According to Dr Joann Lukins, Director of Peak Performance Psychology and Associate Professor at James Cook University “40% of our daily behaviours are routine. We are typically creatures of habit.” It seems any behaviour we repeat can turn into a habit, including good habits!
What a daily routine does is add structure to your life. It doesn’t take away your freedom or excitement; it simply allows you to do all the things you say you want to achieve. It’s about incorporating self-discipline into your life to become the person and athlete you want to be.
Now when I'm coaching athletes I suggest 3 Benefits to working and starting a daily routine, here is the structure I use.
A structured day means you know what you have to get done. You can have a flexible structure if that works best for you, but it’s important to get up at the same time every day to get your body into a rhythm. After a while, this rhythm becomes a habit and getting up becomes less of a struggle. Structure can also help prioritise important tasks as well as allow time for much needed breaks.
The only reason you got up every morning to go to school was because your parents said you had to, because that’s what all kids do. When you become an adult, no one’s telling you what to do and when to do it. Many of us struggle with procrastination and doing everything we need to in a day. Self-discipline is a key component of a daily routine, it means doing things even when you don’t want to. Perhaps you don’t feel like doing a load of laundry, or getting up at 5am for a gym session. Successful people don’t rely on what they want to do, but rather what they have to do. Self-discipline is about a long term commitment to your goals, not instant gratification.
When something becomes a habit, it becomes almost like second nature. It’s not something you have to think about, it simply falls into the routine of how you do things. We all have habits we want to kick, and that’s no easy task. “The challenge”, says Dr Lukins, “is for us to regularly reflect on what our habits are and whether they are going to get us what we want.” Forming a good habit can be just as challenging, and it will definitely take a while to develop. Research suggests it can take anywhere from 2-8 months depending on how tough the habit is to incorporate into your life.
The next time we get together, we will discuss the How To of supporting and working your habits to your advantage.
Until next time.