you've probably heard of the concept of a routine: a regular schedule of habits that you follow and do every day or week. the idea is that doing certain things regularly helps you accomplish your goals and live a better life. but it can be hard to stick with a new routine long-term, especially when it's something different from what you're used to. so how do you build a new routine that will last? here are five tips for taking action today:
clearly define what you want to do.
- what is the goal?
- wow, will you know when you have achieved it?
- list the steps involved in achieving your goal. (example: “I want to exercise every day for 30 minutes and eat healthier meals every day.")
- create a schedule based on your goals, including time and place (ex: monday morning at 9 am). this step is important because if we don’t schedule something into our daily routine, it will never happen!
make it accessible.
this is probably the most important thing to consider when building a new routine. you need to be able to do your routine every day, and you should also be able to do it in the same place and at the same time each day (if possible). if you have a busy schedule, then try to fit your new workout into your schedule first thing in the morning before work or after work when things are quieter. this way, you don't have any excuses not to do the workout on days when you're tired or busy with other things!
define your "why."
knowing your “why” is critical to making a new routine stick for the long term. it should be specific, measurable, and have a time frame associated with it (e.g., "I will get up at 7 am every morning by the end of next week").
if you're not sure why you want to make this change, then chances are that it won't last when things become difficult. you need a clear sense of purpose for why this new habit is important to you—and hopefully, more than just because someone else told you so!
be forgiving of yourself.
don't overdo it. don't get to the point where you feel like a failure if you're not perfect at this new routine. don't make your goals so lofty that no one could meet them, or so low that they're meaningless. it's important to have goals, but remember that life is long and change takes time; don't expect perfection from yourself or anyone else right away. by all means, be hard on yourself when necessary—but don’t be too hard on yourself either!
celebrate your success!
once you’ve achieved your goal, celebrate!
you deserve a reward for all of your hard work. you can even make it a habit by rewarding yourself every time you follow through with your new routine. then, reinforce good behavior by keeping up the routine and increasing its frequency—it couldn't be easier!
you can build a new routine that works for you and sticks long term.
it's not easy, but it's not impossible either. the more you work at it, the more likely that your new routine will stick. it's important to remember that building new habits doesn't happen overnight—it is a process! Be patient with yourself and remember how far you've come when you feel discouraged by setbacks or mistakes along the way.
be consistent in implementing your new routine into your life; don't give up when things get tough or boring—stick with it!
now that you know the five steps to building a new routine, go forth and build one! we believe that with these tips in mind, you can find a routine that fits your needs and works for you.
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