Tuesday, January 5, 2016

You Can Get On a Routine: And Leave the Guilt at the Door

If you're the type for whom this - the subject of routines- is a no-brainer,* then remember: you may tell yourself you're a really routine-oriented, hard-working, discipline-embracing person, and that this post, therefore, is not for you.  But I can guarantee: the most self-disciplined, professional, and routine-oriented people I know are often undisciplined in other areas. For example, tell my friend Lula that "This book is offensive," and darn if she doesn't snatch it up in an instant, curious to find out what I'm talking about. I tell my friend Darleen that I'm kicking Diet Coke for Lent, and she's the first to admit "I could never do that with my sweet tea!" So in a sense, even if you have a hard time with routines (raises hand), this post is for all of us. ;)

So, there's that. And if you ever tell me you can't get on a routine, I will not believe you! But technically, I'm writing this post for my brother {hugs}, who I believe, like me, has a hard time.  We were talking about our routines on New Year's Day, and I was telling him about my newish walking habit.  I told him I've put my walking habit into a part of my daily habit.

I've been trying to lose the last bit of baby weight, and it is proving more difficult than I forecasted. But, believe me or no, now I actually enjoy doing it! My baby is 4 months old now, and I've walked almost everyday for about 2 1/2 months, excluding weekends, usually.

Now I have made an official plan: I'm going to lose the rest, and I know exactly how I'm going to do it. I have a plan for the New Year, and guess what? I feel really confident that it's going to work (as long as I can kick my sugary-cereal/sugary snacks habit!). ;)

I'm being honest: I love my walking habit. Having time everyday for physical activity and getting my heart rate up puts me in such a better mood during the day.

Here's the thing: You need to know this if you're going to stick to something in 2016... Because it is really, really important!

Keeping a routine is hard, not because of the self-discipline factor, but because of the guilt factor.

Have a hard time sticking to a habit or a routine?

I can almost guarantee, it's not because you aren't disciplined, it's because of the guilt you feel at the prospect of a self-imposed routine.

Every night after dinner, I clean up the dishes, wipe down the table, start the dishwasher, and say "Goodbye Stephen!" I head out the door after I put on my tennis shoes and get a podcast or audiobook started on my iPhone.

Do you know what's hard about it?

-It's not that I have to talk myself into walking. 99% of the time, I'm so stressed from my day with toddlers I can't wait to head out the door.
-It's not because I'm an extrovert. As an introvert, I love having a few minutes to myself. I know exactly what I'm doing with my time, and listening to a podcast is like catching up with old friends.
-It's not because I'm bored. I love knowing what I'm going to be doing for the next 30-40 minutes. Whether it's a podcast or a really good book on audio, I'm excited about walking almost every night.

So it's not about self-discipline. That's because I do it everyday, and I enjoy it. Want to know why it's hard to head out the door?

Nine times out of ten, it's about the guilt. (!!!)

It's those nagging thoughts...
I shouldn't leave Stephen alone with the kids.
I should do some more cleaning around the house.
I should hold the baby for the next 30-40 minutes.

Those thoughts, honestly, are H.U.G.E. They are what's trying to keep me back from my walking routine. But you know what? Stephen is awesome, and he always comes through. He always tells me to go, no holds barred. It's awesome. I get my heart rate up, and I even convince myself I'm somewhat organized and self-disciplined. But deep down, I know the truth. If I can beat the little nagging guilt-feelings, it's already in the bag.

That's because guilt is what keeps us from doing a good thing, nine times out of ten.

Want to know how to leave guilt at the door? Recognize that it is a feeling, and not a legitimate thought.  If we can get past the feelings, we will do amazing things, I guarantee it. Ready to do amazing things in 2016? Let's make it the best year yet...

...Even if this is how you feel:
lol.  ;)


You can do it! {Power punches the air;)}

*{Yes I'm going to start this post with a disclaimer(!!!)}
Linking up with Tuesday Talk

1 comment:

Katie @ The Catholic Wife said...

YES!! I loved this post. {Power punches the air!} I'm not huge into the resolutions scene, but I set a very simple one - increasing water intake - this time around and trying to approach it positively. I have a really hard time being patient with myself in big things, so my hope is if I keep it simple, I'll be good to go.

Fab post!!