Sunday, April 07, 2013

Routinely Impossible

People often say things like, "I need to get in the habit of going to the gym every day" and to talk about how many times you have do something before it becomes habit. But usually they're mixing up the words "habit" and "routine."

A habit is something simple, mindless. Reaching for my glasses when I got up was a habit, such a strong one that I did it for about six months after I had LASIK and didn't need them anymore. Going East on the Turnpike every day was such a habit, I did it automatically when I had jury duty one day and should have been going West.

Sucking your teeth when you talk. Flicking your cigarette with a thumbnail. Dropping silverware into the sink instead of the basket over the sink. These are habits.

You know what's not a habit, and never will be? Getting up before 5:30 a.m. to exercise at the gym before work four times a week. At best, you can make it part of your routine, and you're much more likely to be able to do it if you're a morning person and get off on the endorphin high.

I am SO not a morning person. My ideal sleep time is 2:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Strike one.

I don't get off on exercise. It has its advantages. I like the 2 lbs. I lost after one week of doing this. But forget endorphin high. I'm practically in a coma when I get done with a workout.

Strike two.

As I got in the car at 5:45 Friday morning, when it was dark and a fantastic 29 degrees, I wondered how long I'd be able to stick this out. I mean, it's not the first time I've tried to establish an exercise routine. Several years ago, I got up every morning to walk the dog for 15 or 20 minutes. Harry Potter audiobooks were a good incentive, but not for very long. It lasted a few weeks at best.

Getting up at 5 or 5:30 to work before work so I could write when I got home from work lasted only a couple of weeks, too. So we'll see how long I keep this going.

I'm stacking the deck in my favor this week. I've already got three sets of clothes laid out. When I go to bed I'll put them in the bathroom with my sneakers, so I don't have the excuse of waking up my husband trying to gather things. As soon as I finish this post, I'm wrapping things up and going to bed early. So hopefully, I'll stick it out for at least one more week.

Losing another two pounds would be good incentive for week #3, right? :)

So what have you had to work hard to make part of your routine? Do you have any tips? Sound off in the comments!


Marisa said...

Ooooh, what a fun post! Definitely Lasik. For a month after the surgery, I remember reaching for my glasses. :)

MJFredrick said...

I'm starting a new/old routine this week, too. I got up at 4:30 to write, when I get home I'll ride my new exercise bike and read, and I plan to cook as many days as possible, because I've been bad about that. I hope I'm not shooting myself in the foot by trying too much at once!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Isn't LASIK awesome, Marisa? I think I still reach for my glasses once in a while. My eyes register "dark" and my brain processes "can't see" and thinks I need help. LOL

Wow, MJ! You have got it ALL over me, woman! LOL I don't know, most of that sounds pretty doable. Since you're getting up at 4 freaking 30 and all. And you've done it before, so I'm sure you'll succeed. Good luck! :)

Cindy Procter-King said...

Just commenting here to see if I can.