Create a new routine

by Tracey Pollack

Do you ever feel like you’re doing the same thing day after day? That’s because you probably are! Our busy lives demand it and our weary minds can’t help it because it offers a sense of comfort and helps you get things done. Whether you call these repetitive actions a habit or a routine, you may be caught in a holding pattern that’s holding you back from achieving your healthy goals. That’s when you need to break the habit of being stuck in them by starting a new routine.

But wait…if you’re trying to break out of an old one, then why should you make a new one? Because routines help you stay healthy and sane. They make everyday tasks instinctive so you’re able to focus on more important parts of your life. While creating a new routine can seem overwhelming at first, it’s easier than you think once you understand the benefits of routine and follow some simple steps that make creating a new routine second nature.

The Difference Between Those Same-Old Habits and Routines

Habits and routines are such a basic part of life that using the words interchangeably has become a course of habit! Or wait…is it actually a routine? While both habits and routines are behaviors that get repeated, you need to understand how each of them works to make them work for you. The main difference between a habit and a routine is whether it’s intentional. A habit works by triggering a sudden impulse to perform a certain behavior with little or no thought. Making your bed in the morning. Brushing your teeth at night. Biting your nails when you’re nervous. Yep, they’re all habits and seem to happen automatically. But a routine looks and feels very different.

A New Way of Thinking About the Routines

Routines are also actions that get repeated on a regular basis, but they require planning, prep, and practice to make them stick. In fact, a routine is simply made up of a set of different habits. A routine may take thought and time to develop, but once you’ve gotten used to it, a routine can become as automatic as a habit because it’s just made up of a series of them!

The Benefits of Making Routines a Habit

Routines have a bad reputation of being rigid and restrictive, but they’re actually good for your body and your mind. While spontaneity may be exciting, it can leave you feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and unproductive because life seems out of control. But a routine brings calm to chaos and takes the doubt out of your day. So discover the anything-but-boring benefits of routine:

  • Make you a goal-getter – A routine helps you achieve your goals by allowing you to break down your sky-high aspirations into manageable steps that lead to success.
  • Soothe stress – A routine helps reduce stress because predictable scenarios let your mind know what to expect, which decreases anxiety and tension in any situation. 
  • Get a good night’s sleep – Having a regular sleep schedule can improve the quality of your sleep by helping you feel rested and refreshed throughout the day.
  • Stay healthy – If you have a busy schedule, a regular routine can help you stay healthy by making it possible to stick to a balanced meals and exercise regularly. 
  • Be happy – If you ever feel like there’s no time for the things you enjoy, a routine lets you schedule time for the people and activities that make you happy.

How to Get In the Habit of a New Routine

Are you ready to take control of your day and your life? Then you’re ready to create a new routine with these seven simple steps:

  1. Decide what you want to achieve – Whether you want to start a productive morning routine or a calming evening routine, know your goals so you can go for them!
  2. Start small – Changing your life all at once can be overwhelming, so break down big goals into little steps that are more manageable for you.
  3. Swap the old for the new – Try replacing unhealthy habits with healthier ones. Trade that sugary candy bar for a protein-packed yogurt. And rather than reaching for a third cup of coffee to beat that mid-day slump, go for an energizing walk instead.
  4. Plan to succeed – Routines require planning to stick and succeed. If you want to start a new exercise routine, find your sneakers and set aside time for workouts. To start a new supplement routine, put all of your vitamins in one convenient place.
  5. Keep track of your progress – Use some sort of visual guide, such as a calendar or journal, that lets you mark down each day you’ve completed your new routine.
  6. Cut yourself slack if you slack off – Making changes can be challenging, so be flexible and forgive yourself if you occasionally skip a day. Nobody’s perfect, so don’t use a slip-up as a reason to give up!
  7. Reward yourself for results – Celebrate your success by setting small goals and treating yourself to something special once you’ve reached them.

Once you’ve discovered the benefits of routine, don’t be surprised if the ease and efficiency of having a routine becomes habit-forming!

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