If you are a regular visitor to this corner of the internet blogosphere (and I hope you are) then you will know that I like a good routine.
However, what I haven’t talked about before, not really any way, is how routines can help you to foster new habits.
How To Use a Routine to Introduce New Habits
A routine is just a number of habits performed together in a particular order, what James Clear would refer to as habit stacking.
Therefore, if you already have a routine it is easy to see how this can be used as a “cue” to introduce a new habit into your day.
For example, if your morning routine includes filling the kettle with water, this could be used as the cue to introduce a habit of drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning. It might also be used as a cue to review your tasks for the day or do 20 push-ups whilst waiting for it to boil.
That water habit may also be cued by the daily morning dog walk, and while you are at it, expand your knowledge of your desired topic with podcasts or audiobooks.
Making It Work
Of course, you have to make it easy to do. If your journal isn’t close to hand then that daily gratitude habit will be done “later” – or never. If you have to drag your yoga mat out of the cupboard every morning then out of sight out of mind might make it more difficult to remember to do it.
In essence, all the tools you need to be able to carry out that task that you want to make a habit should be visible at the time you need them.
The other way to make habits easier to incorporate into a routine is to do similar things at the same time. If you struggle for time in the mornings because you are looking for something to wear that doesn’t need ironing then perhaps start doing all the ironing for the week at the same time. Include your gym gear to make sure that you never have an excuse not to go.
If your given project requires making a number of phone calls, organise your tasks so that you do them within the same block of time on your calendar.
If you want to get into a better cleaning routine, consider batching dusting on one day, hoovering on another.
If you are trying to find more time in your week, try a weekly meal prep – chopping all snacking vegetables, or cooking batches of soup for lunches. You could also cook one or two meals with extra portions, giving you a home made ready meal in the freezer, or simply making extra for lunch the next day.
Think about your current routines and how they could be used as cues for your new habits. What might make it easier to implement? What additional cues might you need?
Is there a way to reorganise some of your current daily practices to free up time by time batching similar tasks?
COME BACK TOMORROW FOR:
Tips on how to eliminate distractions so that you can really focus on making progress on that goal.
What are your tips for introducing a new habit into an existing routine?
Until next time, remember, if the excess baggage is weighing you down, you can always leave it in lost luggage.