How to get back into routines

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We are all familiar with that feeling of dread and constant lack of motivation to do even the smallest of tasks that comes and goes in waves. Usually, it visits us after a relaxing vacation, long-term travel or even after a few unsuccessful days that lead to a long slump.

I have a really bad habit of going down the rabbit hole every few months which translates into me shamelessly spending days re-watching tv shows, eating lots of junk food and neglecting all the goals and work that I should be doing. While I do think that these things are ought to happen once in a while, I think it’s very important to get back into your routines and get back on feet quick. Otherwise, you are definitely risking your mental health and overall mood which can negatively impact not only your everyday life but your relationships with others as well.

However, let’s be real here. Getting back into a routine is definitely something we all struggle with. For one, it’s incredibly hard to just turn your whole attitude around and shift back into something completely polar opposite from what you’ve been doing. Also, it can feel too overwhelming and exhausting as well which further demotivates any kind of change that you want to adopt.

After years of experiencing slumps and trying to get back into routines after vacations, long trips and just the usual monthly slumps, I think that I finally got it down to a few important steps that do help me to slowly and steadily get back on the feet. So in this post, I’ll share what those steps are and how can you get back into a routine even if you’re struggling a lot.​​​​​​​

1. Re-evaluate your why’s

Life happens. Sometimes the things we used to want and like are no longer bringing us joy or motivating us to go further.

In most cases of falling out of routines, the things we’re striving for or the path we are walking towards no longer seems appealing to us, so we start unconsciously resisting and doing everything in our power to not reach that path. The funny thing is that we, ourselves, won’t even know that we are doing this.

So if you find yourself struggling to do your usual routines and stay motivated, chances are that a re-evaluation is long overdue.

What are you working towards? Why did you decide to go this path in the first place? Is it still something that you want to work towards?

Take time to really think about your what’s and why’s. Don’t just jump into conclusions without really giving it a thought. For example, you might don’t feel motivated to continue this path because it seems too difficult. But maybe the underlying reason isn’t the difficulty of that but your habit of quitting during the uncomfortable phrase. In that case, focusing on something else for a while could really make a change in your perspective on the first goal.

Of course, it’s more than okay to change the direction you’re going or to select other goals that serve you better. So take time to re-think and see if your inner compass didn’t change the direction and if it did quit trying to steer the wheel into the opposite direction of which you actually want to go to.

2. Build new habits

Now that you reevaluated your goals and the path you’ve chosen, it’s time to start building new habits that will help you achieve those goals and keep you afloat.

Changing directions means that you need to start creating everything from the ground up. This means deciding on what things and activities require your time and what no longer do. What daily habits you need to keep and what have to go.

It’s all about crafting a new action plan or guide, if you will, for your new path.

It’s important to remember that this new direction of your life is probably not going to last forever and that’s okay. It’s completely normal to switch up and change things as you go, it’s a human thing to do. So don’t feel guilty neglecting one part of your life for the time being as you focus on another in this section of your life. Chances are you’ll need to refocus again in the future and go into a different direction.

One important thing to note is trying not to take up many new habits at the same time. Try to incorporate them into your routines one by one as you go. Don’t start doing yoga in the morning, take cold showers, journaling, working out in the afternoon and eating super clean in one day. You will definitely overwhelm yourself and your body which will most likely translate into another slumber fest than anything else. Take one step at the time and introduce a new habit every week or so.

3. Adjust your systems or change them completely

If your goals change and your new habits are adopted, your current daily systems that you use are probably in need of an update as well.

Like it or not, our whole life is compiled of different systems that we use to complete different activities and tasks. For example, a planning system for your weekly/daily tasks or chores system for your home.

Don’t be afraid to change things up if they are no longer working for you. I used to be a huge meal planner meaning I would sit down and write down all the meals I’ll have that week, so I could buy everything I need on our weekly grocery shop. It worked for me back then, I didn’t have to think each day what I’ll eat as I already had a list of meals for that day. However, after a while, the whole process of making a meal plan and then following it left me more stressed than anything. Plus, I no longer felt the joy of cooking because sometimes I just didn’t feel like cooking the meal I planned for that day.

Long story short. If it’s no longer working for you, change it.

Same goes with your weekly and daily planning systems. I used to be a paper planner kind of gal, then I switched to only online systems and recently I went back to having a paper daily planner and keeping some of my tasks online (monthly planners, work projects, etc.). I find that a combination of both – online and paper – works the best for me when it comes to planning and staying on top of my goals.

However, finding the right paper planner was a task a half. I used to love weekly planners but they no longer seemed to be working for me. So I was super excited to try out Daily Goal Setter Planner that Mal Paper sent me.

Mal Paper Daily Goal Setter Planner

The core of the planner is minimalism and mindfulness which I believe is the ultimate combo for a productive and goal-driven workflow. The best part is that it’s undated meaning that you can structure and plan your workdays however you want and feel the best.

There are monthly, weekly and daily spreads that help you to clearly set your goals and work on them. The planner is based on SMART goals method that I love and always try to use, as well as the ABCDE method by Brian Tracy and his book Eat That Frog! which help you to prioritize your tasks and make them more manageable.

As I mentioned before, the planner incorporates mindfulness. The daily spread includes a space in which you can write your daily affirmation and can practice gratitude by listing three things you’re grateful for in the morning. As well as space for a bit of reflection on the good things that happened in the evening.

I often felt discouraged and disappointed in myself if I didn’t complete my whole to-do list but now that I spend time writing down at least one good thing that happened to me that day I feel better and less hard on myself.

I have been using the planner for about two weeks now and I can honestly say that it helped me to structure my days better and somehow brought back excitement to my weekly planning sessions.

If you are too looking for a good daily planner, check out Mal Paper Daily Goal Setter. It’s around 24 EUR and you can get a 15% off if you use code BRSPECIAL15. They have worldwide shipping as well, so you can get it from anywhere in the world. Also, you can choose from two colours – black or grey.​​​​​​​

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