Without doubt, when it comes to progressing in the gym or in your health and fitness goals, sticking to a set routine is essential for long term success.

Having a routine can be a make or break for many people, even those among us who seem to be 100% on track all the time.

Do you think someone like Arnold or Michael Jordan would have achieved everything they did in their career if they didn't have a setlist of actionable items (a routine) to achieve each and every day?

So, what is your routine?

A routine can be something as simple as doing 10 pushups every morning or taking the dog for a walk every other day. But chances are, if you're reading this, your routine is going to be more-so related to training, and in particular, weights training.

But what happens when something else comes up, and your day to day routines are interrupted?

This is a great touchpoint, as in many cases issues can arise which can make routines seem unachievable. For example, maybe you are travelling and unable to make it to the gym, or you are swamped with work or life and feel like you have zero time to allocate to your 'normal routine'.

In cases such as these, you may, in fact, be unable to complete your normal routine, and thus have to improvise. For example, your gym workout may have to become a home workout.

By far the easiest way to stick to your routine regardless of external situations is to perform what is called 'Habit Stacking'.

Habit stacking is a simple way to essentially trick yourself into performing the desired habit or routine, by stacking it with something you do automatically.

For example, "On Sunday, when I am finished eating dinner, I will plan my meals for the week", or "After I watch the 6pm news on Monday I will do a workout".

As you can see, in the above examples, we are stacking the habit that you want to be part of your routine, with something you will do automatically, such as watching the news or eating dinner.

Over time, these habit stacks essentially become part of your normal routine and become automatic, so when you finish watching the 6 pm news, you go and do a workout.

The best part about habit stacking is that it forms an automatic response. So even if you are travelling, or out of your normal comfort zone, you can still perform the desired habit no matter the situation, it may just need to be improvised.

Sticking to routine = achieving goals

Overall, performing this simple trick is a great way to not only build a solid healthy routine but also a great way to stick to a routine when a spanner is thrown in the works.

Remember, just because situations car arise that might seem overwhelming at the time, it doesn't mean that you have to cancel your entire routine and stray away from your health and fitness goals. Sticking to your routine even through the tough times is a great way to build resilience and discipline, which in turn will help you handle future issues even better.

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