Setting a new goal is often exciting. You’re ready to make a change, and you’re freshly committed to finally start seeing results!
However, new goals often require new routines … and as exciting as they may seem at first, if you don’t structure them mindfully, they may become unsustainable (which, unfortunately, can result in quitting).
We wanted to provide you with a few crucial tips for creating a sustainable routine, so you can actually stick to it without overwhelm!
Creating A Sustainable Routine
1. Be Realistic With What You Can Commit To.
Now, we want to preface this by saying that there’s nothing wrong with dreaming big and having large goals. You definitely should have goals like these, as they are the ultimate “push” that drives our lives forward.
However, you want to also make sure that if you have a time frame for a certain goal, that both the goal and the time frame are realistic. For instance: you may have a goal of running a marathon (awesome goal!) … yet you’re hoping to do so in an unrealistic time frame. Sometimes, we underestimate how much rearranging we may have to do in our lives to accomplish a big goal, and then we get frustrated when we run into hang-ups or get burnout before reaching it.
This is why it’s so important to think of “short term wins” that you can make each week for a month. If training for a marathon is going to take so many hours a month, then is it actually realistic to be prepared for one in 6 months? Are you able to rearrange your schedule to support the amount of hours required, or will you have to commit to less hours?
These questions may be annoying, but they set you up for steady success (even if it takes a little longer) instead of burnout and failure.
Another example of committing to general health in a realistic way is: eating veggies at each meal + hip mobility for 10 min each day. Once you’ve accomplished this for a month, add another layer or more time to your movement sequence.
2. Have An Accountability Partner.
This can make a huge difference in your motivation to stick to a new routine. This can be a coach, or simply someone else embarking with you. Both of you will help keep each other motivated and committed, even when you feel like slacking.
3. Know Yourself
Another crucial key in creating a sustainable routine is to make sure your routine is personalized to YOU!
Now, any new routine is going to take time to develop into a habit. However, what you don’t want to do is create a routine that works against your fundamental nature.
This is a good example to consider: Are you inherently a morning person, or a night owl? Knowing which can determine when is the best time for you to effectively accomplish daily goals within you routine.
If you’re more energized in the afternoon or evening, for instance, committing to your workout during this time has a higher likelihood of “sticking” than if you scheduled your workout for 6 a.m.
And the opposite is true: if you feel less motivated in the afternoon and evening, you’ll likely perform better and stick to a workout routine that involves working out in the morning.
A key takeaway is to follow your own internal rhythm and structure a routine that flows with it, instead of mimicking someone else’s routine.
4. Celebrate Your Wins (and don’t let one setback derail you).
For something to be sustainable, it also needs to be enjoyable. Yes, the work may be strenuous to get there, but there must be some aspect of fun or satisfaction!
One way to integrate this is to celebrate your wins. When you reach a mini goal each month, celebrate! It’s easy to overlook small progress in light of larger goals, but at the end of the day, progress is progress. You are a step ahead of where you were yesterday, and that is what matters.
5. Test Drive Your Routine, Then Reflect
This idea will also combat any procrastination you have about getting started with a new routine! Often, when we commit to forming a new habit or lifestyle, it feels like we’re committing to something huge – something that will last and take forever.
Instead of thinking this way, try to shift into committing to this routine for just 30 days.
Decide that you will stick to this for a month, then reflect on whether it is working for you, and if there is anything that could be changed if it isn’t.
You’ll probably notice there may be some things that work, and other things that don’t. Rather than throwing in the towel, decide beforehand that after 30 days, you won’t quit if something goes sideways, but simply find a better way to achieve what you want to achieve.
The Bottom Line
It takes time for a new routine to become a habit. However, with these tips, you can create routines and goals that are sustainable, so you don’t get burned out or discouraged by lack of progress.
The Durable Athlete App: Your ultimate tool for making a change, at your fingertips. Stream workouts to your TV, schedule workouts on your build-in calendar, access full programs, and more.