How to adopt a wellness routine

Maintaining a balanced lifestyle for the long term may seem daunting. But it’s easier than you think! All you need is a bit of determination and patience. Not sure how to get started? We'll help!

woman stretching on a yoga mat

Adopting a routine is the most efficient way to ensure long-lasting results. Regardless of your end goal (learning a sport, becoming a top chef, developing the inner calm of a Buddhist monk, getting your skin to glow like Kim Kardashian’s, becoming a master yo-yo pro), introducing specific habits and sticking to them over time will help you make lasting progress. Read our full article for all the details. :)

What’s a routine?

Let’s start from the beginning: what exactly is a routine? A routine is a sequence of recurrent actions or thoughts that becomes automatic over time. Eventually, our brain integrates these repeated thoughts and actions, making them unconscious.

But why are routines generally perceived as negative? There’s a common misconception that routines are bad, but they have many cognitive benefits and can improve your daily life. Some people worry that falling into a routine means they are in a rut. However, routines allow our brains to rest and store up energy for all the unexpected events that disrupt our daily lives. So, if you’ve been led to believe that routines should be avoided at all costs, think again! The truth is, the routines we adopt leave space for all the surprises that come our way. ;)

woman walking outside
woman running outside

Why are routines important?

When everyday tasks become routine, they slip into our subconscious minds, allowing our brains to relax and focus on any changes or uncertainties that disrupt our usual habits.

Ultimately, routines allow us to do the following:
- Perform daily tasks more efficiently. Once you start following a routine, you’ll find it easier to adopt others. As more habits become automatic, you’ll soon get better at multi-tasking! Let’s take the example of a weightlifter. They repeat the same movement over and over until it becomes second nature. Then, they break this routine by increasing the amount of weight they’re lifting. These steps come together during competitions and help them to improve their abilities over time.
- Achieve your goals faster. Setting a goal is great, but reaching it can sometimes be a struggle. Where should you start? What’s the best method to follow? How should you track your progress? You can answer all three questions by adopting a routine. You’ll be able to see when you improve and you'll reach your goal more quickly.
- Boost your self-esteem. When we make progress, we gain confidence and feel good about ourselves. Routine allows us to notice all the small steps we take toward our goal. We feel proud of what we are able to accomplish every day. However, don’t feel guilty if you don’t complete a task in your routine. Remember to be kind to yourself! :)

As you can see, routines can help you develop a more positive mindset. An exercise routine therefore has twice the benefits - it improves both your physical and mental health.

Tips to stay motivated

Whether you want to start exercising, stay active, or train for a competition, adopting a routine is the best solution. The key is to stick to it so that it becomes a part of your lifestyle.

Here are a few tips to help you stay motivated:
- Set realistic goals. Daunted by your busy schedule? Integrate exercise gradually, making sure to schedule it in your planner. It’s important to set a routine that works for you. If your goals are too ambitious, you’ll get discouraged and give up. Unfortunately, this happens about 90% of the time, so remember to be patient and always do your best! Your self-esteem will thank you. :)
- Follow an exercise routine for at least 21 days. This is the minimum time required for the brain to learn a new habit. Of course, this number is purely theoretical. The exact amount of time will differ depending on the individual, their fitness background, health, age, environment and level of commitment.
- Choose a routine that suits you. If your goal is to have more energy and boost your self-confidence, choose a gentle routine that combines exercise and meditation. However, if your goal is to become a Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion, your routine will probably need to be more intense!
- Consider your well-being. Ask yourself if your new routine makes you feel good. If the answer is yes, keep going! But if you have to force yourself to get through the day’s session, consider making some changes.
- Set reminders to stay on track. If you need help following your routine, put reminders in your calendar. It may seem silly, but giving yourself specific timeslots for the activity will help you stick to your routine.

People running outside

get outside support

Having support during your routine is a great way to stay motivated. You’ll be less inclined to bail on a workout if there’s someone (or something) that is holding you accountable. Your source of support could be a friend, a coach or even a mobile app.

Routines are essential, as they allow us to make certain decisions and focus our energy on important tasks. Sticking to a routine can be challenging, which is why it’s important to find one that suits your personality, environment, and goals. To help you stay motivated, consider starting your new routine with a friend or following one that’s pre-made. Remember, exercise routines are good for the body and the mind!

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