Mari Suggs Romance Author 

Guest Blog by Kristen Martin: 3 Benefits of Implementing a Healthy Routine and Personal Development Activities

Hi there! For those that don’t know me, my name is Kristen Martin. I’m a self-made published author, YouTuber, and entrepreneur, and I have a full-time career in the corporate world. I am so thrilled to be collaborating with Mari on this post because it’s something very near and dear to my heart that seems to get overlooked whenever I’m skimming through social media and blog posts. I’m so excited to share my thoughts on why a healthy routine and personal development activities are so beneficial to include in your day-to-day life.

Just to give you an idea as to what my days used to look like: I’d wake up around 6AM, shower, get ready, and rush out the door to drive to work. I’d drive 40 minutes to the office, being annoyed and angry at traffic, work 8 hours (most of the time grabbing a Subway sandwich and working through lunch), get in my car, drive 40 minutes in some more annoying traffic until I got home, where I was too exhausted and frustrated to actually do anything I wanted to do. I’d park my toosh on the couch, throw a frozen pizza in the oven, and Netflix and chill all night.

That was 3 years ago. Fast forward to today, where I still have a full-time job, but I’ve jumped headfirst into my passion (writing/creating content), implemented a self-care ritual, as well as health & wellness rituals. I now wake up around 5:30AM, go for a run in this lovely Texas heat, shower, and get ready. I then take 10 minutes to meditate using the HeadSpace app, and I also journal for 10 minutes after that. I take my time getting out the door and tune into some personal development podcasts such as Style Your Mind by Cara Alwill Leyba and She Means Business by Carrie Green on my car ride to work. My ride to work is much more productive and less stressful because I get so engrossed in the topics of these podcasts that sometimes I’ll drive right by the office and make a pitstop at Starbucks instead because I want to finish listening to what these amazing women have to say!

I now always take at least a 1-hour lunch and I always leave the office. I’ll do something I enjoy, like go to Starbucks, stop by Target, or sit on the patio of a restaurant and enjoy a good meal. After my lunch break is over, I go back to the office and finish up my day, drive home while listening to more podcasts, and get home feeling energized and refreshed to dive into my writing projects. I spend time cooking a healthy dinner with my fiancé, where we talk about our days and watch 1 hour of Netflix, then we go into our respective office spaces to work on our passions. We’ll take our dogs for a walk in the evening, tidy up the house, then get ready for bed. I’ll journal some more and read a little before it’s lights out.

It’s all about taking the seconds, minutes, and hours in your day and restructuring them the best way you can to make them add value and balance to your life.

The biggest changes I’ve seen in my day-to-day are due to the implementation of a healthier routine that includes personal development activities. Here are the top three benefits I’ve seen after changing my routine from three years ago to the one I have today:

  1.  I have increased energy and focus
    • This may seem like a no-brainer, but because I now make the time to meditate, journal, listen to personal development podcasts, and exercise, I have so much more energy and focus than I used to. Instead of being hyper-focused on others and their needs (ultimately leaving me feeling beaten down and exhausted every day after work), I now feel that my days are balanced because I make time for myself and the things that feed and nourish my soul. This sustained energy and focus allows me to work on my writing projects in the evenings, even after working an 8-hour day. The more balanced your days feel, the more energy you’ll have to give to the more fulfilling areas of your life.
  2. I’m proactive instead of reactive
    • Instead of rushing to get from point A to point B, implementing a healthier daily routine has allowed me to be more proactive instead of reactive. I wake up thirty minutes earlier because I know I want to go for a run. I take the time to journal before work because I know it’ll keep my head clear throughout the day. With this healthier routine, I plan my days out in advance, causing me to know exactly what I’m doing and when, and therefore allowing me to keep any sort of reactive “emergency-like” situations at arm’s length.
  3. I’ve gained a broader, calmer perspective
    • I used to feel like I had to do it all and didn’t have enough time to get it all done. I don’t feel that way anymore. Because I’ve made time for healthier activities throughout my day, I don’t feel as rushed or panicked to get certain things done. I’ve become better at prioritizing what’s truly important and what can wait. I feel in control of my life, my thoughts, and my headspace, which has enabled me to feel calmer and take on a more open-minded approach with pretty much everything that comes my way.

I’d like to leave you with this: don’t feel down on yourself if you attempt to implement a healthier routine and, at first, can’t seem to stick to it every single day. Baby steps! It takes practice and it takes discipline. I first started with an exercise routine and could only manage 2 days a week, but that eventually grew to 3 days a week, then 4, then 5. I now exercise 5-6 days a week.

Same goes for personal development. I’m still working on meditating every day, but for now I meditate at least 3 times per week, and I journal 4 nights a week. Again, it’s all about baby steps. Don’t throw 5 new things into your daily routine and expect to do all of them each day. Take it one step at a time, have patience with yourself, and eventually the results will be eye-opening and will fuel you to continue adding healthier activities to your daily routine. Start small and add on little by little, and eventually, you’ll get to where you want to be. Just try to enjoy the ride!

Here’s where you can find me on social media:

Snapchat: @authorkristenm


And here are the links to learn more about/purchase my books!

The Alpha Drive

The Order of Omega


Shadow Crown


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