• Lauren O'Riordan

How to create a routine and stick to it!

Structure can be so important when it comes to day to day life. I believe it is most important from the mental health side of things. This is something that has helped me massively during this, 2020 pandemic and hope this blog sheds insight on how to create a routine which will work for you.

One thing you must remember: Everyone is different. Reading other peoples blogs or articles, can sometimes make you doubt yourself for not doing the same as these people, having a massive impact on your mental health.

You shouldn't feel ashamed that 'fitnessmom123' has kept up with home workouts, given birth to a baby boy, renovated the house and decorated some home baked cupcakes with sparkle-shits all in two days. It's time to slow down and take things at your own pace. REMEMBER, this is a global pandemic and we are all learning how to cope in our own ways.

Now, saying that...Routine is important to keep a healthy body and healthy mind. For example: Staying active, seeing friends twice a week or even starting a blog (lol, me) gives you something to focus on, without being too mentally or physically demanding.

Pre-lockdown, I didn't really struggle with keeping up with routine, especially when it came to the gym. For me, a switch just flicked 6 years ago and it has remained pretty consistent ever since. The other side to that is, the fear of reverting back to my old unhealthy, unhappy self. I believe that this is the driving force, that pushes me on to clean up my diet when I allow myself more treats or notice my clothes feeling tighter.

Gyms closing on the 20th March was a huge worry to me a first. However, with no choice but to adapt, it pushed me to brave the big, bad world of home workouts; Something that has never interested me in the past. From here, I pushed myself out my comfort zone, as I'm sure a lot of you have, and found new ways of continuing my resistance training. Testing and developing my cardiovascular fitness with shorter HIIT sessions and taking up running to continue to challenge myself. I felt the sense of accomplishment when crossing them off my 'To do' list.

Similar to the diary I normally use when working, I have been creating weekly task lists, to structure my week . Through doing this, I have (more or less) woke up at a reasonable time, completed daily tasks and pay extra attention to tasks, I usually miss on busy working weeks.

Key Point to remember:

You don't have to complete everything on that list. The list is there to keep you busy, but it shouldn't come with feelings of guilt or stress when tasks are not completed.


When it comes to a fitness regime, you want to find the balance between: pushing yourself to achieve goals and/or tasks AND not putting too much pressure on yourself. Here are a few things to do to gradually adapt to a healthier lifestyle:

Rule 1 - Set achievable and realistic goals

"I want to lose 4 stone in one month" There is no sugar coating it, you are setting yourself up for failure. There is no HEALTHY way to achieve goals like this, you need to be realistic and honest with yourself. Ask yourself: "What can I realistically do in this space of time". Having a timeframe is so important as it is measurable. For example: "I will cook two new healthy dinners by next week", is something that is more than achievable. It will be a small victory when completed and motivate you to keep going.

Rule 2 - Factor in some fun time

Make sure your whole life doesn't revolve around the gym. You want to create a new healthy lifestyle, not one consumed by guilt for missing a gym session, or having that slice of cake. You still need to have fun and eat the damn chocolate sometimes! A healthy lifestyle, does not mean a diet!

Rule 3 - Be Accountable

If not to someone like, a lovely coach from Middlesbrough (WELL HELLO THERE), then to yourself! Every week track your progress, track your development and evaluate. What have achieved? What could you improve this week? How are you feeling? These questions must be asked on a weekly basis to understand your progress. Pictures are always a great idea to see a visual representation, if you don't take them you may regret it!

Rule 4 - Ask for Help and Support

When things are getting tough and you're struggling, reach out. Just talking to someone, going through the same journey, facing the same problems, can inspire you to keep going. Having a coach can be a massive help and a shoulder to lean on, when all seems lost. There is nothing wrong with seeking professional help. Coaches understand all the barriers you may face and help you work your way through them as a team.

Rule 5 - Don't be too hard on yourself

This is difficult (I know) but the main thing you can do is listen to your body. If you are feeling like taking a rest day, take it. Just make sure you are coming back the next day with a fire inside you!

We are so close to the gyms reopening but why wait? It's time to choose YOU!

Invest in yourself, because

I believe in you!

Thanks for Reading,

Lauren O

Coach @EmpoweringExercise

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