Create a routine to get more done and sleep better.

annie kip

coaching & strategy

Style with intention

A podcast and blog hosted

#5: 7-Step Bookend Routines For Morning and Evening


There have been the obvious benefits of adding bookend routines to my days – I’m actually doing what I want to do for myself! But, in addition to these things, I’ve experienced three specific benefits that have been a really pleasant surprise!


Here are the biggest takeaways from this episode:

  • How bookend routines can help you get done the things that matter to you!
  • 3 specific benefits from bookend routines that I didn’t expect.
  • How feeling out of alignment is maybe a message you need to hear.
  • Some morning and evening bookend routines you might want to add into your own life.

Hey there!

Today we’re going to talk about something that will help you sleep better, become more productive, and feel more at ease throughout your day.  What is this miraculous secret?  It’s the simple act of creating bookend routines.  

While the thought of having to stick to routines usually makes me feel restricted — but the bookends I’ve set up for myself have actually been a great tool in my life. They’ve helped me carve out  space in my daily life to make sure that I get the things that really matter to me done — rather than only getting the things done that happen to grab my attention in the moment.

Does this sound good to you? Do you need a little inspiration?  You can check out my 7-Step Bookends For A Good Day to get started. These are my personal routines which you can use or tweak to suit your schedule.

The beginning and end of your day set the rhythms of your daily life.  These are the times of day when we have the most control of our time. Do yourself a favor and put a little structure into your morning and evening to get the most out of them!

As always, my goal is to make it quicker and easier for you to access more ease, joy, and intention in your life…because happy looks really, really good!  

Enjoy the show!


Taking back your days can be as simple as bookending your morning and evening routines!


If you’re looking for a way to explore what you want for yourself, I suggest journaling – and here are some prompts to get you started!

Click here to download your FREE Self-Coaching Journal Prompts

Self-Coaching Journal Prompts




In case you’d rather read than listen, here’s




Welcome to the Style With Intention podcast, where we talk about how to use your personal style as a tool to create a life you love.


We believe choice is empowering, complacency is boring, and happy looks really, really, good!


Hi there and welcome to the show. I’m your host, Annie Kip and today we’re talking about how to set yourself up for a good day by working on your morning and evening routines.


Today, I am going to share something I’m not good at. In fact, it’s something that I am a little embarrassed about.


Here I am, doing a podcast and sharing ideas and giving you suggestions, but I have to admit that I’m not proud of my record when it comes to follow-through on doing what I say I want to do.


I’m really good at coming up with new ideas and knowing the specific actions I want to take and writing it all down very carefully — but consistently carrying these actions out? Not so much. Building good habits has never been my forte.


I wasn’t setting myself up to get what I wanted at all. In fact, I was getting in my own way and not making progress on my own priorities. I was putting off projects like this podcast and my new website. Yes, I still took care of my responsibilities to other people, my clients and kids – but I wasn’t taking care of my own stuff.


As icky as it made me feel, I had to admit that I wasn’t getting the things done that mattered to me.


It felt bad to look at this, so I avoided it. I was out of alignment and not being who I wanted to be. Feeling bad about it and not wanting to look at what was making me feel bad was sort of keeping me more stuck.


You guys, these out of alignment feelings are the whispers I’ve been telling you about. They don’t always tell you things that make you feel good. Sometimes they are actually trying to tell you something you don’t really want to see about yourself! In this case, they were telling me something was not working, by showing me that I didn’t want to feel this way!


So I took some advice that a wonderful therapist, named Steve, gave me a long time ago – and I become curious.


Curious was a much better feeling state than being ashamed of myself, so I stayed with it and tried to notice how other people got stuff done.


I have a really organized friend who has to be at work early and I remembered her telling me that she makes kids lunches the night before and sets out her own breakfast, the same oatmeal everyday, so she will make sure to eat it in the morning, on the way to work.


Then, I thought of the beau. For years, he has followed the same routine in the morning. He wakes up and does a ton of sit ups – like literally 500, because I guess he needs his abs strong to keep his back from aching, then has his half a bagel, and orange juice with some pulp (and I tease him that it’s not no-pulp, not a lot of pulp – “some” pulp), all while reading the Boston Globe. Then he gets dressed for work and sits down to have his tea and a breakfast treat. Like a cookie or piece of cake, while he finishes reading the Globe.


