January is a good time to look at the routines that populate your life (or the lack of them) and think about what works for you, and what’s due for a change. With the energy of a new year, fortified by a rest over the Christmas period, the time is ripe to shake up your routine and try to break harmful habits while you cultivate new ones that make you happier and healthier.
Today we’re going to take a look at some ways you might like to shake up your routine for 2021, to live a more fulfilling life.
Whether as an outlet for stress, a way of broadening your social circle, or simply for the satisfaction of learning a new skill, developing a new hobby can be a great way to shake up your routine. The right hobby can also help to support other resolutions – getting into a low cost exercise like running can help you get healthier, or support a desire to save money. Developing your cooking can go hand in hand with cutting down on your takeaway bill, or losing weight. Any hobby can be a distraction that helps you break a bad habit you want rid of!
Maintaining a new hobby can be a challenge – once the initial eagerness of novelty has worn off and before it becomes second nature, it’s a struggle. To make it easier on yourself, try to remove the barriers and friction that slow you down and give you an excuse to stop. If you want to learn to sew or embroider, arts and crafts subscription boxes provide everything you need for a fresh project right to your when you need them, so you can’t run out of materials or inspiration while you grow your skills.
Breaking Bad Habits
There are plenty of bad habits people try to break with varying degrees of success, from biting their nails to smoking to problematic spending. It’s no easy task, so the first thing you can do is practice a little kindness to yourself, understand you’re attempting something difficult and if you fail, try again rather than giving up.
When you’re trying to break a specific bad habit it’s important to identify what triggers the behaviour you’re working on – is it anxiety? Particular people? Other routines that cue off the one you want to put a stop to? When you know what most commonly triggers your compulsion to enact a bad habit, you can try to avoid those triggers.
It can also help to introduce another habit to break the cycle – when you’re triggered to reach for a cigarette, having a packet of mints in your pocket instead gives you something to do instead, to interrupt the compulsion to smoke and distract yourself!
With support from friends, and understanding that the way forward will be difficult and not straightforward, you can break bad habits and emerge in the new year happier and healthier!