I admit it. I love routine. I like getting up every day at 6 am and going to the 6 pm Zumba class at my gym on Friday night and doing laundry on Wednesdays. This type of organized and structured lifestyle frees me from the chaos and stress of just “winging it.” Now, that’s not to say that I don’t think a break from routine is good every once in a while, in fact, I think it’s necessary to take a step back and re-evaluate.
Like many of us, I usually step away from my routine around the holidays, and not always because I want to. Usually, things are so busy that I have no choice but to let my routines slide. I used to stress about not being on a routine during this time, but this past holiday season I gave myself permission to be routine-less. And, I have to admit, it was amazing. I slept in, skipped Zumba classes, and didn’t do laundry every week. During this time I did a lot of thinking and planning and goal setting. Not having my normal routines gave me the freedom and the mental and emotional space to think about some new routines that I want to introduce in my life.
I recently saw a commercial for Special K that I thought had a really great message for the New Year. January should be about beginnings and about starting new things, not punishing ourselves for having fallen off the wagon during the holidays. I truly believe that having routines is the key to success and to reaching the goals that we set for ourselves.
Not convinced yet that resetting with routines will work for you? I have a little story I’d like to share that has inspired me and I hope will inspire you as well. I have a friend and co-worker that started a new routine at the beginning of last year because she was struggling with some issues in her life. She was unhappy, unsure of herself, and in a constant negative cycle. She turned to a new routine to help reset herself.
She started getting up at 5:30am and would take her dog to Roger Williams Park for a 3-mile walk before work. She did this every day, no matter what. Even when it was hard, when she had work deadlines, school, or wasn’t feeling well, she still got up and went. And this routine reset the entire trajectory that she was on. Last week, she told me that the routine had become such an integral part of her life and of her own self-discovery that she decided to start a blog about it. I know I have seen the change in her first-hand. She is happier, more content and confident, and fulfilled. And all because she decided to reset and start a new routine.
So, happy new beginnings, my friends. All it takes is the courage to start and the discipline to keep going.
Do you have a new routine you’d like to start this year? How are you resetting after the holidays? I’d love to hear from you!
For more information about starting new routines, check out this great resource: https://jamesclear.com/three-steps-habit-change