The last couple weeks have been pretty wild.
I left my job of over five years. Started a new job. Left my city of over five years. Moved to a new one.
Needless to say, it’s been a crazy time. That craziness has killed my routine and, in turn, my habits.
The last two weeks have seen a significant dip in my exercising, healthy eating and a number of other good habits I’ve established.
Why? Because without my routine or normal environment, I have no cues or triggers to do those things. Those are what signal our brain to enact a habit. Without the ones we are accustomed to, those habits disappear.
Let’s look at diet. I’m still looking for places to live in NYC, so I’m crashing with friends. This means I don’t have my usual space to settle and cook. I don’t know where anything is in the kitchen. I don’t know where grocery stores are. I’m so busy running around between work and seeing apartments that I have no time or cognitive energy to make anything. I don’t know the area, so I don’t know where I can find healthy take out options. So I go with the easiest (aka unhealthiest) option.
And, partially, because I’m so worn out mentally from everything else going on, I feel like I deserve to give myself a break on what I eat.
Routine is important. It’s what triggers us to live out our daily habits (good or bad).
But as I’ve learned, planning for the disruption of that routine is just as crucial. I should have known this is how everything would go and planned accordingly. I could have set an alternative schedule and created options ahead of time. But now I’m too overwhelmed to worry about it.
Habits and routines are important. Planning ahead for when they don’t seem feasible may be even more valuable.