John C. Maxwell once said, “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” Routine is sometimes the hardest thing to change, especially when you’re trying to make difficult (but positive) changes. During this last week’s Fed and Fit project, I’ve made a lot of positive habits, but I am really struggling go let go of my negative habits.
Before I can describe the deficiencies in my actual routine, I want to describe to you what my ideal ‘routine’ is. I want to be waking up every morning at 6:00 am, without an alarm clock, or at least with one alarm. I want to be able to, either go for a morning workout at the gym, go for a run outside, or do an at home stretch/meditation. At 7 am, if I’m at home, I will cook breakfast for myself, eat, and start getting ready at 7:30. I want to leave the house by 8:10, and be at work around 8:30. After work, I want to walk home, or decide to go get some extra steps by going for a little walk. When I get home, I can cook myself dinner, or reheat leftovers. After dinner, I want to stretch, unwind, and be in bed by 10:30. By 11 pm, at the latest, I want to be sleeping…
What my routine looks like in reality is more chaotic. I snooze until 7:30, scrambling out of bed in a rush to the bathroom. Then I slowly make my way to the kitchen, where I begin to make myself some project compliant breakfast and coffee. By 8:15, after I’ve eaten, I’m rushing around the house like crazy trying to get ready for work. I’m usually at work around 9-9:15. I finish around 5:30, sometimes 6… And if I have Crossfit after, I leave work at 5 pm, so I can make it across town by bus. I try to go to the 6:30 session. After class, I catch the bus back, get home around 8 pm, either cook something quick or reheat leftovers, scarf down dinner and then do the dishes. At 10 pm, I call my boyfriend and we chat for a while, then by 11:30 or so I get ready for bed. Around midnight, I start working on my blog and try to get posts ready for the next day. Even if I don’t get on my computer, I usually find something to do that keeps me awake until 1 am. And then the cycle repeats, and I stay exhausted.
Lessons Learned –
So where do I think I’m going wrong, in terms of my routine? One of the first problems that I can identify is that I’m drinking caffeine. I’m a naturally anxious person, and I don’t think caffeine is giving me any benefits. The second thing that glares out at me, is literally the glare: I am still so hooked to social media/internet by the time I should be unwinding. More than likely, the lights from the screens are confusing my circadian rhythm.
So what actions should I take to ensure that I start getting enough sleep? It is pretty evident, after doing a little reflection, that I should really cut my caffeine intake (as much as I detest, being ‘caffeineberry’ and all). That isn’t something I’m a fan of, but my sleep schedule has remained the same, even though I earnestly want to do something about it. Ironically, I am writing this post right before bed, but this is something that I should strictly not allow. When I get into bed, I need to let myself feel tired, rather than be buzzed on the caffeine, and the computer screens. This week, starting Monday, I’m going to have a no-electronics rule after 10:30. I need to put away my laptop by that time, and that’s that.
Nutrition and drinking enough water has not been much of an issue for me. I’ve been about 90% compliant during the last three weeks. The two foods/drinks that I struggle with normally are sweets (such as chocolate… mmmm those Wispas…), and wine. Other than that, I really have no issue with eating enough vegetables, eating the right kinds of fruits, avoiding grains, etc.
I did have a moment of (almost) weakness this week, however. On Friday, I was invited to the Pub after work, and I was SO tempted to get a drink. Everyone was already on drink 2 or 3 by the time I had arrived, so it actually was an internal debate on whether or not ignore my plan and just unwind with some coworkers. I managed to just order some food from there, (*mostly* compliant… steak, salad and fries), and as for the drink…? I asked for a glass of sparkling water, with a slice of lime. But I did ask for it in a fancy glass. The barmaid did give me a funny look, but I think a lot of it’s mental. It feels as if you’re participating in the fun when you have a nice glass to hold, and something to sip on.
Lessons Learned –
I actually CAN go out and not drink. Friday wasn’t the best example of a fun time, because I was very tired from work, and just ready for a nap, rather than hanging out. However, I was SO tempted to just forget about all the hard work I’ve made. Thankfully, I’ve learned that I’m stronger than my temptations!
Last week, in Crossfit, I pushed myself a bit too hard and I pulled a muscle. I went to the sessions two days in a row, and I probably should have left myself a day in between for recovery. However, since I did not do that, nor did I stretch out enough, when we started doing handstands, I somehow twisted myself and pulled my butt muscle. It was so painful!
In addition to Crossfit, I went on a 10k run with the local Fit Mums. It was a bit drizzly, but the perfect temperature for running. The group is very nice, and I love the camaraderie they have. What I did not love was just how often we stopped. When I’m running longer distances, my first 10 minutes of starting up is the hardest part for me. Once I’m past that, and I’m at a decent pace, I can just coast for an hour or so. When I stop and start, I just don’t get the same momentum. I really want to see how fast I’m running the 10k compared to last year. I’m sure it’s faster, because I’ve been working on strengthening my muscles, in addition to just training my runs.
Lesson Learned –
I did manage to stretch myself out that evening, and the pulled muscle didn’t bother me for the rest of the week. What I learned is that stretching is SO important, especially, since I’m not a limber 15 year old anymore. I need to be doing it before starting a workout and after finishing one.
What are your routines like? Do you struggle with getting yourself to unwind and relax? If so, what are you tips for ensuring you go to bed early enough?