Habits and Routine

We all have habits, good and bad, and routines which help us to get by day to day without thinking about things too much.

Bad habit are usually things which would be good if we changed, and good habits are usually things which make our lives better.  You can change bad habits into good habits and increase routine to make life run a little smoother, whilst also keeping spontaneity alive too.

ME IN JANUARY 2013
I’m in a bit of a muddle since taking time off work at Christmas.  A nice 12 days off work with not much routine: exercise, rest days and eating whenever I wanted it, was a big change from my usual routine.

I was due to go back to normal this week, but as I got the norovirus, I thought it best to take some more time out (4 days) and get over it (plus I wasn’t feeling up to doing anything but sleep and be sick!).  In the last few weeks (with hardly any routine), I’ve realised how much I rely on routine!

So next week, week 3 of this year, is my new ‘starting afresh’ week.  I’ve managed to get in a few runs, so I’m still on track for training for my Glasgow Marathon.

WORK, REST & PLAY
I was doing really well with routine before Christmas: up at 630am most mornings to train, training 5-7 days a week, holding down three jobs and doing all of my other stuff that keeps me occupied (Work, Rest and Play).  Things were ticking along nicely.  It helped that I did certain things on certain days, and I had the option to take a day off or mix things up if I wanted to:

MON

TUE

WED

THU

FRI

SAT

SUN

Strength

Run

Strength
(or rest)

Run

Strength
& Run

Run or Strength

Run & Swimming Teaching

The last few weeks has made me realise how important routine and more specifically, habit, is to me to make sure I just tick along and do what I do.

A few people have said to me in the past that they don’t know how I do what I do, and right now I have to build back up to being able to do what I was doing training wise at the end of last year, but HABIT and ROUTINE are some things which I know help me to do what I want to with my work, rest and play time.

The best thing about habit and routine is that they become part of who you are, so that you don’t even need to consider them.  When working for you, they just usually happen automatically, without needing to use much grey matter.

GETTING A BALANCE
For those things that are important to me, I tend to have a routine:

Getting enough sleep

Eating enough (good) food

Exercising / Training

Housework

Working & being on time (3 jobs)

Socialising

Relaxing / having fun

Fasting

Blogging

One of the most important things to me is getting enough sleep, so what I do in my evenings (my Evening Routine) is important to me:

Evening Routine: Home from work, Sit, relax and catch up on day, Cook & eat dinner, Watch TV / Read, Wind down by 9pm, Ready for bed 9:30pm, In bed by 10pm. (For an ideal (for me) 8hr sleep)

Morning Routine: Wake at 6am, Check emails, Up for 6:15am, Run or strength train 6:30am, Check Garmin update blog / Facebook, Get breakfast at 7:45am, In shower for 8:10am, Ready by 8:40am, At work for 9am-9:15am.

Weekly / Training Routine: Mon – Fri Training 6:30-7:30am, Tue pm & Sun am Kaizen Run Club, Sun pm Swimming Teaching for 3pm.  Sat am Long Run up to 11am. Mon – Fri: Work 9am-530pm.

Work Routine:  In for 9am-9:15am, check emails, write to do list, get water, start work for 9:30am, Lunch at 12:30-1:30, Wind down to finish on time: 5pm. (Housework as I go, Ironing some evenings).

Food Preparation Routine: Prep food for week Sunday 12-3pm – make porridge and food prep for week (or do food shopping and prep on Monday night).

Eating Routine: Food and snacks at: 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 4pm, 7pm.  Drink at 9am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm, 4pm, 7pm.

Relaxation Routine:  Mon – Fri: After dinner: relax: read, watch TV, chat, wind down.  Fri pm: Chat, Out for dinner/dinner in, TV/Cinema.  Sat pm: Out for lunch, maybe a coffee and chat/catch up with friends.  Sun: Lie in until 930am. (Relaxing and socialising)

All of these routines help me to keep on top of things; along with lots of support from my Mrs.  I didn’t realise I had so many ‘habits’: some of them good, some of them bad.

CORRECTING MY BAD HABITS
When you have bad habits, you can change them.  All it takes is recognising them, and putting in steps to change them for the better.  You might want to get more sleep,  do more exercise or eat better. Look at how you can do it, and change your behaviour so that you get what you want (more sleep, more exercise, a better diet).

Let’s take a look at some of my habits, and look at ways to reduce or fix my bad habits for good:

For me, (five of) my Bad habits jump out to me as:

BAD HABIT    HOW TO FIX IT
  • Not relaxing enough.
  • Take time out to relax and do enjoyable things with others.
  • Not winding down in the evening before bed / sleep time.
  • Put electronics away.
  • Chat / read.
  • Close off thoughts for the day.
  • Being online too much (Facebook/Blog/Texting).
  • Being online too much (Facebook/Blog/Texting).
  • Set aside specific times in the day and week to check emails / blog / Facebook.
  • Don’t access them outside those times.
  • Park ideas and limit access.
  • Getting too involved with stuff and losing track of time.
  • Set time limits to work on stuff and stick to routines.
  • Focus on one thing at a time.
  • Pay attention to others.
  • Not spending enough time with friends and family face to face.
  • Make time for friends and family.
  • Plan in advance and put off other things to fit them in.

And some Good habits include:

  • Being able to get up and out of my bed to train at 6:30am.
  • Being on time for things.
  • My Morning routine.
  • Food preparation and eating and drinking routines.
  • Saturday morning exercise routine.

As far as I’m concerned, the more you can make into a habit, the easier everything will become.

Do you have routines?  Or do you think you could do with having them in your life? 

Pick 4-5 areas of habit you’d like to improve on, and set yourself up a routine or ways to change your behaviour to improve.  

Soon habits will form and hopefully, your life will improve for the better.

the-power-of-habit-why-we-do-what-we-do-and-how-to-changeFor more on this subject, why not read
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg?
It’s a really good read. 🙂

5 Responses to Habits and Routine

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