We all want a healthy mind, a healthy body, healthy relationships, and a successful life, right? Yet it seems so out of reach for many of us. We continue to try and try, but often feel the pain of failure. What is it that keeps us so stuck, striving for a life that seems like it should be so simple?
We often seek out ways to shift our mindset, challenge our bodies, improve our relationships, or change our financial situations. Learning about these topics and developing knowledge gives us an edge and keeps us fresh. I want to talk about something a little less sexy today: routine. Routine is downplayed and often shutdown because it just isn’t fun, yet so much of success hinges on it. Routine is constant and consistent. It is either building your dreams one alarm clock and salad at a time, or it is sabotaging you one snooze button and French fry at a time. It’s not the one pizza night that compromises your success. It is the consistent lack of preparation, lack of encouragement, and lack of realistic strategies that undermines our dreams. Our little compromises often seem insignificant and innocent, but their consistent wearing is what changes the outcome.
So where are we failing to implement an effective routine and how can we improve?
Accept yourself now
A huge piece of our routine includes how we think about ourselves. If your thoughts are constantly telling you you aren’t worthy of a great life until you are thinner, sexier, richer, or more educated, you are sabotaging your own ability to change. It is only when we accept ourselves now, imperfections and all, that we can be brave enough to try, fall, and do it all over again, without our self-worth being hinged to the process.
Find real solutions
Do you keep buying that gym membership because you know you go? Maybe you keep a stock of protein shakes you just can’t stand drinking. Often we sabotage our success because we attempt to force solutions that just aren’t working. If you never seem to make it to the gym, try home exercises through an online course, taking walks, or meeting a friend for accountability. If you hate protein shakes, try other ways to increase your protein. There are always at least five solutions to every problem. If you are stuck on one that isn’t working, go back to the drawing board and find the ones you are missing.
Many of us fail due to lack of preparation. When we don’t do the work to make the meals ahead of time or go to bed at a decent hour, we set ourselves up to grab fast food or miss that morning walk. Preparation is simply a non-negotiable step. If you find yourself frustrated by a habit you are struggling to create, don’t work harder, break down your barriers and make it easier to complete your challenge. If you find you keep eating unhealthy snacks, make sure you never leave home without an arsenal of great alternatives. If you struggle with waking up in the morning, set reminders to get ready for bed and make sure you are in bed with the lights out 8 hours before you need to get up. The old adage really is true: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Celebrate every win
We often don’t give ourselves credit unless we do something we perceive as a big success. It is however, the seemingly insignificant victories that add up and create lasting change. Whether it’s managing to get to bed on time or forgoing a fast food meal in exchange for a homemade casserole, the small consistent wins are the meaningful ones. Celebrate them. Give yourself lots of love and praise for taking the time to make a difference one small change at a time.
Jillian Landis is a Self-Care and Empowerment Coach at Evolve Personal Coaching, blogger, and writer for Nourish + Bloom. Jillian's passion is encouraging individuals to love and care for themselves deeply, so they may serve this world at their greatest potential. Prior to coaching, Jillian served in the mental health profession for 10 years and has a vast knowledge of human behavior, which she utilizes to create effective change in the lives of her clients.