I always sort of made fun of him for being so rigid – like I was the cool one for doing things when I felt like it, as the mood struck me – but I realized that the beau actually got a lot accomplished in that morning routine and I realized that there might be some value to following some kind of a routine myself.


At about the same time, I heard of something called  “bookending” your day – Have you heard this phrase? It’s the idea of creating routine at the beginning and end of your day. It makes sense to me, being a visual person – the concept of creating blocks at either end of the day that stay the same every day. I envision that these bookending routines sort of prop up my day and hold it all together.


I’ve been giving it a shot and have been able to add on some things to make my morning, in particular much more productive. It’s been an ongoing process for me – and I’m making adjustments along the way, but if you’re someone who is trying to start new habits or get more out of your day, then I think this will be really helpful to you.


I’m going to share the benefits I’ve gotten from doing the bookending, rather than the specific details of my personal routines, which I think might be a little boring for you – but if you’d like to know what I do, I did write them all down and I’m happy to share if it would be helpful to you. You can copy what I do or take what works for you and add whatever you want.


There have been the obvious specific benefits of actually doing what I want to do for myself with my bookends. I’m making my bed, walking the dog, eating better, sleeping better, waking up happier.


My dog, Luna, who’s an old-lady chocolate lab – is getting a more a regular walk, which has been really good for her and I feel like a better dog mama taking her out. When we get out for our walk early, I can let her off the leash more than usual as well, which she loves.


In addition to these things, there have been 3 specific benefits I didn’t expect to see – which I’m going to tell you about now.


Number One of the most unexpected benefits I have seen is that this feels like self-care. I started doing my bookending routines to make sure I got things done that were important to me,- like writing and starting this podcast – and the routine was sort of like a chore that I had to do-  but now it feels like an indulgence.


My evening bookend feels especially indulgent – even though it’s just a hot bath – it’s real self-care and I see why people say it’s so important.

I look forward to starting my ritual at night – it gives me a good thing to look forward to at the end of the day and I definitely sleep better when I take the time to do this for myself. The routine trains my body to know when to relax – because, frankly, my mind is lousy at this. I am a ruminator, and I have a hard time turning it off.


My evening bookend leads to better sleep- the ultimate in self-care in my book- which means a better day the next day


Number 2 –  weekends feel different, better – more like the end of a week. Which is a big deal to someone like me who works from home most of the time.


On the weekend, I don’t follow my bookending routine exactly, I might walk the dog later and I stay in my pjs longer and sip coffee, rather than tea, on the weekends – which feels like a big treat now.


The result is that the weekend feels more special, more like the break that it is supposed to be.


Number 3 – This has been empowering in a way that I didn’t expect. Bookending my days has given me a new way to have more control over what happens to me.  It’s empowering to know that I can create a routine and incorporate whatever I want into my life- I’ve added a couple of things and am thinking about other things that I want and how I can make them a natural part of this bookend sequence. Once the routine is established, it’s much easier just to add something to it.


I know a lot of you may already have routines you follow. Maybe you already bookend your days without realizing it! That’s great and I have a lot I can learn from those of you who are already using this tool, like the beau.


I’m realizing that not having to decide what to do – just doing it – feels like a relief, not a chore. I’m look forward to doing my bookends and I’m getting even more regular – because when I skip them now, I definitely regret it. But every day is a chance to get back on it and start all over again.


Sure, what happens in the middle of the day, between my bookends, is often still chaotic and unpredictable. I don’t always feel the way I want to feel. My next frontier is going to be bookending my routines for starting work and ending work each day, but having my current, simple bookends in place to hold at least my morning and the evening together, gives my days a kind of rhythm, and has given me exponential benefits.


I’m sharing this – not because I’m perfect at it, because I am definitely not. If you know me, you know I am a work in progress! I should have one of those construction ahead signs outside my house! But because I thought this idea – and really all the ideas I’m sharing on Style With Intention – might help you too.  I’m working on making small changes and not needing to be perfect. If you can relate, then let’s help each other get better and better at this and feel the way we want to feel, so we can have more of the experiences we want to have, and live our lives in a way that makes us really, truly happy.

I’d love to hear what you’re doing so I can get ideas for what to add to my routine!



If you’re looking for a way to explore what you want for yourself, I suggest journaling – and here are some prompts to get you started!

Click here to download your FREE Self-Coaching Journal Prompts

Journal Prompts






Links mentioned in Episode #4

bookending your day