Over the past year or so I have tried lots of different daily routines. I found what energised me + what did not. Most of all I discovered three keys to become the person you want to be and live your best life out loud.

About a year ago I found this little book at my local library. “Change Your Day, Not Your Life“, well it had me at the title.

As one who likes to plan + organise, this was right up my alley. And I was searching for what I wanted my life to look like in many ways. Work had changed + we had started homeschooling.

I needed some inspiration on how to best shape my day so that I could live the life I had in my head + heart.

Through this journey I have discovered three keys to create a daily routine and live your best life out loud. And I want to share them with you.

1. Discover What Works and What Doesn’t

Over the past year or so I have tried lots of different routines. Early moring, late nights. I tried adapting to the seasons + actively planning against them. It’s such a challenge to get up and going when it’s freezing cold.

I’ve tried other people’s systems + failed.

Just like with parenting, things change, seasons change. Life throws a curve ball and that well oiled machine isn’t so well oiled anymore.

Through the journey I discovered things I enjoyed. Like seeing the sunrise. The bold, daring colours bursting onto the horizon were energising. Late nights were not.


Even though I love the stillness + quite of the evenings, if I was honest, it wasn’t my best creative time. I would get all into a project and find it hard to shut off when it came time to sleep. That is never good for those you live with.

I rediscovered you can’t burn the candle at both ends and be you most peaceful, content self.

When our son was young I read that establishing a bedtime routine would help them know what was expected + make it happen with less fuss. So we established a sequence of events that happened like clockwork each night. And it worked for the most part.

It was genius.

So I knew when Andy Core talked about triggers, I knew I needed to take some time to recognise what actions I was taking that were setting off patterns of behaviour in my day.

I figured there must be some things to include in creating a daily routine that were foundational to success, no matter what season of life you are in or what goal you were trying to achieve.

I also wanted who I was to be the focus, not what I was doing.

# TIP As Dr. Phil says, “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge”. Taking some time to collect your thoughts + reflect on what is working and what isn’t in your life is key! Without this information how do you know what to change to get to where you want to be.

2. Decide on Your Non-Negotiables

So I took some time to reflect on what were the things that were important to me each day. These weren’t a list of jobs to be done. They were the things that no matter what season of life I was in, would serve me well.

Recognising what worked + what didn’t was key to deciding what my non negotionables were going to be in my everyday. These things would be the building blocks, the core of who I wanted to be.

At the time of reading this book, I listened to an interview with Hal Elron about his Miracle Morning. His story was inspiring. It came just at the right time as I was re-establishing my daily routine.

I already knew that what gets scheduled happens.

So deciding what core things that needed to happen in my day no matter what, was going to define who I am. Not only that, it was going to help me live the life I had in my heart + be the person I wanted to be. Time would tell if focusing on developing me would help me live out my goals.

My non negotionables for each day include the following:

  • Bible Reading
  • Prayer
  • Journalling
  • Exercise
  • Family Time

These weren’t new or revolutionary. They are pretty much always been the core of my day but not always together + not in an intentional way. The one that I got creative with and really impacted me the most was journalling. It was the one thing that brought the other things together into a place where I could get purposeful + see the change taking place.

# TIP  I have found that simply focusing on a project or goal isn’t what helps me to be successful. What determines if I am going to be successful + achieve that goal or dream is whether I am the person I need to be to make it happen. Focusing on becoming the person I need to be means that no matter the goal, I will have much more of chance of achieving those dreams.

3. Thinking Your Way to Success

It is one thing to decide to do something + set about making it happen. I’ve done that so many times over the years. Not always very well.

Those bigger goals, the ones that mean the most, are hard to complete.

Will power + good intentions only got me so far. I couldn’t schedule my way to success. And I’m pretty good at planning, systemising + organising.

It wasn’t that I needed to learn more skills or find out more information. I really had enough to act on. So what was stopping me?

It came down to the way I think.

I needed a shift from the old way + patterns. I found the answer in journalling. Purposeful journaling.

Somewhere in the next few months I stumbled upon the Five Minute Journal. A simply awesome way to establishing a journal writing habit. I have pretty much always been a journaller. So this wasn’t new for me. I find it helps process my thoughts which at challenging times helps me sleep.

I find clarity + encouragement. I see things that I would otherwise miss in my day.

Our brains are not designed to be filing cabinets. For me that is a space for creativity + ideas.

I liked their approach and of course I shook things up a little + adapted it to include my faith.

And I journal digitally. I find it’s easy to find something in my digital journal than it is to flip though books. I’ve been using MacJournal since 2005. At the time it was only on the desktop. These days I love the portability of having it on my iPhone.

Just like with my non negotionables, I got purposeful + creative with my journalling. I know the idea of thinking your way to success is controversial. However, I have found it to be true.

Proverbs 23:7 tells me that as I think in my heart, so am I. Said another way, where the mind goes, the man follows. If what I think in my mind is the map that I use for my journey in life, then it seemed pretty clear to me that I needed to clean up my map + get better directions. It was time to change my mind.

Here is the journal outline I designed to clear up my mind:

  • Start with Thankful
  • Focus
  • Devotion
  • Scripture
  • Observation
  • Application
  • Prayer
  • End with Awesome
  • Points for change

# TIP  Sure there are days that I don’t fill out each and every space. Like creating a new habit, when you take action each day, missing one here and there doesn’t have a negative impact on establishing the habit. In time it becomes part of who you are and you naturally get better at it.

I will share how I use this journalling outline in an up coming post. In the mean time read about the benefits of gratitude here.

With Thanks

I’m sure there are many more people and things which have inspired and shaped this part of my journey. We are all inspired by something, many somethings.

These three inspirations came together around the same time and have impacted me in such an amazing way. I want to make note and give thanks to those who have shared their work + in turn inspired me.

For a long time I never took action.

I thought I had an original idea, and then at some point I discovered it wasn’t. Someone had done something along those lines too. It will always be that way. Our inspiration is shaped by our experiences, gift + talents. It is needed to inspire others to take action and live their ideas out loud.

While there is nothing new under the sun, the way in which we express our inspiration is unique.

I hope these resources inspire you too. Not just inspire, but to make a change + take action. You really can change your day to change your life. Live that dream in your heart, one day at a time.


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3 Keys to Create a Daily Routine and Live Your Best Life at www.byjacquiesmith.com

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