Why Are Routines So Hard To Break?

How times have you made a commitment and then not been able to follow through? This could be in your personal life, with a decision to join a gym, or in your professional life, to enroll in a new class and learn a new skill. When you were signing up, you were excited, ready to take on a new task. You paid the deposit, signed the paperwork and maybe event went to a few classes! But somewhere along the way, you lost your motivation and stopped following through on this commitment.

Understanding why you cannot uphold a commitment requires one to understand change. A new commitment is a new change in your life and change interferes with one’s set routine. In this article, we will discuss why falling into a routine is so easy and convenient for so many people.

If you work a 9-to-5 job, you may have a set daily routine. You wake up every morning at 7:00. You get ready by 7:30 and finish breakfast by 8. You get in your car and have a 45-minute commute to work, where you arrive by 9:00 to start your workday. You ideally leave work at 5:00 and make it home by 6:00 if there is no traffic. You make yourself dinner and at 7:00, sit down to watch television and eat. By the time you’re done, it’s already 8:00 and you start to get ready for the next day. It’s easy to follow and there is no need for you to think about what to do next.

Everyone has some sort of routine, whether it is a daily, weekly, or a monthly one. It is a streamlined process and allows for efficiency in your day-to-day tasks. Your mind works subconsciously to get you through the day and you do not have to actively think about what to do to next.

However, because you have become so accustomed to it, it makes new commitments hard to follow through on. A commitment means breaking your routine and finding time to schedule in the new activity.

In order to determine how to incorporate a new activity into your current routine, actively keep track of you are doing. This will show you where and when you have time. While it might be difficult to start, if you carve out the same time every day or every week, it will become a habit.