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Adapting Your Routine

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.”

Rita Mae Brown, 1983 book Sudden Death.

It’s easy to want to make big changes to your life, however, at times these changes can prove hard to implement and sustain. This is where adapting your routine can come into its own. Rather than going all out and exhausting your motivation and enthusiasm, begin by taking small obtainable, scaleable steps. By doing this you will slowly adapt your routine and hopefully achieve the changes you want to make.

A study published in 2009 by the European Journal of Psychology, found that on average it takes 66 days for a new behaviour to become automatic. The same study also found it takes between 18 to 254 days for a new habit to be formed. So as you can see, there is no easy way of making changes to your life. It requires a constant effort, for a prolonged period of time, before it becomes natural to you.

To make the changes more obtainable, start small, for example, try 2 minutes of high intensity exercise a day, a 10 minute walk, or one healthy meal a week. All of these are easily scaleable. When you can comfortably complete your first small change, step it up. E.g the 2 mins of high intensity exercise can become 4 minutes, the 10 minute walk becomes a 20 minutes walk, and the one healthy meal a week becomes two healthy meals. By doing this, you should not feel overwhelmed and you will be achieving a small obtainable goal, before scaling it up again, and again, and again.

Avoid Negativity When Adapting Your Routine

Negativity will destroy your motivation. This includes anything that makes you feel bad about you. For example, if you’re looking at a health guru on instagram and they are saying you should look like this and you don’t, stop looking at them. You don’t need to compare yourself to others. Or if you have taken on more than you can chew and its crushing your motivation, take a step back and make your goals more obtainable. Over time you will be able to move forward and crush the things that were holding you back.

Use Crowding Out

The crowding out method is a great tool to assist you in adapting your routine. Where there is a behaviour or habit you want to remove from your life. Crowd it out with a good or new routine. For example, if on waking you immediately reach for your phone and want to stop this habit. While at the same time wanting to introduce more movement into your life. Try doing some stretches in your bed, and as you leave your bed. By doing this you will have crowded out the habit of immediately reaching for your phone, and replaced it with the more beneficial routine of stretching and movement.

adapting your routine

Don’t forget about the seasons

Although seasons are never usually a top priority when thinking about adapting routines, they are in fact an essential element to consider. With each new season comes a change to the environment around you. Longer and shorter days and nights, changes in temperature and humidity, and so on. All of these factors can have an effect on how well the adapting of your routine will work. You may not enjoy a HIIT work out in 40•C heat, but you might enjoy a cooling swim or slow outdoor yoga session. Your eating habits may change too, for example the cooling water dense salad you enjoyed in the summer, may just not cut it in the autumn, when there are warm hearty stews on the menu.

So when you are thinking about how best to adapt what you already do, in order to benefit you and your goals. Remember to factor in, not only the seasons, but also avoiding negativity. Ensure your goals are broken down into bite sized obtainable pieces, in order to keep the motivation going. And ensure you crowd out the activities and habits that are not beneficial to you.

And don’t forget……

While adapting your routine can be hugely beneficial in helping you to reach your goals and aspirations. Remember to take time to enjoy what you have and where you are right now. It is as important to enjoy this time and the journey as it is to reach the final destination.

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy”.

Guillaume Apollinaire

If you need some more pointers, take a look at our blog on ‘introducing daily rituals into your life‘. And don’t forget we have a great workbook on ‘vision boards and manifesting your dreams‘. And finally, don’t forget to share your journey with us, @surrender_to_happiness; we love to see how all our readers are doing.

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