I've struggled not to start every Column I've written over the past few months with "everything is really good". I didn't write it because it isn't all that interesting to read, but today's post is mostly about how and why I think things are so good for me lately.
Routine, the thing that i had heard about as the chief complaint of relationships in televised sitcoms, has turned out to be not something I'm afraid of, but instead something I am actively interested in cultivating. It is the primary subject I am going to write about today; so strap in or bail out now.
Routine has several definitions:
- "Commonplace tasks, chores, or duties as must be done regularly or at specified intervals"
- "A set of customary or unchanging and often mechanically performed activities or procedures"
- "A regular way of doing things in a particular order"
- "A boring state or situation in which things are always done the same way"
This is really the crux of argument I'm making. Doing things because that's just what you do, rather than finding a special reason to do everything. If you only go to the gym on special occasions, you won't go to the gym very often. If you aren't intentional with how you're filling out your days, they will be filled with whatever... and whatever just isn't very ambitious.
A good routine covers all the bases, while leaving room for flexibility. It doesn't take up 100% of your day, 7 days a week. It is also not a one-size-fits all type of solution.
I've been in my new job for a couple of months now. I'm fairly settled as far as timing goes. I know when I'll be there, when I won't be; and with this knowledge I've carved out a pretty great (for me) routine.
- Start coffee.
- Make & eat breakfast (whatever variety is fine).
- Get dressed.
- Pack pre-made lunch into lunch box.
- Finish coffee & make protein drink (water + whey powder).
- Drive to work, listening to a podcast (whichever podcast is cool).
- Drink whole coffee on commute.
- Drink protein drink.
- Rinse and refill with straight water.
- Drink. Refill. Continue to lunch as needed.
- Lunch: Refill with water, add caffeinated crystal light.
- Eat lunch you brought in, unless there's a better option.
- Rinse and refill with straight water.
- Continue until end of workday.
- After work
- Workout: MWF - lift weights, TuTh - basketball (after basketball season this will be readjusted).
- Drive home, listening to a podcast or talking with someone on the phone using my car's phone integration.
- At home, shower.
- Make dinner - starting with the question "what is the base of this meal going to be?", following up with appropriate followups.
- Eat dinner.
- Clean dinner & put away work stuff + whatever other junk has accumulated.
- Spend the remaining 1-3 hours doing whatever.
- Brush & floss.
- Get in bed.
- Start sleep tracker Android app, close eyes. Dream of electric sheep.
- (This section intentionally blank)
- Every-other Sunday, beat Ben at pool.
- Deep clean the place (the depth may vary from week to week)
- Create some form of bulk meal for the first couple of lunches for Melissa and I.
Some people might read that and think "wow that sounds incredible boring". To those people: Shut up. Go away. Like your life is so interesting.
But really, Saturdays are always different. I try to fill out each night with different stuff. I try to make new meals. I've got vacation hours. If "routine" is a boring concept for you, then I would say you have a boring routine.
This Column doesn't necessarily lend itself to a picture to go out on - but this picture I took of the best made-from-scratch meal I've ever prepared seems to be a good idea. This thing was packed with protein (and flavor!).
Top 5: Additions I'd like to make to the routine, but haven't yet had the discipline for
5. Catch up on my "me" projects (Columns, Second-A-Day Videos, Life Tracking)
4. Have an established time which is dedicated for learning stuff - the stuff rotating on a weekly basis (learning music, coding stuff, etc)
3. Read before bed every night
2. Meal prep Sundays - make all lunches for the entire week
1. Before-work workouts
"Three bookmarks. Three books."
- Melissa, whose New Year's resolutions are as ambitious as my own -