Why Routines Are Important? - A Psychologists Take
Every man needs routines in his repertoire, especially if his goal is self development. We took the time to interview Australian psychologist Natasha Briffer, from life worth living psychology, to ask her expert opinion on why grooming routines are so important for men.
Here were our questions and her answers below:
What are the benefits of a grooming?
One of the biggest things is, in order to feel good about ourselves, it does help If we look after ourselves right? It may be something as simple as washing your hair or trimming your beard. That will enable you to feel more better about yourself. It will also put more money in the self respect bank, because when we look after ourselves we have more self respect.
What does it mean to have a routine?
Routines are typically structured and planned, we have a sense of what it is that we do in our routine, and we have a plan about when we do those things or what we’re doing at certain parts of the day.
They also have a sense of familiarity about them. Sometimes if we don’t have routine we can get caught up in kind of worrying about things, “oh what am I going to do”, “when am I going to do this”, “when can I find time to do that” etc. So having routines takes out some of that stress, some of that thought that can get in the way. Sometimes when were prone to things like getting a bit anxious or getting a bit nervous, if we don’t have structure and routine we can end up procrastinating.
When you have routine and when you have structure, it also makes you feel purposeful when you wake up in the morning. You have a plan, you have a structure, you know what you need to do that day. I think It does have a positive impact to life if you can establish a routine.
Best way to start a routine?
I think having a bit of a plan, you need to have a clear idea of what is it you want to establish a routine about, because if you can be really specific its better.
…and well for example exercise, you might want to establish a routine around exercise, if you haven’t done any exercise in a while your not going to think that you can run a marathon on your first go right?
So it might be you want to run 5km in 12 months time, so you make a bit of a plan of what you want to do, and then you chunk it down. It might be starting off with a walk for 15 minutes for a couple of weeks, and then maybe you start to walk for 30 minutes etc…you really want to chunk things down.
That’s really important because you want to get the feedback after you do this that “yes I can achieve this, I can really do this”, because if you set really high goals then what you start to say to yourself is “I cant do this” “I’m so shit” etc.
It’s good to remind yourself that creating habit, creating routine takes time. There used to be a rule of thumb that to create a routine takes around 21 days. Now in the literature, there’s been some research and some studies that say it can take up to 66 days. So its trying to stick with it and knowing that it takes time for this stuff to feel natural and feel like its something that you can easily do.
Benefits of a routine?
We know in the literature that one of the best ways to combat depression, is something called behavioural activation, at the core of behavioural activation is activity scheduling. Actually getting a diary and writing down a check list. Now why is that important? Well when we do that , and were able to tick things off, even things as simple as, “ I got up, I was able to brush my teeth” etc. That starts to give us a sense of achievement.
Also when we start to work towards things, and we schedule times for things, the more we do them, the more we start to feel mastery, and when we feel mastery in something, we feel confident and that has a good impact on our mood.
So when you ask someone who does go through lulls in there mood, and they can’t be bothered doing things that day, actually doing the opposite of what you feel like doing, improves your mood, and that’s well researched in the literature.
What are some common barriers of a routine?
One of the biggest ones Is motivation, motivation its really sneaky, because if you wait for it, it wont ever come. The best way to hack motivation is to get doing, and do it in a small structured way, make it achievable.
Time, “I don’t have enough time” is what I always hear people say. Sometimes this just comes down to priorities. Maybe its about getting up or going to bed 15 minutes earlie, or maybe it’s about thinking “is this 30 minutes of endless scrolling really benefiting me?” and swapping out time things
Setting unrealistic expectations is another barrier. Setting the bar so high that the feedback you give to yourself is “I suck”, “I cant commit to this” so I’m not going to do it. Initially you need to set the expectations lower so you get the feed back of, “yes, tick, ive done that today”
Self limiting beliefs, so beliefs that we hold about ourselves that creep in like little gremilins and tell us bad things about ourselves when we try to do things. So for a self care routine, it might be well “I don’t deserve it” or I should be doing this or that etc. So really having a good awareness if there are self limiting beliefs popping up and shutting them down.
Best way to maintain a routine?
I sort of started to mention this before, but when were talking about goals, its really important to make sure that goals are smart.
- So there specific “e.g I want to run 5km in 12 months.
- There measurable “e.g how can I see that im working towards the goals”.
- they need to be achievable “can I actually achieve this”,
- they need to be realistic “am I really willing to work towards this goal”
- and also they need to be time limited…so that’s why I said the 12 months, so you have something to work towards.
Another thing is, writing down your goals. We’re much more accountable if we write stuff down, and were even more accountable if we share those goals with other people. So having an accountability buddy to, is really helpful right. Were more likely to do the things we say, if we’ve told somebody and they’re keeping us accountable.
Lastly just try and keep the longer term goal in mind.
What is your number one tip when it comes to having a routine?
I think it comes back to what I said before, if you don’t plan, then you’ll probably fail, so having a good plan and having a good sense of what your goal is.
“You’re your biggest investment, you will see your greatest return, on yourself”