On Establishing Routines…

Never have I ever…had a routine in life.  Is this bad?

I don’t wake up at the same time everday, I don’t eat the same thing for breakfast, and let’s not even discuss my bedtime.  Even when I had a traditional 9-5 job, I was never able fall into a comfortable morning routine. Some days I’d randomly be inspired to get up early, go for a run, make breakfast, etc, while other days I’d wake up at the latest possible second, counting off all the things I could skip in trade for a few more mins of sleep (if I don’t blowdry my hair I can snooze for 10 more minutes…and if I don’t shower at all, woohoo, another 30). When I worked for a relatively flexible company in NYC and the start time wasn’t set in stone, forget it. I didn’t even get my coffee at the same place each morning, always randomly stopping somewhere new and even switching up my subway line/walking route for no reason I can really explain.

I never really thought about it too much until recently, when I actually set out to give myself a more structured daily routine.  They say it takes 30 days for something to become habit and I honestly can’t think of too many things I’ve stuck with for that long, at least in terms of daily ritual. So now I’m curious, is this really bad? Is routine necessary for a productive life? Or on the flip side, is it better to not become too comfortable and “set in your ways?” Is being a creature of habit good, bad or indifferent?

As someone who works from home and juggles several clients and gigs, I’ve been grappling with how to best structure my days and also have time to fit in the things that are good for my soul. We’ve already established that getting up at the crack of dawn sadly didn’t work for me although I’m hoping to try again now that the weather’s getting warmer and the sun will be shining early and often.  I tried and tried to make the gym a routine but had the recent epiphany that my gym was actually a sad and terrible place for me. I’m not even being dramatic, there were just no good feelings that came from going there and so I’m ditching the membership in favor of outdoor workouts, yoga classes and maybe a little SURFSET Fitness in between.  All these things make me feel amazing, and I think that’s what working out should be about, not painfully sweating away the minutes in a grey, concrete, nearly windowless room. Sorry Newport YMCA, it’s not you, it’s me…ok, it’s a little bit you…

Recently I posted about writing everday and that’s something I’ve actually stuck to, for the most part, but I can do better! So here’s some things I’m hoping to turn into habits, and I’d love some input on how to best do it.

  • Personal Writing – Is there really a “best time” to write? I’ve read articles that say early morning is best, and even a study that stated we get our most creative ideas when we’re tired.  I think it’s about finding what works for you, but I’d like to carve out some writing time each day for blogging, journaling and ultimately for writing that damn best-seller already!
  • Fitness/Wellness – Notice I didn’t say “working out”  because I’m kind of over that word. I’d like to get into a nice routine however of yoga classes, outdoor runs and other happy activities that are good for my body and my mind. Oh yeah, and more clean eating and all that jazz.
  • Sleep schedule – A biggie for me. Seeking any tips and tricks on somehow keeping regular hours and shutting off my mind at night.

Thoughts, ideas and advice welcome, so fire away!

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A New Life…

The thing about change is that it seems to come in waves, at least for me. Life goes on and things seem to become routine and then bam, EVERYTHING changes.  I’ve never been the type to be opposed to change, in fact, in my younger years, I tended to “get bored” easily and make rash, drastic decisions rather hastily.  But the older I get, the more I appreciate the routine, the expected, the safe.  However exciting living in NYC was, it was also safe for me because I had a routine.  I had my local coffee shop, my go-to pizza place, my nail salon of choice and my weekend routine (Zabars, the NY Post and if weather permitted, a stroll in Riverside Park).  I had my weekday routine too. Subway to work, coffee or a designer juice (don’t ask) downstairs, and the camaraderie of working long hours in a crazy start-up where coworkers were more like siblings.  My free-time was spent doing whatever I wanted, for the most part.

As things begin to change and I begin to get into a new routine (12 minute walk through scenic downtown Newport to work, evenings and weekends spent catching up with old friends and relaxing by the water), I realize that EVERYTHING is changing once again, and maybe for good.  This is the last weekend (possibly forever, but certainly for a while) that I’ll truly be on my own schedule, doing whatever I want and going wherever I please.  No, I’m not pregnant or anything but I am about to get a permanent roommate and I think one of my first big lessons will be compromise.

Because I’ve been fairly independent my whole life and spent the first 25 plus years of my life un-attached, my biggest fear about co-habitation is the minute details that make up life.  What will we eat for dinner, what kind of eggs will we buy (I prefer organic brown…)  what kind of soap we’ll keep in the shower, how the bed will be made… Also, will I ever lie on the couch with total control of the remote again? These tiny details terrify me as I realize I probably won’t always have it my way. I can’t even imagine the life-altering that will ensue when I (someday, like sommmme day) have a house full of children and dogs to think about! So readers, any advice for a first-time co-habitator?  Speak now or forever hold your peace!