The Reality of Routines: Does a schedule lead to success?
by Angie Miller
Do you ever go on vacation, something you look forward to for months, yet in the end you just cant wait to get back to your daily routine? Not necessarily the one that involves real life responsibilities and everyday stressors. That routine can’t compete with the energy and novelty of life on vacation. But perhaps your daily workout schedule, the one that boosts your confidence and mentally prepares you for whatever it is that might come your way. Or maybe it’s your own bed, or your best friend. Whatever it is, our daily routine is something that we can count on that makes us feel purposeful and accomplished.
I have the same epiphany each time I go on vacation. I love every moment that I am there, but somehow I’m always ready to come home. It makes me realize that for as much as I appreciate change, there is power in predictability. Maybe it’s the discipline of daily routine that helps us lead our life with intention. Or it could be that there is comfort in knowing where we will be and what is expected of us. My guess is that it’s a combination of both. But one thing I do know for sure is that when it comes to exercise, whether you crave routine or you love the freedom of escaping it, schedules lead to success. They help us establish where we need to be, what we need to do, how we will accomplish our goals.
Here are a few tips for scheduling a successful workout routine.
Start with the following questions:
- How many days a week do I want to work out, and what days will work best in my schedule?
- How long will I set-aside for each workout?
- What type of exercise will I do? Plan a specific workout for each day of the week that you exercise. Vary your routine, and make sure you’re including a good mix of strength, cardio, and flexibility.
Now that you know how many days, how much time, and what you’ll do, it’s time to put it on the calendar. The idea is to schedule your workouts like you do your appointments, your job, and your kid’s activities.
Once it’s on the calendar you are more likely to be consistent, and soon exercise will become a lifestyle rather than a burden or a chore. That’s when the real transformation takes place; where you don't just see results, you feel results.
Vacations give me much needed perspective, and as much as I love the time away they always seem to reinforce that there’s positive side to predictability. Routines are the backbone of our existence, and when it comes to exercise they are the driving force behind our success.
Angie Miller, M.S., is a fitness educator, university instructor, and Licensed Professional Counselor who blends her skills and expertise to empower individuals, mentally and physically, and provide them the tools they need to succeed. A veteran group exercise instructor and personal trainer, Angie is the star of acclaimed exercise DVD’s, including the Bedroom Body™ workout. Her passion for progressive education brought her to Northern Illinois University, where she teaches in the Dept. of Kinesiology & Physical Education. Outside of the university, she presents at fitness conventions worldwide and leads industry trainings as an AFAA Certification Specialist and Kettlebell Concepts Master Instructor. Angie writes for fitness journals and digital communities, and blogs for Collage Video. Connect with Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com