• TOVI's Science Communicator, Ashley Miller-Dykeman, M.A.

5 Reasons Your Routine Isn't Sticking


An image of a woman checking off an activity in her routine.
Photo: PeopleImages/iStock


Struggling to get into a routine? That’s okay!


In this article, we’ll show you five reasons your routine might not be sticking and quick advice for working around them.



1. You’re going above and beyond.


It’s okay to have big goals for your routine. However, when you’re first starting, trying to do too much at once can actually cause more problems.


Instead, focus on adding habits or activities to your routine that are achievable and realistic for you.


2. You’re not prepared.


Ever committed to eating healthier, only to find you don’t have anything healthy in the fridge when the munchies hit? Sticking to that commitment just got way harder, didn’t it?


We’ve all been there. Saying you want to do something is easy, but following through is often where the real challenges start. A little prep ahead of time, however, can make a routine easier to follow.


In addition to preparing, think about what might prevent you from being successful and try to create a plan for dealing with it. Finding time, being low on motivation, and not having a support system in place are three common barriers people face.


3. You don’t believe in yourself.


Sometimes you can be your own worst enemy, and the fear of failure is REAL. This is especially true if you’ve tried to make a change in the past and failed.


If this is the case, remember that we all struggle and have setbacks. It’s a part of being human!


The important thing is that you’re trying to make a change. Tell yourself you can do it and celebrate every success you have. No win is too small!


4. You’re not keeping tabs on your progress.


It can be hard to create a routine when you have no idea of how consistent you’ve been or how far you’ve come!


Keeping a record of when you do your activity will help you see your progress, which can be a major confidence boost. Research also shows that people are more likely to stick with something like a new routine when they are tracking their progress.


5. You’re too hard on yourself.


When you get thrown off your routine, being too hard on yourself can make things even worse.


The reality is that sometimes stuff happens that might throw you off your game. That’s normal! Don’t be too tough on yourself when you encounter setbacks. You’re only human, after all. Then be sure to give yourself credit for the hard work you’ve already put in!


Establishing a routine for yourself can be challenging! The TOVI app will help you build your personal routine and stick to it. Download today – it's free!



Infographic explaining 5 ways to make your routine stick

Reviewed by: Lorena Ruci, Ph.D., Registered Psychotherapist


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