In the first installment of this blog, I talked about the importance of setting a routine, why daily routines are so effective and how starting your day with a success can lead to an even better day. Now that you know the facts behind setting a daily routine, I’m going to share my daily routine with you and the reasons behind why I’ve chosen to structure my day like this.

What does my typical routine look like?

Personally I’ve tried to set a routine that would help me relieve stress and form an accomplished mental state every morning. For example, I start every day by making my bed. Although I fought against this practice most of my life, once I began simply spreading my comforter over my bed and bringing order to my scattered pillows, I found that I walked out of my bedroom with a small sense of accomplishment.

Next I grab my bag, which I prepared the night before to save myself the struggle in the morning. Physical exercise is very important for mental and physical health, so I go to the gym and workout for about an hour before heading in to work. Some like to listen to music while driving, but I’ve found that letting myself think in silence is a good way to prepare for the day ahead of me. Find what works for you.

I usually get to work a bit early which is perfect because this gives me a few minutes to meditate or preform an action referred to as “toning.” This can be as simple as repeating some form of mantra or audible tone to stimulate or relax your brain. For example one of the most common mantras would be the “Om.” Many neurologists who specialize in brain scans have shown the calming effects of repeating this mantra for at least 5 minutes every day.

Once I sit down at my desk I like to do a quick breathing exercise called the 5×2=10 method, which is simply inhaling for 5 seconds, holding for 2 seconds and exhaling for another 5 seconds. I repeat this 10 times. This brings more oxygen to the brain to help calm anxiety and increase mental function. Next, I quickly write down 3-5 things I am grateful for as well as write a basic journal entry about anything on my mind.

Once I’ve completed this routine I make myself a cup of coffee or tea (both very mentally stimulating) and I write my goals for the day. Most people will tell you it’s best to never write more than 3 major tasks on this list. After that I’m ready for the day.

This is simply my personal routine. It may not be for everyone, so do some research and find what fits for you. There are plenty of great habits to pick up that can not only help you mentally and physically, but also professionally and financially.

Even if routines and habits aren’t your thing, there is no harm in giving this a shot. After all, practice makes perfect. It takes time to build habits, especially good habits, but once you’ve formed these good habits you’ll find yourself taking on much more positive and productive moment in your daily life. Small actions can have big results.