. I want this new decade of my life to be better than it was or has been. And not better because it hasn’t been good — because it has been good, I simply want to be better. I want to do better. All the things I’ve always said I wanted to do? I’m doing them now.
And so, for you, Darling, here are four reasons why it’s important for you to commit to a daily routine, too:
1. Ready or not, here life comes.
As an undergraduate music student at Kent State University in 2006 it felt as if I would never finish college. The days seemed to drag by. There was always music to learn, there was always a test to study for, there was always a scholarship to apply for. The days felt like an endless mess of piano practicing and paper writing.
Periodically, I would groan about how college was taking forever to finish and it felt like I would never complete my degree. My mom would always reply: “You’ll be twenty-two with a degree or without a degree, it doesn’t matter. The four years will pass regardless of how you spend them.”
And you know what? My mom was right. Those four years went by more quickly than any I can remember and I got that degree.
I realized then that life happens regardless of my feelings, expectations, hesitations, or uncertainties about it. Time passes whether you’re ready for it to or not — so you may as well prepare for the future NOW because it will get here much quicker than you anticipate!
2. There is power in a routine. There is power in familiarity.
It’s in the quiet monotony of the everyday life that we learn who we really are. It’s the “normal” kind of days that encompass our lifestyle. The routines we set for ourselves determine our mindset, but our mindset also determines the routine. Whoa. Is that circular reasoning? I suppose it is, but our lives are a cycle, are they not? So it would make sense that all areas of life affect one another directly and indirectly.
It was in the still, small voice that God spoke to the prophet Elijah. It wasn’t in the fire, it wasn’t in the crashing thunder, it wasn’t in the roaring sea. It was the stillness, the monotony, the everyday routine.
And therein lies the power of a routine: when something out of the ordinary happens, perhaps like God speaking directly to your heart, you are bound to notice it.
3. What you allow in your life will also come out of your life.
Whatever you feed into your mind and heart will eventually be what comes out of you. I believe that it’s absolutely necessary to include happiness in the daily. Make happiness, joy, and contentment apart of the everyday.
Allow good things to make their way into your everyday life — not only that, but commit to seeking out peace and hope and love into your routine, that way those good and beautiful things will come out of you.
Read personal development books and uplifting blogs, follow inspirational people on social media. Listen to encouraging podcasts, be present during Bible studies. Be mindful of the type of music you are listening to.
You are — or could be — an inspiration to someone. But how are you inspiring them? Are you inspiring them to be intentional, Christian women? Are you leading people closer to Christ by your words and actions or do your conversations and activities reflect carnality? What types of habits are you forming that create joy in your day?
Be committed to creating a beautiful routine so that you are creating beauty for others.
4. You need to create a haven for your mind, your heart, your soul, even your physical body — every day.
How are you spending your first few waking moments of the morning? How do you spend the last hour of the day before you crawl into bed?
Fill your body with proper nutrition. Exercise regularly. Read your Bible in such a way that you are grasping and fully understanding the content — don’t skim, be focused and present, and consider what you read. Journal your thoughts and prayers.
Allow yourself time to rest, recover, and be rejuvenated. Don’t forget that God even rested on the seventh day after creation — don’t be mistaken that constant busyness is a sign of effectiveness.
People watch you, you know. They look at you.
Make it a goal right now — right in this moment — to be the best you. Whether it’s a spiritual change, a mentality shift, a physical goal, or getting rid of a mental block, commit to a daily routine that will enable you to glorify God each day.
You don’t have to worship at the altar of Pinterest perfection in order to have a life that screams of beauty — but rather create a life that is filled with the love and hope of Jesus by inviting peace into your soul.
You are in the world for a reason. Make the best of what you have and what you’ve been given and live in this moment. Don’t squander the present by using all your free-time on social media or shopping for more material goods. Don’t wait for tomorrow, but don’t dread tomorrow either. Be present and intentional now so that you will reap the benefits of a beautiful routine later. Create habits that are beneficial to your spiritual well-being, your physical health, and emotional stability — don’t wait.
Time will pass whether you’re ready or not, so, Darling, be ready —
and then commit to becoming the most intentional woman you were created to be.