Success is often attributed to developing certain habits. I think there is something to be said for developing traits that are replicable. That’s what we know as discipline.

There are a host of books that serve as guidelines for developing these routines designed to lead to successful outcomes. Here’s a recent one that comes to mind. Then there are the standards that have stood the test of time.

In my own life, certain rituals have evolved and have become ingrained. I rarely vary from them.

Getting up early is one of them. If I’m not up by 5:30 every morning, something’s certainly amiss. Many mornings, like Mondays and Fridays (my swim mornings), I’m up at 4:30, if not earlier. 5:00 a.m. is my preferred alarm clock setting.

Here's someone who was an advocate for routines.

Here’s someone who was an advocate for routines.

Swimming is one routine I’ve adopted later in life. To be honest, I never thought I’d ever be able to swim 25 yards, let alone a mile. Now when I swim, I rarely swim for less than 45 minutes. On those occasional weeks when work or appointments (or deadlines) prevent getting out to two swim sessions, I feel short-changed.

Swimming centers me in my body, delivers tremendous return on my investment of time and effort, and I always feel great after a morning swim and 10 minutes in the YMCA hot tub.

Mornings that I don’t swim, I’m up early, writing. This blog is an example of a habitual practice that I’m committed to, twice weekly. I’ve self-imposed deadlines to accomplish bi-weekly blog posts. Other days, I’m working on other things long before many people have gotten out of bed, even on weekends.

In terms of fitness, having a regular activity or activities that you engage in regularly is essential to health and maintaining vigor. This is especially true when you are no longer a youngster.

In addition to swimming, I run twice a week. I read something that has convinced me that running once or twice a week is as important as swimming. I aim for 2X. Of course, winter can be a tough time to get out on the roads, with ice and snow. Last winter, I had to take it indoors. So far—and we’re now into February—I’ve been able to do all my running outside, which is my preferred environment.

Of course, we can also get into a rut with our routines. Working at home most of the week, I’ve figured out that I need to make a point of getting out and seeing people. Since I’m not always a “joiner,” I’ve had to force myself to seek out new places to meet fellow travelers.

Last Tuesday, I joined a class of men for spinning. Since many of them are spouses/partners of sheJAMs members, I knew some of them. I think this will be a positive addition to my training regimen, not to mention a social outing, also.

Speaking of sociability, Facebook will only get you so far. Humans need face-to-face interaction. This week, I also made it out to lunch with an old friend, and this morning, dropped over for coffee with someone else I’ve known for a longtime.

While I varied my routine to accomplish both of those appointments, I’m better off for them. I also strengthened important personal connections.

How are your own habits and routines working out so far in 2016?

2 thoughts on “Routines

  1. Sounds like a great life with lots of flexibility. My routine is go to work, take care of my family and get some quiet time. Not much time for reconnecting or seeing people outside my small circle. Or for focusing on myself beyond that. But I feel very lucky for what I have.

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