In popular imagination, we assume that people’s passion and singular desire for their goals keep them focused on moving towards their goals. We also like to think that sheer determination and persistence (”grit” in popular parlance) is the reason that some people reach goals and other don’t. In reality, no matter how much you want Thing X and how determined you are to get it, your feelings about it will change. In fact, if you’re anything like me, you won’t actually even like your goal much of the time, no matter how much you want it. Your feelings alone are not enough to keep you on track to reaching your goals. You need structure.
Routines are amazing tools to deal with shame and fear. I literally spend no time at all overthinking, because getting up and getting some writing done is just what I do. My routine has created a sense of predictability and safety, which has freed up my brain to think loftier creative and analytical thoughts.