Monday, December 2, 2013

Thriving on Routine

            It makes sense that kids thrive on routine.  It is obvious that Baya is at her best when she has stayed on her schedule.  I’m also at my best when Baya stays on her schedule!  Starting with her wake up time, we are at the point where I can expect certain things from her at certain times now.  Illness, traveling for holidays, and other things sure know how to mess up routine and I can see how it affects her mood and behavior (mine too).
            Yes, routine is amazing for kids.  Consistency is so beneficial to children.  It is also superb for me when she stays on her schedule because then I know what to expect from her.  I can plan things around her schedule.  I know my time frame for getting in a bike ride on the trainer.  I know how much time I have afterwards for if I can fit in a shower, or do the dishes, etc.  Routine is more than just that though.  It is said, “Motivation is what gets you started.  Habit is what keeps you going.”  Winter has already arrived here in the Northwoods, and so I am seeing some newer people come into the Wellness Center to try to establish a new routine that involves working out (and the New Years’ Resolutioners will soon follow).  One woman was saying that her struggle is motivation.  It seems that is common for many. 
            As I’ve said before, motivation is not something I typically struggle with, rather it often comes down to opportunity instead.  If I have the opportunity, then I will certainly follow through on planned workouts, and sometimes I may need to put in a little extra work in making it happen, but I always do my best to fulfill what I have set out to do.  I believe a lot of it comes down to routine, not motivation.  I am in the routine of working out every day.  I am in the routine of running everyday.  It feels wrong to not run, or take a day completely off.  In fact, it bothers me to do so.  This may seem extreme, but it is a good example of what routine can do to you.  It is my routine to go to the Y in the morning and get my swim in first (if it is a day I get to swim).  It is never a question of if I feel like swimming.  I am in a swim block right now, and some of the workouts I am doing are very tough.  Some days I struggle to hit my intervals.  However, I never allow myself to question whether or not I FEEL like doing the workout.  I just do it.  It think Nike is on to something.  Don’t question it.  Don’t allow excuses to pop up.  Just do it.  Make it your routine. 
            My next training block will be on the bike.  On the trainer.  In the garage.  It will not be exciting by any means.  In fact, it can be downright unpleasant.  Given Baya’s schedule though, I know I only have a small block of time during which I can make my ride possible.  There is a minimal amount of time for procrastination, which I think is another pitfall that we can easily fall into.  The more we allow ourselves to procrastinate, the more likely it becomes that the workout becomes compromised.  If we stick to a routine though (come home from work, have lunch, hop on the bike), then procrastination is eliminated and the work gets done.  While I know schedules should be flexible and expected to change, we can adapt easier just by shifting our routines around, but not abandoning them altogether!
            Simply put, routine means happy baby, which in turn equals one happy momma!

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