This week’s topic sounds boring but is absolutely critical to getting the job done, any job. Whether it is a new habit, a new project, your work or even our relationships, routine is the it factor, to actually doing what you commit to.
If we have learned anything in the last two years as working/schooling/doing everything from home blew our routines to shreds, it is this. Did you notice that you kind of felt lost or floating. Did you notice, for example, that without the routine of the drive home from work at the end of the day, we were creating our own bookends like zoom happy hour at 5 pm, I did! Who knew that our daily commute would be so necessary!
So, lets dig into why is routine is so necessary:
1. We fizzle out.
I don’t care how motivated, excited, interested or intrigued you are about a new habit or a new project, you WILL lose motivation at some point. This is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when. To fizzle out is human. Knowing that losing our fizzle is part of the deal, allows us to anticipate it and not let it get the best of us. This is done by committing to a routine.
If you know, for example, that you workout everyday at 7 am rain or shine, then your fizzle becomes a non-issue, you do it anyway because that is your routine.
So, create a routine so that when your motivation naturally ebbs and flows you are prepared and not vulnerable to its effects.
2. We are by nature goal oriented, not process oriented and if we don’t have a routine, this fact will undermine us.
Too often we are tied to the outcome, the numbers on the scale, the finished book, the meditated state of zen. What’s more is that we are unrealistic about the how and when of the outcome. When we set our mind to something, we want it yesterday, am I right?
But that is not reality. We know that, and yet we allow that fantasy to get the best of us. When we don’t achieve the magical timeline in our head, we give up. We give up, that is, when we don’t have a routine.
So, create a routine so that you remain committed to the process and not the outcome.
*Added bonus here* this mindset keeps us in the moment and allows us to enjoy the journey instead of tying our joy solely to the achievement.
3. The negotiating is causing decision fatigue.
The negotiation is the back and forth, the should I or should I not, do I do it now or do I do it later, yada yada yada…. And it is exhausting! Not only is this exhausting but demoralizing and it steals our power. Another related point here is willpower. We often confuse willpower with will, but it has nothing to do with will because we have the will, the desire, but often the energy is lost. Avoiding decision fatigue by creating routine will preserve our energy, while negotiation depletes it.
So, create a routine so that you avoid decision fatigue and preserve your energy and your power.
4. Lastly, by nature we chose the path of least resistance.
When given the choice, we opt for comfort. But we don’t evolve, grow, transform thru comfort.
Growth by definition is found outside of our comfort zone.
We know this! But when given the choice, we will opt for comfort. Routine keeps us accountable in a kind and supportive way so even when our very human and sometimes undesirable tendencies kick in, we remain on track. So, create a routine so you remain committed to your growth. Isn’t that what we are here for anyway?
Finally and as always, be kind and don’t strive for perfection. Accountability yes, perfection no. As I always say,
you do not need to be perfect to be effective
Wishing you an excellent week.
Ways to Connect with Dr. Adrienne Youdim: