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Today had the potential to be a super-NON-ideal fat burning day.
Actually today had the potential to be a massive right-off so far as food, exercise, effectiveness and general satisfaction with my performance on any and every level.
You’ve had such days too right?
The day that pretty much started off on the wrong foot the night before… because in the same way that your ideal fat burning day starts the night before… the groundwork for NON-ideal is also laid the night before.
However it’s not all lost. In this show, my partial saviour… today: Why Routine Will Set You Free.
I’m going to cover 3 keys to freedom by routine:
One: Routine Means PROGRESS.
This key is two-fold. As I just shared, even on the NON-ideal day routine will selvage what it can for you.
Routine means I had a green juice all ready to blend when I woke up a little un-fresh. When I got home from work at late-lunch time I also had a salad ready to go. And dinner was decided too.
Routine makes my exercise session happen. It’s not something open to self-negotiation… it’s the non-negotiable appointment with myself that happens today whether I feel like it or not.
Routine ensures I know my high value tasks for today, because I planned them the night before… so even it I don’t get them all done… I still make progress.
Now, on the ideal day routine really shines.
When you wake up fresh, focused and ready to ROCK well then routine means you get to make the most of all that potential.
Your meal planning routine means you don’t feel as tempted by those pastries someone has kindly bought to work because you had a great breakfast. It makes you more effective and efficient as you’re fuelling your body with the great lunch you planned rather than meal skipping or vending machine scavenging.
As well as knowing your high value tasks to achieve today, routine ensures you don’t constantly get sucked into other peoples urgent not important priorities via email or phone or worse face to face drawn out meetings because those distractions are scheduled for set times and set time limits.
Routine means you know when you’re most effective and how often you need to take breaks. It’ll stop you from squandering all the potential you started today with on low value discipline draining decisions. You have a daily discipline quota and limited daily decision making capacity so let routine make the day to day decisions for you on energy saving auto-pilot.
Two: Routine Fights OVERWHELM.
It’s pretty easy to excel at overwhelm. Basically you just need to think of everything you need to do… with a special focus on what is beyond your control.
The solution is to focus only on what you can control. To admit that you will never get it all done.
From there to prioritise what does get done. To have the discipline to stick to those priorities.
I have a much more detailed solution to overcome overwhelm – in fact 6 steps – however a really great start is to take all those things that could be overwhelming if they were just floating around wildly in your mind and slot them into a routine. So to be clear these are only the things within your control. And only the things that you deem to be priorities. Those are the things to schedule into your routine.
Then you don’t need to think about them.
All you ever need to focus on is the next step. The thing scheduled for now. That one next most important task.
It sounds so simple it’s potentially underwhelming! However it works.
There’s nothing admirable to being in a constant state of frenzied ineffective overwhelm. I’m sick of hearing how busy, tired, stressed, OVERWHELMED everyone is. It’s overdone.
I now believe overwhelm is just lazy thinking. That’s what I tell myself if I’m wavering on the edge of overwhelm.
Once you first admit: You Will Never Get It All Done and second: Prioritise What Does Get Done then you’ll be more open to the final key…
Three: Routine Means DOWNTIME Happens.
I’ve been a routine Queen for years. However I’m only just getting good at this vital key.
Once you’ve got all the things that you need to be healthy and effective scheduled into your routine: the non-negotiables, then the really freeing thing is knowing that all the other time is downtime.
Perhaps like me, you actually need to schedule that downtime too. Whatever works for you. I now schedule 24 hours a week digital detox. No email, no social media, no mindless web surfing.
When you set up the routine that lets you be efficient, effective and on goal all week then you don’t have guilt about downtime on the weekend.
It’s something you make happen because you know it’s a vital component that lets you come back fresh and focused for the week to come.
Downtime is that reliable little reward that make it easier to stick to your routine because you know downtime is always coming. You’re not stuck on the hamster wheel. In that way it’s like the cheat meal I recommend once a week.
You know it’s there. You can count on it. And that means you’re so much more inclined to chose the best eating actions in the other 80-90% of your meals.
We must be at the time of the actionable. Perhaps you have a fairly good routine already or maybe you know it’s time for a major overhaul?
Either way this step is applicable because routine is one of those things that needs constant and never ending improvement. It can always get better. There’s always value in assessing: Is your current routine working as well as it could?
Todays action step is to take one component of your routine that isn’t working so well for you and upgrade it.
I made such an upgrade this week. It’s not perfect yet – actually it probably won’t be perfect ever… however it’s a work in progress. My upgrade is in the form of new eggs in the morning. You know I’m a huge fan of eggs and a huge fan of acronyms? Well this is the acronym variety.
I found that I was in the routine of quickly checking email before work. Sometimes I’d reply to a couple and then have to rush. Sometimes I’d get that nice little endorphin hit from a good email. Occasionally I see something annoying and waste energy having to choose my mood again.
It really wasn’t a high value part of my morning routine!
So the upgrade?
EMOTION: I’m checking in with how I feel at the start of the day. I have a habit of blocking my emotions and it’s not working for me. So, zero judgement. No right or wrong. I’m simply checking in with what I’m feeling and journaling about it for a few minutes. Part emotional check – part brain dump.
GRATITUDES: I’m inconsistent with journaling my gratitudes before bed so I want to lock it in to my morning routine.
GOALS: I can also be a little inconsistent with focusing on my goal. It’s always there at the back of my mind however it deserves some conscious, focused morning routine type time.
SUCCESS: I’m pretty good at ending the day by focusing on a reference point for success. Something I did well. Specifically in an area of my life in which I want to get better. However it’s got to be a great addition to the start of the day too.
Especially since I’ve just bought myself some fresh and focused early am morning routine time by ditching the email habit.
I’d love to hear the one component of your routine that isn’t working so well for you and the upgrade you’re making?
You can let me know via the comments below.
That’s it for another week in Healthification. Huge thanks to you for choosing to spend this time with me. If you’ve enjoyed this show I’d love it if you could please share it with someone who might also fine value in Healthification.
If you liked this you’ll also like: Will Power: 6 Steps to Build Your Self Control Muscle.
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.