Getting into new routines involves building new habits. They’re the most effective way, since we, as human beings, are habitual creatures.
Think of a single task that you do on a regular basis. A type of breakfast you eat, or perhaps a daily thing you do. For me, ever since high school, I’ve continually gotten up at the same exact time. 5:30.
This was an unfortunate thing at the time (and I could say something about the school system for having school start way too early but I won’t). It was mainly because over my years of high school, I got up every single day for A-Hour (sometimes called 0-hour). This was because of an early class I wanted to take, and it also assisted in me graduating early from high school. But I digress.
Getting up early over the course of 4 years helped develop my personal habits I have. This at the time was a forced habit, but now, regardless of the day, occasion, or holiday, I always get up at 5:30. Even if I have no alarm set, or intend on not waking up early, I’ll still wake up at that time.
This, as I see it, is a good thing. It allows me to take more advantage of the day, to feel like I have more time, and helps me not have to worry about the times I really do have to get up early. Sleeping in just seems like a waste to me personally.
Now why did I give a couple of paragraphs about a high school early wake up time?
It’s because it’s a habit. And when you build up a habit over 4 years, it sticks. Nearly permanently.
Now, health wise, I’m still in the process of developing new habits. It isn’t easy, but there is a sameness to it that once you get going, and keep it up regularly, it becomes second nature to continue doing something.
One more recent habit I’ve gotten into is a regular and planned breakfast every morning.
My daily breakfast consists of plain greek yogurt, mixed with peanut butter, and then stirred in with plain oats. (And sometimes honey).
It’s a simple recipe, but it’s full of protein, it’s filling so I won’t get hungry just a few hours later, and it’s really really good. Peanut butter is just really delicious. Really.
This helped me out in a couple of ways.
1: I was better able to plan. I didn’t have to worry about what I was having for breakfast.
2: I never rushed into having a sloppy breakfast from somewhere. In other situations, I may rush to buy a breakfast from McDonald’s or eat sugary cereal.
3: Habits make it easier to buy. While having a habitual meal for every meal of the day may seem monotonous and make you bored of your food, it helps you shop and know what to buy, which can reinforce those habits.
Building habits in every aspect of your life, and observing your new habits, while trying to observe any old or bad habits, will greater enforce your goals. You’ll be surprised at how you’ll almost subconsciously accomplish things if you build them into a daily, weekly, and monthly routine.