Monday, August 28, 2017

The Importance of Routines + Habits



We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act but a habit - Aristotle.

The first step is clarifying exactly what you are setting out to do because if you have no idea what you're striving for, how to you expect to achieve it? Putting into words what your goals are means you are half way there.

Read on to learn more about the goal setting techniques I use and how it helps my achieve my aims.

To start with you go broad. The first question you have to ask yourself is "what do I want to achieve" and you can make it as large of a goal you can think of or even something really small. Write everything that pops into your head down on a piece of paper. Try to think about what your ideal fitness goals are, what you want to improve on or things you want to make sure you are doing every single day.

So as an example some of my goals are to become a stronger reader, maintain my healthy eating and fitness regime, achieve well at Uni, save money to go towards a house deposit, be more confident, be more of a minimalist etc.

Once you have these broad goals is when the routine and habit setting comes in. It's all well and good to say "I want to maintain my weight, increase my muscle and eat perfectly" but if you have not set up a step-by-step process to ensure that happens then you're just guessing how to achieve your goal and will likely struggle to get there.

Here is when you start to set smaller achievable goals that you keep yourself accountable for daily. The way I do this is with a spreadsheet that has a daily checklist where I try and tick off all my little goals for the day.

How it works;
For my major goal of 'maintain my healthy eating and fitness regime' I have split it up into the smaller daily goals of 'drink 3L of water', 'stick to meal prepped food', 'take vitamins' and 'exercise 3x weekly'. These small daily goals keep me on track to make sure I succeed at my overall goal of maintaining my health and fitness. While it may seem silly to have to tick off drinking enough water that day, it acts as a constant reminder to drink water throughout the day so that you can tick it off. If you aren't tracking these things or keeping yourself accountable, there's no way of knowing if you are on the right track to achieving your health goals or not.

Another few examples are;
- I want to become a strong reader so I have set the daily goal to read everyday for at least 30 minutes.
- I want to become a morning person so I have 'wake up at 6:30' as a goal to tick off daily.
- I noticed that I was getting behind with my emails so have the daily goal of 'clear inbox / manage emails'.

By taking a large goal and breaking it down into small actionable tasks, you will find yourself achieving a lot more than you otherwise would have blinding try to stick to your goals.

Routines and daily habits play a large role in my life and keeping me on track to reach my goals. I would highly recommend trying out this approach because once I adopted this way of thinking it massively changed my productivity because I was being held accountable for my actions.

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