If you can’t figure out why you struggle to maintain a healthy routine, no worries. We have a story from Groom+Style that lists the top nine mistakes people make when creating routines. Perhaps it can help you get back on track.
The part of our brain that controls habits and conscious decision-making (the basal ganglia) will side with habits unless it’s incentivized to change its ways. Since we are so resistant to change, the only way to create a stable wellness routine is by consistently establishing good habits and weeding out the bad.
Not rewarding yourself or rewarding yourself too much
Achievement and reward are powerful drivers of establishing a routine. Make sure to reward yourself, but don’t create rewards that set you back in your goals—such as eating ice cream after the gym. Try to find something more constructive, such as a progress calendar you can check off after each workout.
Letting decision fatigue dictate your habits
After a long day of making decisions, we may feel overwhelmed and make bad choices, such as eating unhealthy or indulgent foods. A combination of awareness and forming better automatic habits can help you to alter these patterns.
Constructing meaningless routines
If you don’t have a meaningful reason for your routines, you will be more likely to undermine them.
Letting time encroach on your activities
If you have a routine you really want to achieve, then give it the time and focus it deserves, and don’t feel bad about taking that time. Remember, there’s a reason you set those goals in the first place.
Talking to others about your routine
One study found it’s best not to talk too much about your goals since sharing them with others can give you a premature sense of accomplishment, making it less likely that you’ll complete your goal. It’s OK to talk about them in moderation, as it might help keep you accountable. However, don’t overdo it.
Being overly critical about your progress
While you might expect to see results from your routine quickly, this isn’t always the case. Pay attention to your expectations, and try not to be overly critical when you’re not progressing as fast as you expected.
Incorporating too much too soon
Most routines become difficult and unmanageable when we try to incorporate too much too soon. This can create stress, leading us to fall back on old habits. Instead, start slow and build your way up.
Denying enjoyable activities
Thinking that your routine is denying you something that you enjoy is one of the quickest ways to break it. You need to remember that routines should add something to your life in a way that fulfills you.