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Creating a routine looks different for everyone and isn’t always what people see on social media. It certainly doesn’t have to look perfect, and most people make mistakes before finding what helps them manage their everyday lives.

You might want to eat healthier, take a walk after work , or remember to do a particular chore. Whatever it is, maintaining a dependable routine can be tricky with a busy work schedule, but not impossible.

Read on to discover tips so can develop a routine away from work.

Discover What You Want Your Routine to Look Like

Why do you want to create this routine in the first place? Writing down your motivations can help you see why a routine would be good for you. 

For example, let’s say you want to create a stretching regimen. What would it look like, and how would it help you balance out the demands you currently have? Maybe you want to start slow, sit on a couch, or get out your old yoga mat and stretch out for five minutes.

Writing down your ideal schedule can help you brainstorm ideas for being consistent without overexerting yourself. During this part, you could discover free videos on YouTube on how to stretch or find a quiet time in your day away from any distracting noises.

Everyone is different, so make your routine customizable for you.

Find Ways to Remember Your Routine

So, let’s say you decided to take five minutes to do some light stretches after work—nothing too strenuous, but enough to relieve tension in your body.

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Now that you know what your routine will look like, think about how you want to remember it. You can put a reminder in your phone, either on your calendar or another app, to keep track of your goals.

A useful tip is to establish a trigger in your life to remind you of your routine. For example, if you need to remind yourself to wipe off your countertops before bed, a good trigger would be to leave a sticky note on the fridge.

To make a trigger convenient, consider automating it on your phone or device so that you’ll be reminded to start when you forget.

Do What Feels Easy But Achievable Long-Term

Starting a routine can feel tiring if we push ourselves to do it initially.

We all have busy lives, so when you start a routine, make it as easy as possible.

By simplifying the routine, you’re putting pressure on yourself to be perfect. As a result, it’ll be easier to forgive ourselves when we make mistakes, like forgetting to do our routine. After all, we’re human, and mistakes can happen when we least expect it.

Take some small steps first with what you know you can do. Over time, as the routine feels more natural to you, it will be easier to take more significant steps and do your routine more than once a week, maybe daily, if that’s your preference.

Find an Accountability Partner

If you still find starting a routine difficult, even with reminders or small steps, you may need to ask someone to be your accountability partner.

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It can sound intimidating, but asking someone to keep you accountable can be a stepping stone you didn’t know you needed. It’s even better if they want to do that same routine with you!

If you prefer a more laid-back, personal routine, you can find a partner through your workplace, family, and friends. Finding a partner who is supportive but honest about your situation is important for good communication.

Make it Fun and Exciting to Do

Routines that are done for a while can become tiresome. At first, they can feel rewarding and motivating, but then weeks later, you might think, “Wait, why am I doing this again?”

Think about doing something fun and exciting during your routine. If it’s a passive activity, like cleaning or taking a walk, listen to music or a podcast series you’re interested in. This can also serve as a trigger that’ll help you become motivated in the routine.

Chances are that we’re more likely to stick to a routine when relaxed enough. So, making a routine less demanding can ease our worries about whether we’re starting to become bored with it.

Practice Self-compassion

It’s okay to do a routine poorly the first time you try it out or not have the right “system.” Nurses are busy, and sometimes perfectionism can get in the way. Be gentle with yourself and know that the perfect routine doesn’t exist—it’s more about finding what’s helpful for you to make your life easier.

Karie Pinnix
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