Spice Up Your Daily Routine With Things You Love

“You did not wake up to be mediocre.”

I read these words every time I unlock my iPhone. It’s my subtle way of reminding myself there is always more to be had in life. Granted, I didn’t always feel this way.

When I first graduated from UGA, I felt lost. Surprisingly, my English degree had done little to prepare me for the real world, particularly when it came to how spend your time. I wasn’t a student walking 3+ miles a day to class and ballroom practices with four hour chunks of time in the middle of the day I could fill with whatever I wanted. I was a new college graduate in her first “real world” job, working forty hours a week and spending my nights in front of the TV.

The idea of finding a better use for my free time never occurred to me.

I was exhausted by the mediocrity of life after college. Fortunately, Groupon made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: a two-week pass to the local Pure Barre for $20. All it took was one class, and I was hooked! Admittedly, I couldn’t even make it all the way through a 30 second plank, but I loved waking up sore every morning.  Week after week, I felt stronger, more motivated, and happier than ever.

Getting stronger felt fantastic, but my life truly took a turn for the better when I began to build a routine that added things I love to my daily life.

Three years later, even when my days are crappy, I know how to center myself by prioritizing the things I love. Since I am not (nor will I ever be) a “morning person,” I start my day a little slower than most, which allows me to relax into the day.

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Monday through Friday, my mornings look like:

  • Waking up between 7:30am and 8am

  • Immediately taking my dog, Marco, on a 15 to 20 minute walk

  • Curling up on the couch with a hot beverage and watching an episode of something funny, like Bob’s Burgers

  • Leisurely enjoying the smoothie I made the night before as I drive to work

Because I tend to feel more energetic later in the day, I’ve set up my evening routine to be where I put the most thought and energy. After work, I head straight to gym to hit up the 5:45pm yoga class or home to eat a quick dinner so I can catch the one at 7pm.  

From 8pm until around 10pm, I give myself permission to do whatever I feel for the night. On Monday’s, that means Dancing with the Stars. Other nights, it means going to a movie with friends or a play at The Shakespeare Tavern. No matter what, those two hours are my time to decompress before settling into my bedtime routine of journaling, listing five things I’m grateful for, and reading before going to sleep.  

If your life is feeling drab, pick something you love and add it to your routine.

Think of it as taking your daily dose of vitamin L. When you add more things you love to your day, every day has the chance of being more than mediocre.

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About the Author

Ashten Goeckel grew up just outside the city of Atlanta with her four younger siblings. She holds a Bachelor's in English from the University of Georgia and has worked as a digital marketing consultant for over seven years. In college, Ashten was a company member of a competitive dance team, the UGA Ballroom Performance Group. After graduating, Ashten discovered she had a passion nutrition and fitness when she fell in love with Pure Barre after just one shaky class. From there, she discovered Tone It Up and began to reorganize her life to be her best self possible. She lived in New York City and Charleston before finally returning home to her favorite city, Atlanta. Now when Ashten's not in a yoga class or curled up with a tea reading another book related to wellness, you can find her laughing with friends over a bottle of rosé or on a long morning walk with her miniature poodle, Marco. 

WellnessElizabeth Dickerson