Podcast #29: Setting Sustainable (And Fun!) Routines
We’ve all seen the morning routine videos on YouTube that involve writing in four different journals, a half hour of daily meditation, and of course, sipping a celery juice while going on a hot girl walk. While these things aren’t bad, they certainly aren’t sustainable (or desirable) for everyone.
In this episode, Jess & Laura discuss how to set daily routines that you’ll look forward to and stick to day after day. We talk in detail about the book Atomic Habits by James Clear and cover the advice he gives regarding habits.
What are routines?
Routines are the systems that allow us to achieve our goals. It’s easy to focus on the results rather than the process that gets you the results. Instead, we recommend focusing on the systems you put in place to achieve those results. For example, if you want to be able to run five miles without stopping, focus instead on creating a habit of running a little bit everyday.
Sticking to routines can help you change your identity. Over time, keeping the promises you make to yourself will result in an identity shift. You’ll become the person who hits the gym every day before work, or the girl who reads a lot, rather than the girl who does everything just sometimes.
5 Steps to Set Routines That Stick
In the episode, we go in depth about how you can set fun routines that you’ll look forward to everyday. Here are five of the methods we discuss, and make sure to listen to the podcast episode for further details.
1. Make them realistic.
Start small and work your way up. If you’re not someone who already runs, setting a goal of running for an hour everyday is bound to fail. Instead, set a goal of running for ten minutes a day that’s easier to keep on top of.
2. Make them specific.
A goal of ‘read every day’ might feel un-motivational and vague. Try setting a more specific goal of ‘read 20 pages of a book everyday,’ which is more trackable and easy to remember.
3. Make them easy to accomplish.
Create an environment that makes it easy to succeed. If you want to drink more water, fill up your HydroFlask and put it on your bedside table before you go to bed at night. If you want to read more, make sure you know what your next book will be after you finish the one you’re on now.
4. Make sure your routines are aligned with you.
Your routine doesn’t need to include drinking celery juice or training for a marathon if those things aren’t your vibe. Don’t give in to what you think your routines should be. Just choose what will be fun and sustainable for you.
5. Track your progress.
Something about checking off a box on a to-do list sets a rush of dopamine to your brain. Doing this everyday and seeing a physical manifestation of your progress can keep you on track, even when you don’t feel personally motivated. Here are some examples of things you can track daily/weekly/monthly:
- Every time you finish a book
- Every time you complete a workout
- Adding to your savings
- Drinking a glass of water
- Reaching your daily step goal
- Completing your skin care routine
At the end of the episode, we talk more about Atomic Habits and share some of the nuggets of wisdom we learned from that book. Don’t forget to listen until the end for Jess and Laura’s Adulting Tips of the Week.