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Ahhh… routines! Keeping a routine can be hard. There are days where we just feel like getting everything in is impossible. Or there are the days where we’re really just over it. We’re not feelin’ it at all. The fact is, we’ve all been there.
These are 5 tips to help keep a routine. These have personally help me create and keep healthy habits that have changed my life.
Make the routine less rigid
I used to make routines REALLY specific. Like I’m going to do meditate everyday for 20 minutes. And then I’d get even MORE tough and say okay well Mondays and Wednesdays I’ll walk and Fridays I’ll go to the gym.
But here’s the thing – when we’re starting out a routine, setting more goals doesn’t always help. Especially if the routines are new. A new routine is something that can be built up daily with small actions.
One thing I have learnt in building a meditation routine was to make it less rigid. I told myself that I only want to spend 5-10 minutes a day on myself. Whether that was reading a book, meditation or listening to a podcast.
I found that when I did that, I discovered what worked for me and what didn’t. It helped me build a routine in small steps and I felt less forced!
Expect days where not everything gets done
The best thing I ever read was in Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris. He said that he didn’t do everything, everyday. So while you might set a routine, some parts of it, some days, may slip. And that’s okay.
While I try to do my things like meditate, take supplements & drink green tea every day, there are days where things get in the way and only SOME things get done. Expect that. Accept it. It’s okay!
Expect bad days
I was meditating recently and my mind was going everywhere. I couldn’t stop thinking. I think I tried to take my mind “back to the breath” about 1000 times.
Then suddenly I just realised – that’s okay.
Any sort of practice or routine is never going to be perfect. We’ll have days where we feel like we’re in the groove and other days where we’re over it.
If we make the effort to do it, then some days that’s ok.
When I learnt to accept that, I felt a lot better when I was doing my routines. It’s hard to explain but there’s a huge sense of relief when you accept the routines as they are. When they’re good there good. But if you’re off, and your thrown off your routine (like going to the gym and not getting it all done), then that’s OK! You got it done. That’s the point.
Be kind to yourself
Speaking of routines not always being perfect… don’t be too hard on yourself either.
When we set routines and when we struggle to get through them, it’s a lot easier to speak to ourselves with kindness.
Treat yourself as you would your friend.
If you’re friend called and said they had a bad day and didn’t get everything done, what would your advice be?
Try saying that to yourself!
Tell yourself to do just a few minutes
Ahhh routines! The hardest part is somedays even doing a 10 minute routine seems like a lot. Can we really be bothered? The answer is a strong NO. So how do we get around this?
Tony Robbins had a great strategy for this. He said with anything you’re trying to do, just tell yourself you will do it for 5 minutes.
When you’re not up for it, and dreading it, just promise yourself 5 minutes!
I do this a lot when I’m not up for something. When you’re feeling sluggish but know you haven’t got your daily walk – tell yourself you’ll go for 10 minutes today. That’s it. And as Tony said – when you get out there and start taking action, you’ll feel more motivated and you’ll find yourself walking longer!
So remember, bad days will happen and sometimes our routines and mindset will be off. But accepting that and learning to be kind to ourselves can really help. And when getting up is really a challenge – try promising only 5-10 minutes. And see how you go from there!