We've all been there; new year, new you or getting summer body ready. We reach these key points where we want to reinvent our whole routine to lose weight or gain muscle or just be healthier and pledge to stick to these routines for the rest of our lives. In reality, we're lucky if they last a few weeks at most, and then we are left feeling disappointed and unmotivated to continue. But why do we need to stick to the same routine for life? What if something being 'just a phase' isn't a bad thing, and we alter our routines to suit each phase of our days, weeks, or years. Nature has seasons and phases, longer days and darker nights, and every phase holds a purpose. That's where phases and changes in your routine could help you out, and if we follow this mindset with our routines, we may find them easier to stick to and follow.


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Have an Open Mind

When it comes to planning new routines, you have to have an open mind and be realistic. If you go into your planning thinking it won't work, then you'll probably find it won't. And don't punish yourself or quit if you have a day or two where you don't stick to your new routine. Instead, it's essential to acknowledge the break and then get back to your routine as soon as you can.

Small Changes

woman in the fridge getting some fruit

One key thing to remember is to make small changes. You'll never stick to a routine if you change everything in one go. Maybe cut down on your snacking or alcohol for a week or so, then start eating healthier, then fit exercising into your routine. If you do all of this in one go, you'll probably overwhelm yourself and quit at the first hurdle.

Like we've said, do it in phases, and each phase is the next step. And as your daily routine changes, shift your fitness or diet routine to fit around it.

Try Different Things

Phases and routines also depend on your goal. We are obviously focusing on fitness and health, but these things apply to any plan. When we say phases, we mean to alter your routine regularly to keep it suited to you. After the first three weeks, you might find that something just isn't working for you, so tweek it.

Maybe as Spring comes around and the days get a bit longer, you can get up earlier and fit a workout in before work. But you might not be a morning person, and you might find yourself hitting snooze every time. In this case, alter your routine again and try exercising at another time; at least you gave it a try.

Note What Already Works

This is a good one. When looking at your new plans, take note of what you already do that works for you. For example, maybe you like walking and do it regularly. Don't change that; perhaps just extend what you already do; if you're walking to work, set off 5 minutes earlier and take the longer route. Maybe you aren't a snacker, or maybe you make your lunches the night before. Make sure that whatever your new routine is, it includes these things you already do. For example, if you make your lunch the night before but decide you now want to workout then, you could risk an unhealthy lunch because you rush to make it the following day.

Reward Yourself

woman on scales celebrating

Finally, and the most important one, reward yourself. No matter your goal, make sure you reward yourself for a good week or reaching that milestone. There's no point in trying to make changes if you have nothing to look forward to. And be kind to yourself; if you get on the scales and your weight hasn't changed, that's not a bad thing. Just note what you maybe didn't stick to as well and change it the following week—Pat yourself on the back for trying as much as you could.

Phases and changes are so important in life, especially if you want to make a personal change. Remember, do it in phases, and if something isn't working, try something else. Just don't give up because you'll get there eventually; these things don't happen overnight (even if we wish they did).


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.