How To Create New Habits and Routines

As we finish up the second week of the new year, have you started to create a new habit and routine?

I often refer to habits as ruts in a road (especially the bad ones). We carry on with the same activities simply because it is easy and comfortable. It’s often only after we realize that we need to make changes (lose weight, start an exercise program, start a class) that the rut or negative habit becomes obvious. Earlier in the month, I shared that my word of the year is Direction. My focus needs to be upon where I am going and what habits, routines and steps am I taking to reach my goal. To be honest, I have not taken on multiple changes as it is more important to become successful with one goal than minimally successful with several. Here is an update of what I have been working on since January 1.  As you read this, I am on my 9th day of waking up at 5:00 am to work out. Fortunately I am a morning person by nature and I’ve often woke up before my alarm. I want to note that I would prefer to stay in my nice comfy and warm bed but my new schedule is better off with a morning workout.  You may have heard that it takes 28 days to make a habit but research is showing it may be closer to 66 days before a new habit is completely formed. We will see how this continues to work out for me. I’ve changed my work schedule and have decided to not be an adjunct professor this semester. As a result of this decision, I’ve added more spaces for clients. This is a major change in my routine and it’s been odd having time that was once dedicated to classes and grading. Additionally, cold and snowy weather often makes clients cancel so I am struggling with time I had planned to be filled. I’m creating lists of new handouts to make and working on trainings with my down time but sometimes I just want to spend time reading blogs, recipes and anything else that is sometimes not productive.. We continue to love our Hello Fresh meals and are making better choices when we eat out. Meal planning continues to not be one of my strongest skills so it is an asset to have food delivered to our house.Hello Fresh Meals If you look through my Instagram feed, I’ve suddenly become a foodie. In many ways, it does help hold me accountable. I’m not going to apologize for the fact that I love a good cappuccino  or coffee. I do believe that somewhere it is stated coffee is good for you! Food Collage What I am rediscovering about creating a new habit and routine is that when you make one change in one area, all other areas are also impacted. An early morning workout means an early bedtime. Cooking at home means scheduling in time to prep the food.

Here are my suggestions if you are still considering implementing a new habit and routine,

  • Acknowledge what you are wanting to change. State it to others or write it down.
  • Put it on your calendar. Schedule the early morning workout or time to grocery shop.
  • Tell someone what you are doing. This is different than the first step. This is where you state what steps you are going to do such as going to an early morning exercise class.
  • Take the first step and do it! I set my first alarm for 4:50 am and got up, although drowsy and completed my first workout.
  • Keep doing the first step over and over. 
  • Realize that slipping up is going to happen. It does not mean you can not return to the first step again.
  • Begin to realize that the new habit has become to feel like part of your daily life. 
January is always a part of new beginnings, clean slates and new opportunities. By no means have I been perfect but I feel like my new habits will eventually become routine.

How do you create a new habit and routine? 

Sheryl Signature (1)

Joining Anne and Christine for Love The Everyday and Lola and Lane for the Life366 Linkup



  1. Emily @ Ember Grey. on January 14, 2016 at 9:51 am

    I love all of the meals you’ve shared on your IG! It inspires me to actually cook… like, real meals. 😉 I am still working on getting up early… I’m relieved to hear that it takes about a month for it to kick in because I’m not quite there yet. (Sure hope it’s the 28 and not the 66 though.)

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on January 14, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Thanks Emily! I think by 28 days we are really beginning to feel we are in a groove but perhaps it takes longer for it to truly become a permanent routine. At least we are both hoping!!

