Who says that you need to wait until New Year’s before choosing to change an aspect of your life? Whether it’s for your 2022 resolution or your end of 2021 glow-up, a personalized routine may be just what you need.
The idea of a routine may be daunting to some, maybe you can’t imagine sticking to a rigid schedule every single day. But the beauty of a routine is that you are the one who sets it. They can be as strict or free flowing as you want them to be. Routines do not only incorporate good habits into our daily lives, but they also provide a sense of structure and control during uncertain times (which we are most definitely living in now).
A lack of structure or sense of routine may evoke a sense of worry and a feeling of being overwhelmed. Possibly even leading you to worry so much about all the work that needs to get done, that you are unable to actually get started.
In a time when many things feel out of our control, it may be better for us to focus on the things that we do have control over. A routine may range from a timed schedule or a loose list of things that need to get accomplished throughout the day. No matter what form a routine may take, they may serve as an anchor in one’s life. In times of constant change and uncertainty, routines offer a sense of stability and familiarity.
Starting a routine does not always need to stem from a need to be productive. It allows you to carve out time for things that are important to you.
Finding the time to accomplish things you must do in a day, allows you more minutes of “me-time”. Me-time can mean different things to different people: meditating, exercising, reading, or actually trying to fix your sleep schedule. Me-time is an essential part to a person’s routine because it rejuvenates and fulfills us.
It’s always nice to have something to look forward to. Making time for things you want and need to do also helps reinforce good habits by slowly slipping them into your life.
A little disclaimer for trying to establish new habits, or break bad ones, is that it definitely takes time. Habits are generally defined as an action performed almost automatically, utilizing very little brain power. They can be triggered by our current context, like peeling off labels when you’re stressed or nervous.
There is no definite answer for how long it takes to form/remove a habit, but it may take at least 18-254 days, or an average of 66 days. It’s important to also take into consideration the difficulty of the habit that you are trying to establish. It’s much easier to drink more glasses of water in a day than to go out for a jog, for example. The time range also considers the varying levels of discipline within certain individuals.
But don’t let this discourage you, change is always a challenging thing. What may help is becoming more aware of your habits. Acknowledging these things may help you create your own strategies to better them.
Another strategy may be to consider why you want to do these things in the first place. Understanding your motivation behind making these changes in your life may give you the extra push you need to follow through with your decision.
Again, routines are highly personalized, it’s important to find out what structure or form is best suited to you and your lifestyle. It may be necessary to undergo trial and error in finding the best type of routine for you.
As your life changes, your routine does too. Routines should evolve and change as you change, or if things are no longer working for you. Feeling stuck or bored may be a sign that it’s time to switch things up.
Jump starting or changing your daily routine and habits takes a lot of time and effort. It’s crucial that you be kind to yourself. Be patient, you know yourself best and you know what and if things will work for you.
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