Do you ever pick up your phone without even thinking?
Has responding to email, a text, an alert become so routine that half the time you don’t realize you are doing it?
That’s because it’s so routine your brain doesn’t have to think about it. It’s now a habit.
Our routines are what help us develop our habits.
You’ve heard things like…
- Habits are powerful.
- If you want to be successful, develop a routine.
- You are what you repeatedly do.
- Excellence is not an act, but a habit.
- We first make our habits, then our habits make us.
Blah! Blah! Blah! Right?!
Wrong! ALL of these things are true!
I learned just how powerful a routine can be the hard way.
You see, to save money this winter, I put my gym membership and personal trainer on hold during the holidays. (think November through February)
“I have a gym at work I can use and I know how to workout,” I told myself. “I can do it by myself.”
While yes, it’s possible for me to do it myself, I discovered that my routine was the key to my continued success.
Once out of that routine I floundered.
I didn’t make it to my work gym regularly and with the holidays my healthy eating habits went right out the window.
Here I am now 15 pounds heavier!
And I feel like I’m starting all over with my workouts.
What went wrong?
Looking back lots went wrong.
I didn’t stick with my routine.
I canceled the tools I used to help me stay on track (gym I was used to visiting and trainer).
And I didn’t have a plan.
I had some ideas but didn’t plan out a new routine to replace my old routine.
I just went with the daily flow.
Well, when you don’t have a plan in place that daily flow can be all over the place!
Key to Being Successful at Anything
#1 Make a plan
#2 Turn your plan into a routine
#3 Stick with your routine
In order to get back on track, I have a new plan to get back into my old habits.
I have joined Weight Watchers and I start working out with my trainer again tonight. Yay!
I will use the Weight Watchers plan to guide my eating back into good healthy habits.
And having a trainer takes the thought out of my workouts.
I will follow the plan he lays out for me.
If you want to make a change, (like take a break from gym to save money) that’s OK.
But remember, first have a plan in place.
In the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg Charles says:
Habits aren’t destiny. Habits can be ignored, changed or replaced.
When a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in decision making. It stops working so hard and diverts focus to other tasks. Unless you deliberately fight a habit, unless you find new routines, the pattern will unfold automatically.
Routines definitely can determine habits.
If you go home everyday and take a nap, that’s a habit formed from being part of your routine.
If you go home everyday, change into your workout clothes and head to the gym, that’s also a habit formed from your routine.
Once I left my routine I fell into bad habits and those became very hard for me to break out of on my own.
Take it from someone who just experienced the power of routines, if you want to develop good habits plan a good routine and follow it.
Take the thought out of it.
Follow that set routine until it becomes a habit.
Once it’s a habit it’s very hard to break!
If something similar has happened to you, how did you get back on track? We’d all love to hear your ideas!
Stay HiP friends,