Start a routine, stay with it and make it all about you!
continued from last week's 3 R's - Resolutions, Routines and Resilience
(Noun) a sequence of actions done repeatedly
The word routine isn’t very exciting. In fact, it can cause negative feelings in some people. Visions of an alarm going off while it’s still dark, attending a Bootcamp or sweating it out in a HIIT class.
Maybe the word routine makes you react the same way as my girls when they think an activity won’t be fun. “Oh, boring,” they both groan.
Except they say it with the middle letters drawn out, so it becomes booorrrrrrrring. And it’s always made more dramatic by tilting their heads backwards and rolling their eyes.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. In fact, a well-planned routine for self-care can actually optimise your daily life. A routine can help you establish priorities and keep track of goals.
So have your goal in mind.
Carve out time each day for yourself. And repeat!
Benefits of routines
· You’ll get more things done – goodbye to-do list!
· Stress less because – well, you’ve got this
· You can make ‘me time’ a priority
· You’ll be in total control of your day
· Procrastination can happen when you don’t have clear direction
· You’ll sleep better
High achievers find routines that work for them and then they stick to that practice. Most of them will testify that their routine is essential to their success.
How to start
Sit down with a pen and paper and write down everything you do on a daily basis throughout the week. See what should stay and what can be cut out or reduced.
Look for things that aren’t working and remove them or cut down the time you spend on them. For example, 3 hours of Netflix could be reduced to an hour. Just saying …
Make sure that your weekly routine is purposeful and benefits you. You don’t want to waste your time doing pointless things.
Invest in yourself, try new things and see if they work for you.
Things to remember
1. Make it personal
· Set a normal routine - for you.
· If you’re a night owl it’s no use aiming for a 5:00 am rise
2. Do it every day
· It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being consistent
· Understand yourself and what you need
3. Have a good reason why you’re doing this
· Know your why – is it to be healthier, lose weight, get stronger, live longer?
· Focus on that end goal when it feels like it’s getting too hard
4. It doesn’t have to be intense
· Start small
· Don’t add stuff to an already full or already dysfunctional routine
5. Be patient
· Nothing changes overnight
· Be kind to yourself
A little bit of preplanning goes a long way. You can customise morning and evening routines to reach your goals.
By planning what you are going to do and when you are going to do it there’s a greater likelihood you’ll stick with it. Make dedicated time for your new routine. If you don’t, chances are it won’t happen.
For example, if you want exercise to become a part of your morning routine, get your clothes ready the night before. Place your alarm in another room, so you have to get up to turn it off. Roll out of bed, get dressed and keep going.
What works for someone else may not work for you
There is no right way to start your day. It will all depend on your lifestyle, family commitments, work, or any other demand on your time. What works for me may not necessarily work for you.
We can all make little changes to make the most of our day. Experiment, pivot, change things up. Do whatever it takes to find the routine that works for you.
Sometimes what works for you will change. Review your routine every couple of months – see what’s working and what’s not.
And recognise that sometimes you’ll miss your routine and that’s ok too.
Treat yourself. Keep the reward small but positive. Maybe go to the movies or buy a small healthy treat.
I just read an article where the writer puts raffle tickets in a bowl. She then draws a ticket whenever she reaches a goal. Some of the tickets have ‘prizes’ written on them – movie ticket, date night, new equipment etc and some are blank.
Apparently, she’s just as excited drawing the blank ones as the others because she knows she has already met her goal. Winning!
Next week we look at resilience.
Having confidence and maintaining an upbeat attitude while being flexible definitely helps in dealing with life. Some people are naturally more resilient than others. But resilient behaviour can also be learned.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions.