In this lesson, we will talk about routines and building habits.
One way to bring regularity to your days, even when things are uncertain, is creating a routine. Some people like routines and others don't. If you feel you could have more certainty in your life, a routine can help. A daily routine can include a few habits and tasks, ideally with at least some activities that inspire you and contribute to your aspirations.
With a daily routine, you can every day work just a little bit towards your long-term goals. Over time, that adds up. This can be practicing a hobby, learning a skill, or exercising. Sometimes we think that the little things we do every day are not enough to make a difference, but they definitely do.
Exercising 20 minutes every day is much better than planning to exercise for one hour and never actually doing it.
Creating a routine that both inspires you and contributes to your long-term goals is a simple way to feel in control of your days.
Focus on the Activity Rather Than the Result
When we think of what we want to achieve, we tend to focus on the end result. It is very important to have goals and a sense of purpose. But to achieve those objectives, the key is to move from the goal to the practice that will take you there.
For example, if you want to write a novel, it's not the focus on the completed novel itself which makes you succeed. And thinking about writing a whole book may be overwhelming.
Instead, focus on the practice of writing. Writing 500 words per day is not that difficult. If you write 500 words every day, in a few months you can have a first draft for your novel. And by focusing simply on the practice of writing regularly, you switch the focus from the end result. You only need to complete that task to make you one step closer to your objectives.
Creating a simple routine that includes one or a few activities which are not too onerous, but contribute to a larger long-term goal, has many benefits.
Firstly, it makes it manageable to work towards something that may have seemed too big to try.
Secondly, it allows you to make consistent progress towards your goals, giving you a sense of purpose.
It also takes the pressure of the end result, as all you need to do daily is to practice, regardless of the outcome.
Finally, a routine gives you a little bit of control over your goals.
In times of uncertainty, focusing on the meaningful activities which you can complete can give you a sense of purpose and contribute to creating a life that is aligned with your values.
So try this out: pick one activity that you want to introduce to your routine, and do it every day for one week. Notice the benefits. And slowly, you can add other activities too.
In the next lesson, we will discuss how it is possible to be happy during uncertainty.