Recently I read “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, which if you haven’t heard about before, is a book of short examples of how to build and keep a new habit or ritual.
One of the difficult part of the book for me was the author tires to make things really simple, so that you cannot fill. For example, a lot of the suggestions come across as “just do this simple thing and BOOM you have built a new habit and changed your life.”
In theory this sounds wonderful. But as with most things in life, things aren’t as clear cut as they may seem. One of the things that makes building routines or habits difficult is that there is no silver bullet. There is not a way for everyone to build these processes and habits the same way. If there was, then we wouldn’t have books like Atomic Habits and an entire self self help section of your favorite book store. (wait what’s a bookstore?)
So what’s the secret to building a routine or habit? For me, it is the reward afterwards.
For example, working out is tough. I’ve tried doing the same time each day (fails, I love the snooze button). I’ve also tried laying out clothes the next morning which fails because I’m blind without glasses or contacts.
The simple reward for me is that I always drink BCAAs while I work out, and while the science isn’t clear if they work or not, I like the small reward of getting to drink some fun flavored drink that is potentially helpful for me. So that simple motivator helps me get going to do something.
So find the reward, and focus on that. The more that we can focus on the things that we enjoy and benefit from, the easier that process can be.