Routines & Motivation
I think routines can be important– if I didn’t have one in the morning, I don’t know how I’d get out of the house every morning. In fact, not too long along, Q and I switched the order of who had the shower and bathroom first for a few days when he had to be out of the house before me. It totally screwed with my mind and day. I think routines are needed before coffee is consumed.
I’m not a creature of habit with every aspect of life, but there are some things that I’ve done for so long that I’m finding it hard to break out of them now. I come home, go through the mail, change out of work clothes, wash my face and prep dinner. Most nights after dinner, I end up reading or watching TV.
This is the routine I’m trying to break. Even on yoga nights, there is an order to getting things done because after yoga, I’m so relaxed that I usually am asleep shortly after eating dinner at 8pm. On non-yoga nights, even with after dinner “chores” like laundry or tidying up the house, I find myself on the couch and leave exercising to the wayside.
I will admit that I haven’t made the effort to change the routine too much. I want time with Q and after his long workday, he likes to sit on the couch and relax watching TV or a movie. Even if I don’t watch what he does, I sit next to him reading or fooling around on the iPad. I should say that Q’s routine involves getting up early everyday to work out.
Why don’t I get up with him? The easy answer is that it’s rough to get up early, but years ago, before I was even married, I did often get up early to go to the gym. Now, my answer is mostly that the morning workout time is Q’s self-care/quiet time to himself and I don’t want to impose on that. Of course, I could do something upstairs in our room or living room while he uses the workout stuff in the basement, but I don’t.
I like the idea of exercising AFTER work because there are days when I’m at the computer all day, plus I like the quiet after work time between 5-7, at least in the time of year when it’s still light out at that time. But, I also like eating in that time and even with sharing dinner duties, a lot of those 2 hours are taken up by making, eating, and cleaning up from dinner. So then that leaves 7pm on for at least 30 minutes of exercise in our basement, equipped with space to lift weights, a treadmill, and exercise DVDs I haven’t touched in years, which makes it clear to me it’s not about time or routines, but about MOTIVATION.
When I was married, weight/exercise/how I looked/what I wore was an issue that was heavily discussed. Q, in his amazing way, thinks I’m beautiful no matter what. Maybe I have some sort of mental block/PTSD/silent protesting going on about exercising. I put it in my to-do list and calendar, but it’s one of the easiest things for me to ignore. At this point, I’m doing it for myself and my health. And yet, that doesn’t push me.
So what’s going to motivate me?
I love routines and enjoy the repetative, no-thinking-involved sequence of things… I think this is why changing routines is hard (and they say it takes a minimum of 21 days for new things to become a habit). In regards to exercise, I think you just need to dedicate a time and try to stick to it until it sticks… ha!