minutes read

Easier active through routines


Many of us often find it difficult to do what we set out to do. Everyone knows the good resolutions for the new year, which are often already a thing of the past after a few weeks. This is no wonder, because our brain follows its reward system with anchored routines as if on autopilot. Find out now how you can integrate positive habits into your life permanently by using the three components of a routine.

The flow of a classic routine with a small example

We start our day after a hard day (trigger), connect this moment regularly with a movie or series evening on the couch (action) and thereby achieve a relaxed feeling (reward). By repeating this process, our brain learns to get this reward over and over again and voila – we have developed a routine. This can be a nice moment for many, but it is not conducive if, for example, we have resolved to exercise in the evening after work, to read instead of watching TV, to meditate, or to pursue a creative activity. That’s why it’s important to break this routine. Here’s how: 

The trigger

The trigger is an external circumstance that gets our routine engine rolling. If we want to change our behavior, it is important to recognize and adjust our triggers. Take a closer look at where your triggers are and how you can avoid them. This way we can trick our brain directly in the first step. 

If we want to be physically active, this can be in relation to the example above, that we go from the office directly to the sport, put our sports clothes in front of the TV or unplug our TV. In this way we manage to interrupt the automated action. 

The action

In the second step, it is important to design the activity in such a way that it is as easy as possible for you. If you want to run regularly but haven’t trained much yet, you should start small. Even if it doesn’t meet your expectations, you will find it much easier to combine the sport with a pleasant body feeling (reward). And be sure, if you develop a routine and go running several times a week, you will get much further after a short time than would ever be possible with false ambition at the beginning. 

The reward

The good thing about well-dosed sport is that the reward comes all by itself via the body’s own messenger substances. Of course, you can further support this with suitable external rewards, such as a conscious hot (or cold 😉 ) shower, a special meal or a relaxing sauna session in the gym. 

The important thing for you to implement is to repeat this mechanism regularly for a while (at least 4 weeks) to make the pattern a habit. Be patient with yourself and try to be mindful of how triggers – actions and rewards work for you. 

We wish you much success and many positive routines! 

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