How To Create (and stick to) a Healthy Routine
Human beings are creatures of habit. Even the most spontaneous individual could do with a bit of routine every now and then. The simple fact is that when you don’t have a routine, your brain is constantly firing away – calculating the myriad of possibilities that you could explore with your time. A routine allows your brain the peace of being on autopilot mode with things that are just filler in your life. Things like when to shower, when to make dinner, and even what to make, can all be ‘automated’ with a good routine, freeing up the mental space and time for you to focus on the important stuff.
As much as many of us know how important a healthy routine is, even more of us fail to get one into place because grasping a theory is often far easier than putting something into practice. It all comes down to repetition. An action repeated over and over again becomes a habit and good habits form the basis of good routines.
Let’s have a look at the ways that you can create your own healthy routine and actually stick to it.
Make It Meaningful to You
If you want to get used to having a routine, start off with building up a routine around your goals for the year. It’s far easier to create a routine if it has significant meaning to you as a whole. If you’re just trying to get up a little earlier each day, for example, you might not stick to it. However, if you want to have more time in your day for the things that you enjoy, getting up earlier each day might be a welcomed solution. It’s all about finding the deeper meaning for your new routine so that you stay the course.
Don’t Fight the Natural Order
It can be incredibly hard to start a new routine, especially if you’re trying to tackle every facet of your life all at once. Start small and start by building on areas where you’ve already seen some positive growth in your life. Master one habit and you can master the next one, and then the next one after that. Baby steps.
Slow It Down
Habits don’t become habits overnight. If you’re trying to make a new routine stick, you need to slow down and be more patient with yourself. It can take years to completely rid yourself of old behaviors and habits that no longer serve you. Luckily for you, it can take just a month or two to create a new habit. If you’re trying to kick old patterns to the curb, replace them with new patterns and repeat, repeat, repeat!
Prepare to Win!
If you want to make a success of something, don’t go into it half-hearted. Dive into your new routine in a prepared manner. If you’re planning on hitting the gym every day after work, pack your gym bag. If you can afford it, go the extra mile and invest in new sneakers, comfortable gear, water bottles, protein shakes – the whole nine yards. Be excited about new things and dive headfirst into them.
Break your day up into morning, afternoon, and evening segments. Ask yourself when you are most productive during your day and work on filling that slot with important tasks. Think consciously about what you want to do with all three segments of your day and create checklists around those activities.
Food is fuel – fuel for your body and for your mind. Make sure that you maintain a healthy diet and cut back sugars so that you have the energy to commit to new routines.
Create Vision Boards
Most of us are visual people and, as such, having a visual means to track our progress helps keep us on track. If you aren’t a visual person, find something that works for you to keep track of your progress so that you have a constant source of motivation.
Prioritize Your Morning Hours
Your morning hours are the most important part of your day. They will set you up for success or failure, depending on what you do with them. Make your mornings the time that you use to accomplish the most important tasks of your day and everything else will feel less urgent.
Make Time for Yourself
Having quiet time to yourself is absolutely vital to remaining level-headed enough to stick to a good routine. If there is one thing you choose to add to your new routine this year, it needs to be time for yourself.
Keep Accountability Buddies
Having friends will keep you sane in your darkest hours but they can also keep you accountable when you’re making positive progress in your life. Whether you choose to work on a project together, work out together, or participate in some activity as a group, friends will keep you from falling off the wagon.
Keep Your Space Organized
If you want to be more productive, you need to work in an environment that is conducive to productivity. Cluttered workspaces lead to a cluttered and disorganized mind.
In as much as you want to set up a good routine, you don’t want to become completely rigid and unable to find your natural rhythm. As you begin developing your routine, find which days of the week match your routine goals and adjust accordingly. The important thing is to make sure that you are working towards a routine that truly works for you. There will be a lot of learning along the way so don’t be afraid to switch things up until you’re in your stride.
Take the wins and run with them. Celebrate every little bit of progress that you make and it will keep you feeling positive.
Don’t Get Too Set in Your Ways
Just keep things moving. If you’re unable to meet your routine goals on one or two days of the week, there’s no need to give up hope completely and throw the baby out with the bathwater. Assess whether or not you’ve overburdened yourself with your new routine, change things up, and leave a little wiggle room for spontaneity.
Remember, creating a new routine is all about finding your natural groove and tweaking things so that they work for you. Don’t get bogged down with what everyone else is doing. Focus on yourself and what you want to accomplish, but remember to be flexible along the way!