Let’s try something different: stop for a few minutes and reflect on our routines. Most of the time these are making the difference between a good and productive day, and a day with less success.
Maybe you are asking yourself what is the definition of a routine. It’s simple. A routine is composed of a series of habits. And habits are important in our daily life.
Also, Charles Duhigg (author of “The Power of Habit”) is saying that “40% to 45% of what we do everyday sort of feels like a decision, but it’s actually a habit.”
Why is this happening? How good are the routines? Let’s find the answer.
How can we identify our routines?
It’s simple! Let’s take a normal day from your life.
What are you doing in the morning? In the moment when the alarm clock goes off do you get off the bed? Or do you hit the snooze button and lay down for 10 more minutes?
Then we go to the next step in the morning. Start showering, wash your teeth, grab a cup of coffee and hit the door. All of these sounds familiar to most of us.
However, all the things that we are doing in the morning are just an example of routines. We are doing these activities daily and those became habits. These habits help us to be more efficient because when a routine is installed, we will act quicker, faster.
Even more, we know all the steps and the order to do them before starting any action. This is why the habit helps us and we don’t need to plan every morning.
The first thing to do
As we all agreed that we have routines, why not model the ones we have or why not create new ones? The habits are quite strong, but a routine is a set of good habits that we practice daily.
To change your daily routine, it needs to be planned and it will take some time to get used to it. But first, start with baby steps to not be overwhelmed by it.
Starting with these baby steps means to get rid of a bad habit or change it with a new good one. By doing this every day after a few weeks the habit will be incorporated in your daily routine. And then you can add a new one.
The first thing to do is to know your objectives. What I want to get or to achieve by implementing a new routine.
Let’s say you want to do physical exercises. This is your objective: physical exercises. From this goal, you will need to start putting some questions to give it a shape.
The first question will be: for how long I want to workout? 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or 1 hour?
Second question: do I want to go to the gym or to train by myself at home?
When do I want to do it? In the morning or after work?
By asking yourself these kinds of questions you will define your objective and you can start a routine based on it.
How to start a good routine
To create the foundation of a healthy routine you need to start to observe. Observe what you are doing daily and start to be aware of your habits. Start to see what makes you more productive, happier. Also, the things that you do and are not productive or harm you.
After that, make sure you know what your objectives are. You will build new routines based on it.
Maybe your objective is to be brilliant at your job. In this case, you will need all your focus and energy from the moment you wake up. Or you want to arrive earlier to your job. For this, you need to tweak your morning schedule and leave earlier.
Anyhow, an important characteristic of a routine is to be adapted based on our way of being. Let’s say that you know that you aren’t a morning person so there is no reason to propose to yourself to wake up at 06:00 AM.
You will succeed a few times but in the long term, this will not become a habit. What is to be done in this particular case is to try to set the alarm 10 minutes earlier than usual.
Let’s say that you have your alarm clock set for 08:00 AM. For the first week change it for 07:50 AM and stick to it. After the first week or the second, add 5 more minutes and set your alarm clock at 07:45 AM. Push the alarm until you find a balance between you and your wake-up hour.
Besides this, you can help yourself. A trick that you can do is to change your alarm song with a nicer one. This will wake you up in a good mood and not to “mehh” the mornings.
At this moment you have your objectives and you start tweaking your schedule or your habits around it. That’s really good!
But for this new routine to work over time, you need to start putting some questions.
- What worked for me?
- What did I do well and I can do it better?
- What do I need to change?
- What do I need to stop doing?
By asking yourself these kinds of questions you’ll do little adjustments to your routine. Because everyone has days and days. And in this way, you can find new things or find the habits that you must get rid of.
Therefore, repeating these questions and doing adjustments will create the perfect formula for you.
Try it too!
The good part of trying to change your habits is that you can find quickly what suits you best. You can adapt it based on your needs and your objectives.
Additionally, you can find the right questions for you that will help you grow and know yourself. And the most important, this will bring you new habits that you need.
Moreover, the routines not only that simplify our life, but they bring a series of advantages that will get us closer to what we want to improve.
The habits help you gain trust that things are constantly happening and so they will give you control over many situations.