Routine: Be the Adult for Your Own Inner Child.
Ever since I became an adult, I’ve heard the use of the phrases “I need an adult! Adulting is so hard. I know I’m an adult but I need an adultier adult, because this is hard.”
What we’re missing here is that there is an inner child crying for us to support them. Somewhere along growing up and moving out on your own, sticking to your own routine got hard. So, you likely became one of the many adults of this generation who found it hard to manage your own life and parent yourself.
There in this inability to be the parent in your adult life who sets your bedtime, tells yourself you need to pack a good lunch, eat at a certain time, have a good bedtime routine, is this inner child deep down that’s crying “I need an adult!” because they’re crying for you to take the initiative and be the adult that you’ve always needed in your life.
The adult that children and pets need to set a structured life, because without that structure the child or the dog would be unbridled chaos with anxiety, anger problems, and eating disorders.
Routines. Children thrive on them, so do pets, and so many other animals on the planet. So why not adults? There are so many grown adults who struggle with their morning routine, fitness routine, or daily routine in general, but the fact is there is no point from childhood to adulthood where having a good solid routine is not crucial for your development into your highest self.
Having a routine is not something for kids. Yet this generation is full of people expressing how difficult a struggle it is to get on track to building good habits, and holding on to their responsibilities. We’re also the generation with the highest anxiety rates, eating disorders, and neuro-divergent individuals.
For me this is all too personal, since I was diagnosed with ADHD as a kid at six years old. For those who don’t know, this is a condition which affects a person’s ability to focus on things naturally and intentionally, controlling impulsive behaviors, and having the mind wander uncontrollably — at least that was how it was poorly explained to me as a kid.
Not that that’s not the textbook explanation, but it’s very limiting to a child. I went through years of medication and eventually chose to cope with my own behavior at 13, and struggled for the next 10 years with procrastination, putting things off, and getting in my own way.
I am not a doctor, and I am not recommending you forgo medication if it is needed, simply sharing my experience on my way to becoming a coach and someone who thrives on routine, and helping others create a life that works for them.
I believe mental health awareness to be a double-edged sword. As much as it’s important to talk about and raise awareness of neuro-divergency, it can be a crutch to lean on.
For years I believed it was stigmatizing to mental health to see adverts that called people lazy for not doing what they needed to do to get ahead, when I felt I was suffering in a block of ice and someone was just telling me it was easy enough to turn up the heat. When in fact, it was in the cold that I later found my peace.
I implore you, whatever it is that’s stopping you from getting ahead, whatever excuse it is you’re leaning on and using as the narrative of your story, sit with it. Then let it go and rewrite the narrative. You are not the victim in your story, you’re the hero who’s going through the struggle that will build you, but do not define the life you could have by the narrative you’ve chosen to live by.
This hasn’t got any easier, it’s something I constantly work on, but over the years of trying this workout routine and that diet regimen, along with meditation, breathwork, cold therapy and constant planning and rewriting my story, I noticed something. I wasn’t who I was 10 years ago, even five years ago.
I’ve discovered through planning my days, making myself meditate before bed and when I get up to do cold showers every day, making sure I use my weekly planner, or meal-prep my lunches, that I wasn’t just sticking to little daily habits, I was rewriting who I am. Slowly but surely.
See, a big myth in wellness is that we just get up one day, realize our potential and boom, it’s all smooth sailing, but it comes from little habits built up over time, day after day. Like walking your dog every day knowing that that habit will build a bond and a rhythm that creates structure, which leads to the eventual process of teaching the dog (or child, for that matter) to listen to and trust you.
It’s in this process of slowly compounding daily habits that you will train your subconscious to pay closer attention to things, to get up on time, meditate when you want to because it’s good for you, or stick to your exercise routine because it’s something you’ve built into your weekly routine, and have more willpower for the things that matter to you.
It’s not going to be perfect right away, it takes time.
I’m helping my daughter, who’s in second grade, learn to read right now, and this comes with the daily routine of reading a book, or at least a few pages every day, because we can’t expect ourselves to be learned and perfect right away, we must put ourselves through the process of doing these little habits every day with structure, to hone in on the skills and habits we wish to master.
Many people struggle with the fact that ADHD severely cripples a person’s ability to focus to do the things they need to do, even basic chores and sticking to good habits, but when I was in college I watched a TED talk by Stephen Tonti which opened my eyes to the fact that ADHD doesn’t just prevent a person from paying attention, it offers this hidden superpower to hyper-focus on the thing that your brain wants to focus on. That’s why there’s so many successful people with ADHD because they’ve learned to conquer it and change the narrative.
This is what I’m asking you. Whatever your excuses are, sit with it. Ask yourself if you’d rather keep playing the victim or be an alchemist of change and create your own reality by setting routines, schedules and boundaries for yourself and stick to them. To give yourself permission to change the narrative and rewrite your story.
You can be the hero of your own story, and this can be the moment you decided not to let life dictate how your story unfolds. Be the adult for your inner child and hold yourself to a routine that creates the structure and the life you’ve been craving.
Jordan Forget is a loving father, a healer, and a seeker of the Old Norse wisdom. He draws from his background in kinesiology and his reiki training to provide his clients with a path to healing and balance. He has dedicated himself to helping others through this holistic approach, and is committed to continuing on his own shamanic path. Through his practice, he aims to demystify the road to being healthy and whole, and strives to provide his clients with the tools and training to be the best possible version of themselves. You could buy his 8-week transformation workbook on Amazon, and contact him via Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, or email.