Saturday, August 30, 2008

Routines rock!

One of my new favorite blogs, is a "productivity" (really more simplicity) blog called Zen Habits. The author, Leo, writes about everything from being more productive at work (so you can have more free time) to the benefits of exercise.

Earlier this week, there was a post on Zen Habits called "7 Little Habits That Can Change Your Life, and How to Form Them." In this post, Leo talks about the top seven habits that he feels will impact your life the most. (He also briefly describes how to get into habits, which is helpful)

1. Develop Positive Thinking
2. Exercise (got that one down!)
3. Single-Tasking (this is the one I have most trouble with...)
4. Focus on one goal (OK, this one too...)
5. Eliminate the non-essential
6. Kindness (sounds easy...)
7. Daily routine

I have to say, the one that really struck a cord with me this week was the last one, "Daily routine." Due to my frequent travel over the past 2+ years, it has been virtually impossible to have a daily routine. This has definitely impacted my ability to be as organized and as healthy as I would like to be.

Now that I'm working and living in the same place, I have been able to establish a pretty awesome morning and evening routine. It enables me to work out every day, eat well, be less stressed, and read books! The most important parts of my routine are:

- Waking up early and at the same time every day
- Getting my exercise clothes ready the night before
- Eating before and after working out
- Taking some time every morning to read
- Fixing a lunch to bring to work (so I won't be tempted to go out - cheaper and healthier)

If you are able to have a routine, consider yourself lucky. It is truly a life changer.

Now, you obviously don't want to get so obsessed with your routine that you can't be flexible when needed. For example, I stayed up later than normal to see Barack Obama's speech on Thursday (Barack rocks!), so I got up a little bit later to make sure that I got enough sleep.

It's all good.

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