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In a Rut? Change Your Routine and Change Your Life

In a Rut? Change Your Routine and Change Your Life
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It happens to the best of us. We put our heads down, push through each day, let ourselves settle into a certain kind of rut, and before we know it we’re restless and weary and can’t figure out how we got there. It’s important to keep in mind that being uncomfortable with the status quo is okay and is often a good thing.

If you’re feeling this way, making some key routine changes could offer the variety you didn’t even know you were looking for in your life.

Remove Negative Words From Your Vocabulary

    As cheesy as it may seem, make a conscious effort to remove negativity from your life. Start with your own vocabulary by not allowing yourself to say words and phrases such as “I wish I could…”, “can’t,” “won’t,” “never,” and “shouldn’t.” Instead, find ways to make yourself say what you’re looking to say with different words. For instance, instead of saying, “I wish I got paid more,” say, “I’m going to work hard to earn a raise.” And then work hard to earn a raise.

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    This type of positive thinking can train your subconscious to change the way you view things.

    Focus on One Goal Each Month

      It has been said for a long time that it takes 21 days to form a habit. That exact time frame has been debunked, but it’s still a good amount of time to devote to developing a new habit and become accustomed to embracing it as a part of your everyday life. There are no rules saying you can’t work on more than one goal at a time. The idea is to not commit to more than what is realistic for you.

      Feel free to change it up and add in more positive changes as you see fit. Just don’t overdo it – that would undermine the mental wellness and well-being that we’re trying to achieve.

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      Get up Earlier

        In addition to getting a slower, more peaceful start for the day, waking up early has notable health benefits. First, you’ll be more likely to eat a balanced breakfast, which jump starts your metabolism and promotes a healthy weight. It also helps you focus throughout the day. But more importantly, waking up early promotes a healthy mental well-being and a positive outlook.

        Give it a try for a month and see how you feel.

        Set Fitness Goals

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          Everyone knows that exercise is good for your health. Most of us have attempted to improve our exercise habits. Some are admittedly more successful than others. So take this opportunity to actually do it. Incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine and see what it does to your body, your attitude, and your general outlook on life.

          In no time you’ll be reducing your stress level, boosting your metabolism, and increasing brain function among a host of other positive health perks. It may be helpful to find a place to live that’s conducive to these new goals you’ve set for yourself. Look for something with areas to ride a bike or jog nearby, or an apartment complex that includes an onsite gym or a gym membership. You’re bound to find the right fit once you start looking for apartments for rent by metro areas.

          Change Responsibilities at Work

            Our careers are such an important aspect of our lives that if you’re in a rut, making some changes at work could really make a difference. Perhaps you’re bored because you’re not stimulated enough through your work. Look for new opportunities to change things up. Maybe a position in a different department is opening up, or you’re up for a promotion.

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            On the other hand, maybe it’s time to make some major changes. Keep your ear to the ground for any changes you can make to switch it up a bit and stay fresh.

            Drink More Water

              We don’t have to tell you that drinking water is good for you – it just is. It promotes cell growth and mental alertness, detoxifies your body, aides in digestion, and just plain tastes good. Make a pact to drink water to promote a healthy state of being and to help make the rest of your goals more achievable.

              The rut you’re feeling is real, and there are very simple things you can do to pull yourself out of it. Give some of these ideas a try, and let us know in the comments how it’s changed things for you.

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              Last Updated on July 21, 2021

              The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

              The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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              No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

              Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

              Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

              A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

              Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

              In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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              From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

              A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

              For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

              This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

              The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

              That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

              Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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              The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

              Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

              But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

              The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

              The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

              A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

              For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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              But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

              If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

              For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

              These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

              For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

              How to Make a Reminder Works for You

              Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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              Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

              Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

              My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

              Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

              I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

              More on Building Habits

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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              Reference

              [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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