  2. Lisa Northey on January 14, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    This post is so timely because I recently read Gretchen Rubin’s book called Better Than Before. I learned SO much about habits in that book. Firstly, I didn’t realize I had habits that I wanted to change but now I do. Something that is really helping me — as a self-employed worker — is to use the strategies of scheduling and monitoring because I definitely want to have a different year than I did last year (year 1 as an entrepreneur). For example, something that I’m struggling with is looking back and better understanding what I accomplished in the past year. You can’t measure what you don’t monitor. So each week I’m establishing goals to focus on and checking back on whether I achieved them. I used to do this in my corporate job, but didn’t bring that habit along for the ride as a biz owner. Thank you for this great post!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on January 14, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      Thank You so much Lisa! Just like you, I’ve struggled with my own business as I am the only one I am accountable to. It’s been frustrating but I agree with the scheduling and monitoring helping. I’ve recently started a series on Tuesdays following Gretchen’s Try This at Home tips and I would love to have you follow along and join the discussion. Thank you so much for stopping by!

      • Lisa Northey on January 14, 2016 at 7:28 pm

        Sure! How do I do that?

  3. Karen G on January 14, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    I like, Keep doing the first step over and over. That is so true. It can be so hard to take that first step at anytime. But just do it. Congrats on getting up for 9 days to work out. Oh and by the way if you are struggling with the first step, then break that step down even further.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on January 19, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      It’s true that sometimes we do need to break that first step down even further. Without specifics it is easy to become lost.

  4. Amanda @ Anchored to Sunshine on January 14, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Love this! It’s true, you have to keep reminding yourself of point 1 when you feel lost or feel yourself start to slop!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on January 19, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      We have to forgive ourselves when we slip on our habits – it’s going to happen. It doesn’t mean we have failed. We’ve just stumbled.

  5. ReelCarina on January 14, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    I’m not the most disciplined person in the world, but so far, I’m doing pretty well with the new habits I want to build in 2016. There are three things I want to add to my daily routine: writing, stretching and reading. And up until now, I really managed to do these things daily! What helped me with that was to always do these things at the same time (writing early in the morning, stretching when I get home, etc.). Good luck with yours!
    xx Carina

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on January 19, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      I’m so glad you are being successful Carina. I agree with you that developing a schedule does seem to help with establishing those new habits. Good Luck as you move forward in 2016.

  6. Kara Schwieterman on January 14, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    My new habit was attempting to be a morning person! It’s hard, but its worth it!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on January 19, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      It’s not easy getting up early when it’s not how you are wired! I’m glad you are seeing the benefits.

  7. modernchicmag on January 15, 2016 at 1:39 am

    Really great information. Wishing you the best in your new habits and routines.

  8. Ann on January 15, 2016 at 1:41 am

    I loved this because I am trying the re-write some of my habits this year 🙂

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on January 19, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      I’m so glad you stopped by Ann. It is so possible to rewrite those habits and create new ones – it just takes time. Good Luck!!

  9. Rachel @ STCL on January 15, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Good for you sticking to your new goal so far! I’m not much of a morning person, but I’m thinking I might want to start getting up a little earlier to get things done (maybe including exercise).

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on January 19, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      I know it’s a struggle to get up early when you are not wired for it (my poor husband is a night owl and it is something he struggles with everyday). However, I do think most people get more done when they get up earlier.

  10. Christine Everyday on January 15, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    I love that you are creating new routines for yourself. It can be hard, but so rewarding! Thanks for linking up to Love the Everyday.

  11. Jess on January 15, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    “We carry on with the same activities simply because it is easy and comfortable.” This is totally me! I actually just wrote a post about my beloved (and quite unhealthy) routine AND my EMDR therapist used the word “rut” to describe it!! I totally needed to read this post. Thank you!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on January 19, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      I’m so glad it was helpful Jess! Sometimes we don’t even know we are in a rut until it’s pointed out to us. Sadly, that is what life can do to us sometimes.

  12. Raising The Capable Student on January 16, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    I wish you success with your new routines…especially rising at 5AM,

  13. Anne @ Love the Here and Now on January 17, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    I love the idea of sharing your new habits with someone. I am one that needs accountability or else it is far too easy for me to slack off. I have bene loving your Insta feed lately and somewhat drooling over your food pics. Everything looks so good and healthy as well!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on January 19, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      Thanks Anne. I’m not sure when I decided to start taking photos of all my food but it does make me happy to look at. I suppose it is holding me accountable.

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