Hi! I’m Donna Reish, IF teacher, weight loss coach, blogger, and half of “The Minus 220 Pound Pair” as my husband and I have lost over 220 pounds together (160 of that in the past couple of years through the Weight Loss Lifestyle habits and strategies I teach!).
In this episode, I present tips and tools for creating evening routines that lead to success in weight management, fitness, food, sleep, and life!
This episode (and next week’s) is one of my favorite topics of all time. I have literally been working on evening (and morning) routines for thirty-seven years or more. I was working on them before they were a thing! (Three decade homeschoolers tend to do those sorts of things!)
Every year I have gotten better and better at routines. And every year my life gets better and better. (Co-winky-dinky? I don’t think so!)
In this episode, I first sell the listener on the concept that my husband and I have used our whole lives and taught our seven grown children: A good tomorrow starts tonight!
Once I sell you on that (and the importance of sleep—TFE 34, 36, 37, 38, and 39!), I teach what I have learned over the years about how to create evening routines:
1. That the best ones will be created incrementally (as all habits are—TFE #20)
2. That they should start with what you will REALLY do
3. That you want to begin with the things that will make the biggest difference for tomorrow
4. How to leave breadcrumbs for tomorrow that really help
5. Avoiding hurried mornings
6. Sleep—have I mentioned sleep yet?
7. Deciding what lets you relax the most at night
8. How and when to shut off electronics
9. The dopamine pulls that keep us from shutting down and going to sleep (and how incredibly difficult it can be to carry out the self discipline of SLEEP!)
Then I move into specific areas affected by PM routines:
(1) Weight loss
(3) Self care
(4) Other areas of success
Tips, tricks, techniques…oh my! This episode has them!
Find all of my episodes, outlines, and articles for my two weekly broadcasts:
(1) Weight Loss Lifestyle broadcast (formerly Donna’s Intermittent Fasting Broadcast)
Outline Evening Routine for Success Tomorrow
A. A Good Tomorrow Starts Tonight
1. Housekeeping blitzes before bed as a family
2. Sleep greatly affects tomorrow
a. TFE 34
b. TFE 36 and 37 Sleep and Cortisol
c. TFE 38 and 39 Fix Sleep Problems
3. Sleep is a discipline
a. Dopamine spikes from alternatives to sleep—watching streaming or YouTube; scrolling socials; playing online games; chatting online; etc.
c. See also WLL 60 and 61 for willpower info
B. Creating PM Routines
1. Understand and believe that habits that stick are incremental (See TFE #20 Tools for Self-Integrity.)
2. Start with…
a. What you will really do! (See This!)
b. What makes the biggest differences for tomorrow morning?
3. More tips
a. Leave breadcrumbs for the morning so you can pick up things and do them quickly
b. Look at what makes you too hurried in the mornings
c. Look at sleep—exactly how much do you need and reverse engineer
d. What lets you relax the most knowing that you have it done?
e. What constances/rhythms do you want in your life before bed?
f. Create a shut off electronics time each night (based on your sleep needs/wants)
g. Say decisions aloud
C. PM Habits for Weight Loss
1. Check in with today’s plan/evaluate
a. Did I lose, gain, or stay the same based on my deficit today?
b. Workout goals
c. Challenges for yourself
c. Evaluate your First Four Journal Sheet quickly
2. Ready for tomorrow
a. Packed/loaded in general so you don’t have such a hurried morning? (Rising cortisol levels from not being ready for the day can cause us to hold on to belly fat, overeat, and give in to cravings.)
b. Start My Fitness Pal or First Four Journal Sheet for tomorrow’s intake
c. Tomorrow’s food decided/prepped
1. Decide on meals
2. Lay out food
3. Do any prepping of food needed
4. Pack food if needed
d. Tomorrow’s clothes/jewelry, etc. laid out—workout and work/daytime clothes
e. Start blocking tomorrow’s schedule by putting in your Delights of the Day/self care/workouts in first
3. Evening food—what is your stop eating time tonight? (Should have already been decided in your First Four Journal Sheet for today.)
4. Finishing steps or stretching or self-challenges
a. Rick Bhullar Fitness Youtube videos for my steps if I’m short in the evening
b. Mini tramp
c. Closing out my movement
D. PM Habits for Self-Care
1. What is self-care—not just bubble baths because you “can’t take it anymore” or “massage because life has driven you to this.”
a. Self care is planning how you will care for your body, mind, soul, spirit.
b. Includes all the things we do each day to take care of ourselves
2. Will these be part of your evening routine?
a. Face care
b. Sleep on time/planned ahead
c. Relaxation planned (not sitting down at 7 and not getting up until you move to bed at 11)—this is the time I will relax; here is what I will do; it will start here and end here.
d. Water on night stand
e. Self-development reading/listening
E. Other PM Habits for Success
1. When I go to bed, I want to be in a position to do what I need/want to do first thing in the morning (bread crumbs, squeakiest wheels tended to, no last minute scrambling to print documents or pack)
2. I want the things that bug me the most done
3. I want to be sure I have planned my sleep for the most rest possible (and that I have practiced the self discipline of turning electronics off at a certain time)
4. Using Signals for Sleep
a. Electronics up
c. Lying Kegels for my prolapsed bladder
d. Deep breathing
e. Lord’s Prayer
f. Read if can’t sleep (not turn on more blue lights, which will affect my ability to fall asleep too)
F. Final Thoughts
1. I spend about 30 minutes on an evening routine
a. Break it up if needed
b. Do some things earlier in evening if I know I will get home late
c. Before I wrap up my work for each day, I ask myself what will be the next thing that is “due”?
d. And I ask myself, “How can I succeed in weight loss/management tomorrow?”
2. None of my routines (PM or AM—next week!) happened all at once
a. Started with face washing and packing for tomorrow
b. Added things incrementally after I was successful at a couple of continuity items
c. Everything good in my life has come incrementally and over a long period of time!
G. Get More Help!
1. Join my FREE FB group where I record videocast/podcast episodes!
2. Emails with teaching around weight management-–articles, videos, free charts and booklets, and more!