Routine is important. For the past couple months I've not had much of one. Being in between jobs has meant I've had a lot of time to do what I want. But I've not had much brain space.
My mind's been taken up with working out what I'm doing with my life, both work wise and personally. It's made for a weird mix. Having lots of time but not really having the capacity to do a whole lot.
I'm a week into my new job now, and I'm starting to build up a routine. Whilst I was off work I started going to the gym regularly, and a big goal of mine now is to continue that habit now I've got a job.
On mornings like this one, where I ache from the workout two days previous, and I'm tired after an evening with friends, I want to take the excuses and miss it. I want to stay in the warmth of my duvet.
But I know that habits are built and fall step by step. The victory is won day by day. So regardless of how I feel, I know I need to get myself down the gym.
Habits take time to set, but the benefit of them is that they're like behaviours on autopilot. The more you do something the easier it becomes to do. Our brains carve neural pathways in patterns of thinking, our muscles grow stronger, we experience less resistance.
The resistance is still there, of course. The duvet never becomes less warm, less alluring. But the decision of what to do in that situation has been made over and over. With a solid habit, it's just a case of performing the routine again.
Seth Godin has a great saying, "people like us do things like this". That's something I think about with routine and habits.
What sort of person am I? What sort of person do I want to be? People who are physically fit and in good shape, they wake up in the morning, throw off the duvet and hit the gym.
That's the sort of person I want to be. So that's what I'm doing now. I'm off to the gym.