The Importance of Routine

Over the last two years, you have likely found that your routine has changed. Of course, it has had to change out of necessity, rather than by choice – but with the widespread disruptions and resultant ‘new normal’ that we’ve all had to get used to, we may have also seen a few undesirable habits work their way into our routine. For example, we might find that we are now skipping exercise, sleeping in and spending a lot more time on our phones – just to name a few!

However, while it might seem harmless to let our normal schedules slip during these uncertain times, having a set routine is essential in getting through each day the best we can – something that matters now more than ever. Routine provides structure and encourages positive habit-forming behaviours, which helps with setting and achieving goals into the long term.

So, how can we get our routines back on track and ultimately introduce – or re-introduce – a wholesome, fulfilling and affirming regimen into our lives? Here are a few tips:

  • Start small – Remember that developing new habits can take time. You’re not going to be ‘perfect’ straight away (or ever)! Rather than immediately forcing yourself to become the person who wakes up with a cold shower every morning at 4am, who not try waking up 5 minutes earlier each day instead?
  • Progress accordingly – So you’ve successfully been getting out of bed 5 minutes earlier each morning; that’s fantastic! Now, step it up a bit and try to wake up 10 minutes earlier instead. It’s important not to stagnate or plateau – so as you start to consistently reach certain milestones, make sure to move the goal posts and reach for higher heights. The same theory applies to exercise too. A 5 minute walk can turn into a 10 minute walk, and then before you know it, you’ll suddenly find you’re walking for 30-40 minutes at a time.
  • Don’t put too much pressure on yourself – Just because you had one day where you weren’t able to achieve what you set out to do, this does not mean that it’s back to square one. Progress is never linear, and there are going to be bumps in the road. The key to success is understanding this, and making sure that rather than giving up, we give it another go.

If you have found that your routine isn’t what you would like it to be right now, then give these steps a try – tweaking them according to your own goals, or maybe even giving our examples a whirl! And remember: while small, incremental changes may seem dull or boring, the aim is to achieve sustainable and lifelong change.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6378489/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3505409/

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