Disciplines brother and habits best friend.
In the middle of this rather miserable winter, it’s easy to fall out of routine, and stray away from your better intentions for consistent movement, hydration and nutrition.
And if it’s been even harder than usual for you this rainy season thanks to the repeated snap lockdowns and the ever present and looming threat of an ongoing global pandemic – you’d hopefully be unsurprised to know you aren’t alone.
What you might be surprised to know however, is that consistency is the often overlooked antidote.
“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine”— John C. Maxwell
The Power of Routine
You might not be the kind of person that typically loves a strict schedule – but in times of uncertainly and stress, a routine can be incredibly helpful by providing you with a sense of control and grounding that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Setting a daily or weekly routine creates structure, and the framework for reaching your goals and reducing procrastination.
The real power of routines though, is that they don’t require us to rely on our emotions.
Rather than predicting how we might feel and using that as the basis to act, a routine tells you how you’ll act – no matter what you feel.
And there’s something pretty empowering about that.
So what to do? How can you keep that all important consistency despite everything against you?
We’ve put together our top 3 tips for keeping yourself on track – even when you’d rather be watching Netflix in your PJ’s and stuffing your face.
Tip 1: Write down what you want to do
Whatever your intention is – it’s incredibly helpful to have it written down.
And it’s always a good idea to write it in the form of a goal, whether it’s daily movement, a journaling practice, or a certain number of workouts per week.
Whatever the case, write it down, be specific and try to create some way of measuring it (e.g. a SMART goal).
Tip 2: Habit Stack
Once you’ve figured out what you’re aiming for, you’ve got to get the building blocks in place – and the best way to do that is through a practice called habit stacking.
Habit stacking is an incredibly simple way to embed consistency into your life.
As James Clear, the master of habits says, ‘When it comes to building new habits, you can use the connectedness of behaviour to your advantage. One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behaviour on top. This is called habit stacking.’
Instead of picking a specific time or location, find an existing behaviour you already do automatically and stack a new behaviour on top of it.
Go through your day to day and ty to find the existing habitual behaviours you have and see what you can stack on top.
For example: after I get my morning coffee, I write 1 page in my journal.
Tip 3: Make it easy on yourself
Once you’ve figured out the best way to stack your new routines into your life, try to get that solidified with some easy environmental updates.
Book into the workout classes you plan to attend a week in advance and lay out your clothes the night before – or simply leave your journal next to the coffee machine.
The easier we make life for ourselves, the easier it is to get that routine down and make it a repeatable part of our daily lives.