How do you keep up your routines when things are constantly changing? When life gets chaotic? These were some of the most common questions asked when I first announced Route 101, so it seemed a solid place to end the series.
When it comes to making routine last, there are a few things that you just have to accept: sometimes, you will fall off track. It’s basically an inevitable fact. Second, realize that guilting yourself when this happens will only further prevent you from making new habits stick. You aren’t a failure.
The routines I’ve created for myself work primarily because I created them with my lifestyle in mind. I know when my energy levels will be high, and I use those times to handle tasks that require high energy. I use Sunday mornings to clean my room because after a weekend (hopefully) filled with rest, I have plenty of energy to organize and tidy. Once things are in their place, I can prep for the week: edit a newsletter, schedule blog posts, finish homework or work on post graphics for the week.
Once one thing is done, everything else falls into place perfectly.
And when something is done out of order, it may throw me off a bit, but I know that I can still pull myself back into routine because I’m able to be flexible and work around my own distractions.
Here are my top tips to you for making your routines stick.
01 / Use the rule of 30. It takes about 30 days to successfully create a new habit, and about the same time to truly begin to flow in a new routine. Commit to sticking to a routine for 30 consecutive days. If you miss a morning or two, it’s okay; just be sure to get yourself back on track. Within a month, if you were totally unable to stick to that routine, it may need reworking.
02 / Share your routines. During the semester, I get very busy very quickly, and it can be hard for me to have free time to do spontaneous things with my friends. So when the opportunity arises, I’m always eager to grab it and throw routine out the window. Sharing my routines and the reasons behind them make this happen much less often. Sorry, I can’t have dinner tonight, I have to study for an exam while I have time cleared to focus. (Read: It’s OK to say no.)
03 / Add value to your routines. Infusing your routines with things that align with your value system will definitely help promote sustainability! If you believe strongly in faith and spirituality, making time to meditate daily or weekly will be much easier.
04 / Say ‘yes’ every day. Each and every day (especially for the first 30 days), wake up every day and decide that you are going to do the things you set out. Push through tired eyes, long to-do lists and bad weather. Breaking through the curtain of “I don’t want to” makes the feeling of success at the end of your day feel that much better.
05 / Respect life’s changes. Things are constantly going to chance, that is truly life’s only consistent truth. No month will be just like the last, and our days will often vary. Remember to respect periods of extreme change in your life, and don’t try to force routine where it doesn’t fit. Take time off from your regularly scheduled programming to consider other things in life that need your attention. When things calm down, return back to your routine!
That’s all I have, guys! Are there any other struggles you have when it comes to creating and sticking to routines? Keep the conversation going in the comments!