Sticking with your new routines

Changing your habits takes time so stick with them

Written by Teresa Clifford


We all have those moments in our life where we suddenly get the inspiration to change our life for the better, so we set about trying something new that will improve our lives.

A few days in to meditation, or waking up earlier or journaling, it feels like it isn’t working, like it’s just not for us. So we stop.

But that’s not how this works. Making changes in life is all about being consistent with them and keeping up with them until they stick. I’ve been told this a thousand times and a thousand and one times I’ve forgotten it. When I’m trying something new that I’m excited about, I want to feel the benefits from it straight away and when I don’t I manage to convince myself that this thing just isn’t for me.

Something I’ve learnt quite recently is that minds don’t like change. They like routine and structure so when you try and add something new into your life and change that routine and structure there is going to be some mental resistance. No change will show results instantly and your mind will use this fact to make you feel like this new thing isn’t working and that you should go back to the way things were.

Of course it’s hard to fight against your own brain and it is much easier to just keep with your normal routine, but if this change is really something you want to try then it’s worth properly trying. You’ll have to do a lot of arguing with your brain, reminding yourself that change takes time and that this change will be for the better. It will take effort to keep up with this new thing but once you start reaping the results, you’ll be glad you put the effort in.

I can’t count the amount of times in the past when I’ve thought “I should start meditating; it seems like something that would be good for me”. And so I find one of the millions of guided meditation videos on YouTube and I sit on my bed, close my eyes and try to clear my mind. Except I don’t clear my mind; I try and focus on what I’m meant to be doing and then suddenly I’m thinking about how cute red pandas are and the video is over. I feel discouraged that I wasn’t able to meditate right off the bat so I start thinking that it’s not my thing and I don’t try again until suddenly one day I think “I should start meditating, it seems like something that would be good for me”.

One day, I wasn’t having the best time in life and I wanted to try something new, something that I felt would help me feel better and someone suggested I start meditating. I thought “I may as well” and found another meditation video. On the first day, I’m pretty sure I only paid attention to half the video but I made the decision right then that I would keep with this time. So every day after that I meditated and for a while I was really distracted and I didn’t feel it was working at all but I out those feelings aside and now I meditate every day and I’m honestly not sure if it’s made a huge difference but just knowing that I stuck with something I had given up on so many times before makes me more confident about making changes in the future.

And at the end of the day, if you’ve tried to make your changes and they’re really not working and this actually isn’t your thing, don’t feel ashamed to leave it or to try something new. There is never anything wrong about doing what’s best for you.

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