• Elaine Zito

The Four for More: A Daily Routine to Figure Out What You Want and How to Get There

Do you ever feel like you're a robot moving through life by muscle memory to get through the mundane? It's so easy to become unmotivated from our daily activities and responsibilities. I know that I often feel too tired to do anything other than work, eat, and sleep. And it's so easy to just lay in bed or on the couch and binge your favorite show. But ultimately that just leads to boredom and depression. So, we find the little things that help get us through. Whether its coffee and wine, exercise, the calendar on your phone, or a text chain you have with yourself of reminders, we all have a clutch to try and survive our schedules. But is it truly working for us? Don't you want to feel grateful, excited, motivated and organized? It's easy to succumb to our emotions but its not rewarding. If you could find a routine to add into your day that would lead to increased productivity, sense of accomplishment, contentment with what you have, and a more organized schedule, would you give up 40 minutes of your couch time? It could change your outlook on life, improve your finances and relationships, and lead you to actually follow those dreams that keep pulling at your heart.

If you answered yes, then this blog post is for you. I have spent the last couple of years researching how to get out of the funk that is feeling lazy and unmotivated. I have tried planners, to-do lists, goal journals, exercise, countless self motivational books (that's a blog post for another time), and more. I finally found a system that works for me. It has drastically helped me reach my goals, become a happier more grateful person, and overall increased my productivity! I no longer waste the hours of my free time on useless, self destroying habits (scrolling social, watching garbage tv, comparing my life to others).

So here is my four step routine that has led me to creating this blog, improving the strength of my marriage, feeling more independent and confident in myself, and saving thousands of dollars.

1. A good day starts with a good morning. As is it being the most important meal of the day, it's also the most important time of the day to set yourself up for success, or failure. As soon as I wake up I begin drinking water. I was skeptical about what this can actually do for a person, besides extra bathroom visits (annoying), but WOW, the first day I tried it, I felt a surge of energy. So throughout the day I drink half my body weight in oz of water. Plus nice skin and a cleaner body is always great.

2. The next thing I do is fill out my Panda Planner journal. This is an all encompassing journal with daily, weekly, and monthly views. Each day has a section for gratitude, things you're excited about, an affirmation (because we all need a confidence booster), an hourly schedule, to-do task list, and an end of the day review. How amazing is that? You start your day off feeling grateful and excited, and then get organized with all of the things you need to accomplish. You can then go to the weekly view to check off any tasks you will be doing that day, and then the monthly view to look at your life in a broader spectrum. One of my favorite added benefits is that it incorporates goal setting. You can create a daily habit you want to achieve, (mine being to actually use the planner daily) which you write in everyday, and then check it off on the monthly view to see how many times that month you actually achieved it. This planner is a very thorough and detailed version to keep you in check and on track. The great thing is that it includes the journaling aspect as well, so you don't have to have a million note books to keep track of.

3. After that I visit my Cultivate What Matters Powersheets. This is useful for anyone who is goal oriented and wants to dive deeper into figuring out where they want their life to head, and how to get there. At the beginning of the year you do quite a bit of prep work to narrow your dreams into categories and specific goals. Then each month you have a designated checklist to keep you moving forward. There are daily, weekly, and monthly goals on this checklist to fill out. So everyday I check off what I accomplished for that day. The idea is to have everything checked off by the time the month ends. Just another way to hold you accountable for achieving your dreams. This was the best tool for actually figuring out what all of my random ideas and thoughts meant.

4. Finally, dedicate 30 mins of your time to yourself. But let me be clear here. These minutes need to be spent doing something that relates to who you want to be or what you want to achieve. If you want to be a healthier version of yourself, then spend 30 mins working out. If you want to be a smarter version of yourself, then spend 30 mins learning about something new. If you want to be a better business owner, dedicate that time to figuring out how. If you want to be more relaxed and less stressed, spend those minutes meditating. If you don't carve out specific time to reach your goals, you'll never work it in your schedule. Thirty minutes a day working to better yourself instead of scrolling Instagram can lead to things you never knew were possible. And eventually you may find that you enjoy this time so much that you're now willing to give up an hour of couch time to better your life. It's like a snowball effect. Once you start, it gets easier, and faster, and more exciting.

So take 10 minutes to drink some water and fill out your planner/power sheets, and then spend 30 mins for yourself, truly focusing on your betterment, and watch how your life changes. I promise you will feel happier, healthier, and more excited to live everyday.

xoxo, Isla Girl

Disclaimer: You can buy any planner you want. You can write things you're grateful for on a scratch piece of paper. The idea is the mindfulness and routine that it creates. You don't need these specific tools, you just need something that works for you.