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Routines and Habits

I talked yesterday about taking our goals and breaking them down into action steps and tasks. Today I want to take that a bit further even. There will be things on those lists of tasks that are repetitive. Things that need done daily even (depending on your goals of course).

For instance with fitness and weight loss: there are many things that we will need to do daily to reach our goals. These things we need to add to our daily routines and eventually build them into habits. Only then can we truly make this a lifestyle change!

Some of these things for me are: 

  • Water. I have three 1 liter water bottles. Every night before I go to bed I fill them and put them in the refrigerator. I simply added this to my nightly routine. It makes water a no-brainer for me. This helps me so much. Why? Who knows, but it works for me, so I'm making it a habit.
  • Exercise. I really believe exercise can become a habit, something we just do. For me, I set my alarm for 4 or 4:30 (yes, I know that's crazy early, but I go to bed early too), I get up and I exercise. I want to get in this habit. Even on off days I still get up, because I want to keep the habit (plus I enjoy the early morning quiet time). I find the mornings I don't get up and I sleep in instead: exercise is much less likely to happen. I also schedule my exercise about a month or so out, so it's again a no-brainer, I look at the schedule and do the workout listed. Now, this works for me, of course find what works for you, but I think scheduling exercise into your day is so important! It's so easy to just let it get lost in the shuffle otherwise.
  • Tracking. Some people track, some people don't. Right now I do. I think I need it, so I do it. Daily. Every meal. Every workout. I track it. If you're a tracker, pick how you want to track and make it a habit. 
Habits are built through simple repetition. We need to choose the habits we want to build and then make it a point to do these things over and over and over and get the point. Make a to do list, leave yourself sticky notes, or set alarms on your Blackberry (what I can't be the only one still using a blackberry?) If we mess up, we simply start over. Beating ourselves up does nothing to get us closer to our goals. Nope, just forgive yourself and focus on the next opportunity to practice your habits!

Now, I find I thrive on routines, when I stray away from them I fall apart. That's just me. But I think that everyone can benefit from building healthy choices into habits in our lives. 

I'll be hosting the Sears Fitness #SFCFit chat on Twitter tonight (Jan. 12) discussing turning our New Years goals into habits. Please join us! It's a really fun fitness chat. I'm @katdoesdiets on twitter and an easy way to follow the chat is to go to: The chat starts at 6:30 my time (mountain), 7:30 CST. 

What are some things that you need to do daily in working towards your goals?