Routines are the starting point for forming healthy habits. Did you know that you already do routines every day? When you wake up every morning and get out of bed, walk your dog, or brush your teeth at night, you’re completing a routine. We can also use healthy habits to our advantage through goal setting.
The majority of individuals have goals that they want to see accomplished. Routines can help in achieving those goals you’ve set for yourself. Let’s dive into what routines are, how we can create them, and how to stay motivated enough to complete them.
What Is a routine?
Routines are events that happen in an expected and regular sequence (Dictionary). They are consistent, meaning they always occur at the same time and in intervals. They usually take place at the same time on a daily basis, but they can also be dispersed, such as three times a week or three times a day. The key factor of a routine is that it’s consistent.
Many of us are already doing routines without noticing. Eating breakfast every day, brushing our teeth every night, or going grocery shopping every week are all examples. When they are done often enough, they can help in creating long-term healthy habits. Remember, these long-term healthy habits can aid in improving your health when done consistently.
Healthy habits are more than just healthy eating and physical activity.
Healthy habits can mean 5 mins of self-reflection, keeping a journal for writing the peaks of each day, or unplugging from our phones for a few hours. Some good habits can also look like meditating in the morning, saying one thing you are grateful for or rinsing your face at night.
Focusing on maintaining positive mental health is the first step to fuelling all your goals and to help in sustaining them. When we’re in the right mindset, we can find the motivation to achieve our goals.
Setting a Specific Goal
Now that we’ve described routines and understand their importance, it’s time to create a goal that is specific to you. Routines work best when they are formulated around your goals, values, and capabilities. We know ourselves best, so when we create goals that we want to see, we’ll be able to find more motivation within ourselves. Find a goal you want to achieve; this can be anything!
Some examples to help brainstorm can include:
Going on a 30-minute walk every day
Journaling three times a week
Visiting friends twice a week
Taking vitamin D every morning
Cleaning a room every Sunday
Drinking water in 30-minute intervals to stay hydrated
Become a morning person
Think about what you want to work towards achieving. Ensure that your goal is achievable and maintainable for you. A pro-tip is to start small and work your way into larger goals. When we start with smaller goals, we’ll be more motivated to complete them since they are easily achievable.
Creating a Routine
Once a goal is established, it’s time to create a routine. Similar to deciding on a goal, it’s helpful to create a specific routine for you. You know how motivated you are and how much you can add to your routine without getting overwhelmed.
To start, think about what your routine needs to include to achieve your goal. If your goal is to be more active, your routine may include going for walks. If you have a goal to control your stress, it might involve you tracking the times you feel stressed in order to identify triggers.
With the understanding of what your routine will require, you need to decide on a frequency. How often do you want to commit to doing your routine? Perhaps, you are creating a morning routine to help start your day, an afternoon routine to remind you to take a break or an evening routine that will help you clear your mind before bed.
Again, make sure to choose what will work best for you to accomplish your goals. Keep in mind that it’s ideal to start small and work your way up, so don’t feel discouraged if your routine doesn’t occur often.
Now it’s time to put your routine into practice!
Tips for Staying Motivated
So now we have a routine created, but what about staying motivated enough to complete it? Let’s go over some tips to help you stay on track so you can maintain your goals.
To start, when working towards achieving goals, it’s best to focus on using positive motivation. Positive motivation is looking at the benefits and rewards of achieving a goal, as opposed to negative motivation, which is looking at the consequences of what would happen if that goal wasn’t achieved (Medical Dictionary).
Regarding positive motivation, you can add rewards as an incentive to complete tasks. For example, if you complete a walk, you may reward yourself with a warm and relaxing bath. The rewards are up to you and depend on what you think would be enough to give you motivation. Using positive motivation in this way reinforces the desire to complete a routine and will get you one step closer to achieving your goal.
If you find yourself having a tough time being motivated, try adding new things to make it fun. Some ways to increase your fun can include listening to music, asking a friend to join, or journaling about your routine. Asking a friend to join can hold you accountable, act as reminder, and make the experience more fun.
One of the best ways to stay on track is to be consistent. Ensure you are completing your tasks when you scheduled them for since if you miss it once, you disrupt the schedule, and it can set you up to miss it again. This will rely on time management, which is where scheduling and reminders are essential. One way to avoid skipping your routine is to find motivation within yourself. This means that to stay consistent, you should revisit your goals to remind yourself of why you set them in the first place.
Bringing It All Together
Some key notes from this blog post are:
Routines are fundamental in forming long-term healthy habits.
When creating a routine, you should start small and work your way up.
Routines work best when they are customized to the individual doing them
There are multiple ways to stay motivated; find what works best for you
We already do many routines in our everyday lives, but it’s time to cater them to meet our particular goals. Now you have the tools you need to make an amazing routine that is specific to your goals.