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Have you ever heard or said this to yourself, “Oh! This routine will go on for a few days and then I’ll lose interest”? If you find yourself unable to stick to a routine, here’s help at hand.
This is a recurring problem for anyone who goes through this kind of a procrastinating phase. Even though such behaviour is normal it can really create a big problem when at work or when trying to make a big difference in our lives.
I was coaching a client once who worked with me just for this issue. She’s an artist, a photographer and pretty great with what she does but somehow, she couldn’t stick to a routine or stick to something she’d started. Even though artists rarely have a fixed routine, this affected her health and she needed to make some immediate changes to her lifestyle. This little hiccup started affecting her work too. It took a while for her to get comfortable with the change, and even more time to actually stick with the process. But she eventually got a handle on it.
If you could resonate with this example, I’m going to share 4 strategies that you can follow that will help you to stick to a routine/plan or stay consistent.
This is one thing that works and needs work for almost all productivity problems. When you learn of your ‘why’, it cuts your work load mentally. You aren’t working without a cause and it gives you something to focus on. Most people get stuck on the why because they want it to be more meaningful than what they have. Sometimes it’s just because of love or fun but most people ignore this why for something that they assume to be more special like, changing the world or fame etc.
No matter what your why may be, it’s important to learn of it and acknowledge it. For e.g., If you’ve decided to do yoga each day, try to come up with a reason that means something just to you like more peace or movement.
This is where most of us get it wrong. Nobody under the sun can make a plan for you that’ll work perfectly for you or you won’t get the same results by following what someone else did. Most people unintentionally tend to do something that’s totally out of their comfort zone and eventually end up not doing it at all. Personalise your routine/tasks according to you. Don’t get caught up with what others do. Add your own flavour, something that’ll motivate you to show up each day.
Most people including me at the beginning would fail to stick to something because we all start big and tend to do everything at once. This results in low self-esteem and frustration if you can’t stick to it or fail. Starting small seems slow but it’s a very smart strategy. It gives you a chance for trial and error. It helps you become more comfortable with the plan and helps you to make improvements along the way. It works brilliantly for me and I hope it does for you too.
Aiming for perfection? Stop right there. In my professional and personal experience, I’ve encountered numerous episodes where perfectionism almost always ruins the task or plan. It’s good to give it your best but there needs to be a limit to the “best”. This need to be perfect tends to increase the fear of failure which results in giving up sooner. The antidote to this is to be prepared for a lot of trial and error and be okay with failure. Progress is the keyword here. Progress is what your aim should be.
These four strategies usually help me and my clients stick to something. I understand this may not be as easy as it looks but, don’t let that fear creep in. Keep at it, try to use these strategies and work on your progress. I’m sure it’ll make a big difference.
First published here.
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A Psychologist, Blogger, Entrepreneur, bibliophile, stationary buff. Love writing, poetry, coffee, An introvert and dreamer.
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