Have you ever wanted to form a new habit or pick up a new hobby and found it almost impossible to find the time or the effort to even start? Even when you do start, you will find that keeping at it long enough to see results is a mission all on it’s own.
When you set yourself along the journey of self improvement, things that should be simple. Like going to the gym or meditating every day takes effort to incorporate them into your day. Why is this? Why do we find ourselves struggling to do basic habits even when we know they will be good for us?
There are countless answers to this question. A lot of have to do with how you prioritize your time and how you set goals. We won’t get into this right now. Instead, we will be focusing on one way you can overcome this. That’s what you need, right? Knowing why you aren’t doing something isn’t half as good as actually coming up with a solution. So let’s take a look at a solution.
Your daily routine is crucial to getting things done and managing your life. We all have daily routines, whether you know it or not. It doesn’t even have to be a daily routine, sometimes you might have a weekly routine with each day having its own schedule. For example, if you are studying at University and working part time, you might have some days where you will be in class, other days when you need to be at work. You might have the weekends to catch up with friends and the evenings for studying. The way you schedule your days is immensely important for predicting your behaviour over a longer period of time. If you didn’t go to class or studying, you might fall behind and fail your next exam. This is of course an extreme example so let’s take it back to building new habits and engaging in new hobbies.
Let’s start with one which many people struggle with. You want to build your own business with the goal of being self employed. Working 8 hours a day, five days a week can mean there isn’t much time at the end of the day. This is what you tell yourself anyway. Looking at it from another perspective, your daily routine offers no room for your new plans. Building a business is exhausting and requires a lot of energy, not easy to summon after a long day at work.
The key here is to reconstruct your daily routine. You don’t need to set an ultimatum or make a massive statement about how you are going to get things done. No matter what, you need to add one extra task at the end of your day. This could be as simple as one extra hour after work or after dinner where you start working on your business. You could set yourself one simple task each day. Once you finish that task, you can move on to whatever you would normally do at that time.
The purpose of this technique is that you are working with your current routine to incorporate new habits. It feels a little strange at first and it is normal to feel resistance. The most important part is not to break the new routine but instead let it become second nature. You do need to have a set time or sequence where you set yourself up to tackle the task. This allows you to associate the new task with your current routine, ensuring minimum disruption. By doing the task, habit or hobby at the same time every day, you have a better chance of keeping it as part of your routine.