As many of you will know, I have been having a great time on holidays this year. 2 weeks in January, 2 weeks in February and another 2 weeks in April. It has been fantastic. I have had the chance to do some amazing things, mix with my extended family and enjoy a range of activities. But just because I was on holidays, I also wanted to keep up my exercise and eating routines.
How do you maintain the rhythm of what you’re used to and what’s working for you when your physical world changes?
You’ve got a great thing going in your normal environment you’re kicking goals, and you’ve got a schedule and a routine, and it’s working really well for you.
But how do you maintain that when you physically change locations or you are busy with fun stuff like playing with children?
This is a very relevant question as we have just finished two weeks of school holidays. Changes like this come up regularly and we would like to balance fun time with the children and looking after ourselves.
We need to be adaptable.
It’s important for all of us to invent what is going to work within the environment that we end up in.
There are of course times when it’s almost impossible to set up a routine. (I believe that’s when we yearn to get home and get back into our routine. You know, that feeling of wanting to get home and sleep in our own beds – because it means we can get up and do our life the way that we want to).
But the changes in life are part of our life. To cope with changes, we need to have routines set up that allow us to achieve our goals, as well as enjoy our life.
Take exercise for example. If you can only exercise when you have certain pieces of gym equipment, then whenever you go on holidays your exercise goes out the window. If you mix it up and have a variety of routines and some with just body weights, or part of having fun then you will be able to keep fit by moving every day, even on holidays. It becomes part of your daily habits, like brushing your teeth, or having a shower. It is something you just do because it is what you do and it will fit into your day no matter what you are doing.
For me, that means I’m much more capable of maintaining my routine because now I don’t have to find a gym. I can maintain my routine anywhere. I take it with me. The routine is that I get up everyday and move – sometimes I paddle board, or swim, or walk, or go to the gym or bike ride or I go to classes. But the routine is that every day it is a non-negotiable that I move for at least 1 hour.
As you make things part of your daily routine, then you are more likely to keep them up, no matter what changes are happening around you.
Think brushing your teeth – it is a habit, no matter what else you are doing.
In fact, you can see this idea everywhere.
And here is another…
Every now and then you’ll drive past a park, and there’s a whole bunch of people doing their Tai chi in the park.
For many people, this would be confronting because they feel that they might look silly. We do not want to be different or stand out, but this can change our behaviours.
Do you feel silly when everyone is having a thick shake and you are drinking your water? Or they order chips and you order salad. If you feel that you are missing out, or you feel silly then it is going to make keeping your healthy lifestyle difficult.
But the more you can internalise what it is that you’re going to do – the more that you can shut out what others or doing and follow through with your own plan.
So, it’s about making the important things part of your non-negotiable lifestyle.
There are lots of examples in our life where we already do this.
Wearing seatbelts in the car. I have always told my children and now my grandchildren that my car can’t go if they are not wearing their seatbelts. And it doesn’t go. NO MATTER WHAT.
I can’t go to sleep until I have brushed my teeth. No matter how late it is, no matter what else is going on, I have to brush my teeth or I find it very difficult to sleep.
When my husband or I are leaving the house, we find each other and give them a kiss goodbye. Non-Negotiable.
I have a morning routine, that sets me up for a wonderful day. This routine includes my prayers, reading something uplifting, drinking lemon juice, exercise, and of course at least 10 mins of tapping. I love my mornings.
I don’t drink alcohol no matter what the circumstances. I don’t smoke, not matter what is happening around me. I am now adding not eating sugar, or grains as part of my new lifestyle. (These are just habits that suit me, I am not suggesting that everyone needs to follow the same habits.) I am still working on making them part of my non-negotiable lifestyle and finding ways to make it part of my routine..
What habits would you like to make a part of your life?
The answer’s simple really.
The parts of your routine that can be internalised, render externals irrelevant.
When you totally internalise it – the world vanishes whenever you want it to.