5 Steps For Establishing A Daily Routine In A Changing World

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5 Steps For Establishing A Daily Routine In A Changing World

People are funny about wanting routine in their life. Daily routines keep you moving without having to think. For some, there's a small amount of life that's routine, but for others, most of their day or week is the same because routine feels like a security blanket.

You live in a world where constant change is happening with no end in sight, and this can feel unsettling for those who cherish routine. But there are still ways to establish a "normal" even while things feel crazy. 

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I call this going into "autopilot mode."

Autopilot is an amazing thing to keep you from having to interpret everything you do and think about every decision you make.

It's common to love automation when it comes to getting dressed, driving, walking, going to the bathroom, making or eating food, breathing, swallowing, etc.

In fact, I am extremely thankful for the automatic functions in my body. Can you imagine having to think about every breath you take, how to walk, or to tell your heart to beat?

These functions are happening without thought. Not only is it necessary, but it would be so time-consuming if you had to tell your body to do everything.

In fact, you need autopilot mode to survive because your organs are a necessary part of staying alive. Let's not forget about the thousands of thoughts you have every day, which also go into autopilot mode.

Make sure your "autopilot" mode is aligned with positivity.

Research suggests that as much as 70 percent of your passive thoughts are negative.

Yikes! Most of these thoughts are never spoken but still influence your mood and emotions.

If most of your thoughts are automatically happening rather than consciously choosing them, then you want to make sure those thoughts line up with who you want to be and what you want to do. And if you are not getting the results you want in life, then it's time to look at your "autopilot mode" and alighn it with who you want to be.

Autopilot is when you set up your routines to be the same so you don't have to think about what you're doing. This mode keeps you doing the same daily routines so you can function efficiently.

Be careful: Your autopilot can become an unhealthy "security blanket."

But when life becomes predictable by staying in autopilot mode, it becomes a "security blanket." When your life is the same all the time, you get stuck in a rut.

For some, this is deliberate because it brings comfort. But what happens when this routine includes unhealthy habits?

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You see this when you want to make changes but keep doing the same destructive habit. When life just happens to you, you feel like you lose control, and don’t understand why you keep doing the same bad things.

You have a choice in how your autopilot operates.

When it feels like your destructive habits just happen to you, it's a lie you tell yourself. You have to make conscious choices that line up with who you want to be and do, or it will keep running those same negative thoughts and patterns.

This can put you in a vulnerable state and may feel uncomfortable most of the time! Who wants to be vulnerable all the time? Many people choose to use their autopilot as a security blanket, even if it doesn't serve them well.

Your comfort zone ends up being a prison keeping you stuck.

By changing your behavior, you can start working toward your goals instead of always missing them.

You want control over your life; that's only human. It's not easy to get uncomfortable and vulnerable by changing your habits, but it gives you your power back.

Getting consciously aware gives you choices rather than life just "happening" to you.

When you create awareness for yourself, it's really easy to stop the cycle of destructive habits.

Not all routines are bad. If you know the routines you set up lead you to doing healthy habits, great — keep those.

When you decide to tune out and routines driving you into destructive habits, though, that's when you have to tune back in! You must decide to create habits and thoughts that create better outcomes if you want to change things.

So, here are 5 steps for establishing a healthy routine in a changing world.

1. Reflect on your routines.

Are your routines in alignment with who you want to be and what you want to do? If not, then create new meaningful routines.

Journaling is a great way to do this. Journaling gives you an opportunity to understand what you're doing or saying because it's easy to see.

2. Be present in the moment.

Take time every day to just be. This can be called many things, like meditation or prayer.

Giving yourself the time to cancel out all the demands and stress of the world opens the door for you to be grateful. Gratitude is a link to your happiness. So, the real question is how grateful are you every day?

3. Put yourself into the "uncomfortable zone."

Routine has a purpose, but so does discomfort. When you're uncomfortable, you're crystal clear on what's happening around you and how you feel. A lot of times, you don't like the way it feels, so you label "uncomfortable" as bad, and avoid it.

But allowing yourself some discomfort gets you out of autopilot mode. This opportunity gives you a chance to decide what you really want. Really look at what is happening and make a choice to respond in a way that lines up with what you want or who you want to be.

Giving yourself many uncomfortable zones on a regular basis helps you create awareness in your life! And awareness is the first step to making lasting healthy changes.

4. Find the "gift" in everything.

Yes, including events that are very painful. Learning how to enjoy "curve balls" life sends you is a beautiful way to teach yourself to be flexible.

Plus, when you interpret and describe what's happening around you so it supports you, you get the added bonus of feeling less stress.

5. Allow yourself to "reset."

We all need a "reset" button. Life is busy. But you can only do "busy" for so long before you get worn out.

But you can reset anytime you like. I call it the "power of the pause." By pausing, you get to decide if you want to continue in the "busy" world, or reset and take a break.

There are a lot of things going on in the world right now that are throwing your daily routine to the wind and making you feel uncomfortable.

Use this time as an opportunity to pay attention to the negative thought patterns and bad habits you have and change them! You'll be able to get through tough times stronger, healthier, and more on track with your goals than ever before.

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Teresa Brenke is a life coach, speaker, and behavior modification expert who focuses on health and youllness. To find out how she can help you, visit her youbsite here.

This article was originally published at CLD Coaching. Reprinted with permission from the author.