Friday, November 14, 2014

Harnessing the Power of Routine: This is the New Normal

If I had the choice, I would prefer to be independently wealthy. Wouldn't we all? What if we didn't have to go to work every day? What if we had all day to do as we pleased? Would our work outs be more consistent because we would have more free time? Or would they be more sporadic because we would have less structure in our schedules?

I've been running in the morning ever since we set our clocks back for the end of daylight saving time. I set the clocks back, but I pretended that I didn't, woke up the same time as always (ignored the "new" time on the clocks) and used the extra hour to run in the morning. Worked like a charm. I'm well into the 2nd week of morning running (and No Empty Boxes November) and it has been great. It has almost become routine. Sometimes when my morning brain tries to convince me to go back to bed, I remind myself that "This is the new normal." It's my personal morning mantra. Even on the days when I don't work out, I've been getting up at the same hour. I am working to harness the power of routine.

My cold morning selfie
When Saturday arrives I still get up early, but there is no need to get up as early as I do on the weekdays. I don't run as soon as I get up like I do during the week. I eat breakfast. I drink coffee. I tell myself I will go later. Sometimes later means after lunch. Sometimes it means late afternoon. Sometimes later becomes never. When I have all the time in the world, getting in my workout isn't an urgent matter because there is always time later (until there isn't any left).

I know when the alarm goes off on a weekday morning, I am in a now-or-never situation. I could exercise after work, but then it's dark outside, I'm tired, something comes up after work, I work late, or (insert a million other reasons here). It made me realize what I already knew, I need structure in my daily schedule. It's the routine that gets me out of bed in the morning to run.

We often think of habits in terms of bad habits, but developing a good habit can start with small changes that lead to a new healthy routine. The goal is to harness the power of routine to make exercise habitual so it's not something that you have to think about, just something you do, like washing your hair.

"This is the new normal." Do you have a morning mantra?

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Keep Running,


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  1. For me, when I get into a morning routine with running I am much more successful at staying in shape and tackling goals! Its the "getting into a routine" that I have trouble with! I LOVE your neon nike jacket/sweatshirt

  2. Wow, love this! I've been struggling with a new commute that sucks the time right away each day. Add early sunset and bam, easy to skip a run. Interestingly, today I got up and ran a few with my pup and delayed my commute.....felt so much better! Really like this approach...may have to borrow!

    1. Great! The pup helps too! those buggers are always motivated to run! :)

  3. What a great idea for using that "extra" hour! I'm definitely a routine person, but I enjoy days when I can do whatever, whenever sometimes too!

    1. yeah, it is Saturday and I slept in today! I think my body really needed it for from getting up so early all week!

  4. I have always been an early exercise person since the gyms went 24 hour. Before then I had to do the after work & never liked it. As for my weekend run - always early! :)


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