How to change one’s daily routine for the better


Graphic courtesy of 99Designs

Everybody has habits, healthy or unhealthy. All of our habits form together to create a daily routine. These routines are engraved into our brains, so most of us do them without even having to think. Our habits structure our day and make the difference between operating at a high efficiency and struggling to get through a poorly organized day. This may explain why, even though we may understand the importance of having healthy habits, it can be hard to actually follow through with them in our everyday lives. However, there are many habits that can slowly help us make our ways to happy, healthier lives. 

There are many reasons for our bad habits, but the two main ones are stress and boredom. Everything from biting our nails to overspending our money can be caused by these two simple things. However, stress and boredom may be surface level, but it can actually be caused by deeper psychological reasons as well. In order to deal with this, we have to be honest with ourselves. One thing we can ask ourselves is, “What are some of the issues that are causing my stress and boredom?” or “Is there something deeper like a fear or an event that is preventing me from letting go of my bad habits?” Recognizing our bad habits is a crucial part of overcoming them. We do not eliminate the bad habits, but we replace them with good habits. 

Setting a healthy routine is challenging, but by understanding the causes of our behaviors, we are able to make changes and stick with them. One example of a small change that can be made to our routines is going from a diet with junk food and fast food to a diet with nutritious foods (such as fruits, vegetables, protein packed foods, etc.). This will benefit our overall health. Another example may be starting our days with things that we may not like doing. For example, doing school work and studying are all things most people do not really want to start the day with. But in order to have a productive day, procrastinating is not an option as it can negatively affect someone’s health. Waking up earlier, working out more often, reading instead of being glued to our electronics, being organized and having a good sleep schedule are all examples of changes we can make to our daily routines. Once we start doing these things daily, we will create habits out of it. Having a daily routine not only makes us more efficient, but it also gets rid of the time wasted trying to figure out what our day is going to look like and ultimately changes our lives for the better. 

There are more than just these physical changes that can help us live a healthier life. Some of the deeper changes that can be made include surrounding ourselves with positive people rather than toxic people, stop being self-critical about ourselves and be who we want to be without  letting anyone tell us otherwise. The most important thing to do is plan for failure. 

“Skipping a workout, eating junk food and sleeping in do not make us bad people,” said Steve Kamb, an American fitness instructor. “They make us human.” 

Rather than beating ourselves up over a small mistake, plan for it. This will help us quickly bounce back from the mistake we made, and keep going. Another important thing for starting a good routine is being aware of when bad habits are made; we can ask questions such as:

  • “Who are we with when we make them?”
  • “What are we doing?”
  • “Is there something that triggers this bad habit?”

Thinking of these things will improve our awareness of bad habits and they will give us tons of ideas for stopping them. 

Starting good habits takes time and effort, but mostly it takes determination. Many of us try and fail before we can even start a good routine. Just because we may not have success right away, does not mean we cannot have it at all. We have to be patient and hardworking, and we will eventually get to where we want to be!