Routine – How to create something sustainable
Where does the time go?
Are you having fun or counting the days until happier times?
Well, days are getting brighter, and soon they will get warmer.
We are all on a journey, evolving as every day passes, but are you making the most of it?
This month’s challenge is going to be about routine. A good way is a foundation for a positive lifestyle. Mind, the mental health charity, says, “Building a routine you can stick to in daily life may not sound important, but for some people, routine is what helps to keep them grounded” (https://www.mind.org.uk).
Something I advocated and practised my entire life during highs and lows kept me grounded, and I would not be where I am now without them. But, at some point, in a different context, you would have to think about your childhood for a moment! Routine is a favourite to bring consistency to a child.
It is imperative to focus on having a good routine before moving forward with anything we have our mindset on. How do you define routine, I hear you ask? Oxford Languages define routine as follows; “performed as part of a regular procedure rather than for a special reason”.
The medical profession supports the idea that a routine brings many benefits; below are a few to get you thinking.
When we have a routine that we follow daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly, it reduces the need to make decisions. It lets us know what tasks to do without contemplating, deciding, or overthinking. As a result, activities become standardised, and we become more efficient.
A routine provides structure and a logical sequence in our lives. It provides the framework within which we live and conduct our activities. Soon, we become familiar and comfortable with what we must do, allowing us to experience positive sequels.
The secret to building good habits is repetition. Designing a personal routine that works for us facilitates developing good habits by encouraging us to repeat the same tasks repeatedly. While our way helps us, we can slowly replace our bad habits with good ones through recurrence.
When you have a routine, you become better at doing certain things because you do them regularly. Practice makes perfect!
When a set of tasks and activities become routine, it reduces the chance that we will procrastinate doing them.
Adhering to a routine and sticking with it helps build self-confidence and gives us a sense of tremendous satisfaction.
Stress and Relaxation
There will always be things in our lives beyond our control, and we need to accept that. However, there is so much that we can control, especially if we follow a routine. The act of ‘doing’ gives us a sense of control and helps us relax instead of fretting about the tasks.
Time is the most precious asset at our disposal because, once lost, it is non-retrievable. Productive people emphasise habit formation and time management. It fed on the positive habit loop by telling the subconscious mind to focus on essential tasks. Following a routine, we free up time long term.
Not every aspect of our lives needs to be scheduled or incorporated into the way. There is a time and place for leisure, relaxation, and ‘non-doing’, and adhering to a routine frees up time. From this, you can form a new habit and start exercising or taking an extra 20 minutes to break during the day, for example. Would this be nice to replenish energy levels?
This is not all but a sample of benefits that can be obtained while creating a routine.
Of course, this will mean different things at different times to other people and their ongoing circumstances. In addition, it must work with your lifestyle. For example, if you like to stay up late, getting up early may not work as part of your routine.
With COVID-19, our lives changed significantly; adaptations are essential to positive change. Working from home, homeschooling, furlough, redundant, shielding whatever it might be, we should never let a downturn go to waste. however, it is important to have a routine – how to create something sustainable?
We all have many things in common, including where we are: sleep, wake up, eat, goals, etc.
This is not about being clock-watching with alarms going off every ten minutes to remind yourself to do a sure thing. It is not about grinding to it. Your routine should be personal to you and should come naturally.
If you apply something long enough, please refer to my previous blogs about creating new habits, the time it takes to implement, and the importance of taking time out. Also, check this blog where I speak more about time out and its importance: http://ericcouturiercoaching.com/the-importance-of-taking-time-out/.
Let us face it: with the pandemic and all the uncertainties we are tackling, many people have a good and established routine, and things have been tested. But, for the people who did not have one, it may have felt like swimming against the tide, trying to keep your head above turbulent waters.
So, from today, I would like you to focus on your daily routine and see where it can be improved.
When time permits, sit down with a pad of paper and write out everything you do each day for a day, then a week. See what you can cut, reduce, or adapt in some ways. Then, see what you can set as a routine, something you do at a set time each day or week.
This step-by-step development should be flowing yet needs to be followed for a minimum of time to gauge whether it works. Of course, you may try to adopt a new way of doing something, but whatever you decide, you should start with small, realistic steps.
We are here for the long run and not the quick, easy fix, which, let us face it, does not work and eventually sets you back further than where you started. So instead, think about the diets you hear about daily or unrealistic workouts which can fit with your busy schedule!
So, starting with a routine that works well for you will naturally bring a weekly way. For example, I start mine every morning with a large glass of water to hydrate my body and wake it up; this prepares me for the day.
It would help if you did not think you would become boring, and impulsiveness should disappear in reverse. As previously mentioned, establishing a routine with good habits will, in turn, free you from becoming who you want to be.
Let me give some examples if you are struggling to start your list.
A daily one. Not sure what to wear in the morning? Every night before bed, get clothing ready for the morning.
Having them out and prepared will save you time in the morning, especially if you need to wear special attire for a specific meeting/date/appointment. I am sure you have experienced looking for that elusive garment at the last minute.
A weekly one: Are you struggling with what to cook? Once a week, do a food plan and shopping list – no need to think every day about what we eat tonight or tomorrow. It also reduces wastage and food bills, a win/win if you ask me! If you are married, in a family context, you can also plan for cooking times, each in turn, together with others, etc., to bring fun to what some may consider a chore.
Check out my video about an essential habit to embed in your routine: https://youtu.be/Ya_nO84GeCU.
Remember, this task is not about me telling you what to do but assisting where I can. Guest in touch for your 45 minutes Free Discovery Call