Why a Little Structure Isn't So Bad

Posted by Grace McCalmon on

Guest_Habit By Jeff Bogle of Out With The Kids When the rules of decorum dictate that I engage in a modicum of conversation about myself and what I do on a day-to-day basis, I can often be heard saying that I have “no discipline, no schedule, and no routine.” I’ll usually add, probably with too much cheer to be perfectly honest, something along the lines of, “every day is totally different and I love it!” This kind of talk paints my life as some variation of exotic, as if one day I could be at home folding laundry and the next, photographing tortoises on the Galapagos Islands. As if. The truth is, I’m a creature of habit but saying that aloud in social situations isn’t nearly as sexy as the alternative. When it comes to my overall well-being and achieving my ambitious goal of running 750 miles this calendar year, I crave even more structure and sameness. I’m adrift without routine; there I’ve said it. But I’m still dreaming of those fanciful photographic escapades while I fold these here still-warm bath towels on my bed. Locking into the steady groove of a daily exercise and healthy eating regimen can be the difference between going and going and going like the Energizer Bunny and trailing off faster than the New Year’s Resolution crowd. And you don’t want to be in that group. Here’s exactly how I structure my day so that I stay fit and sane, and run 750 miles in 2015: It’s 6:50 A.M. or thereabouts and I slither out of bed, check the notifications on my phone, and get dressed for the gym. I rope earbuds up and under my shirt, connect them to my phone, refresh my podcast feed, and slide the phone into the right pocket of my running shorts – always the right pocket. I then stroll down the hallway, poking my head into my daughters’ bedrooms to wake them up for school, and it’s quickly into the kitchen where I’ll take my first 3 Smarty Pants Vitamins of the day with some cold water in my favorite Butterbeer plastic mug from Universal Studio’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – always that same mug. I’ll make lunches for my girls (if I didn’t already do that the night before), enjoy a couple pieces of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and a small glass of apple juice, wash whatever dishes were dirtied from breakfast, brush my teeth, and we’re out the door before 7:47 A.M. – always by 7:47 A.M. School drop off is followed by a 10-minute drive to the gym. Once inside I hope to snag my favorite treadmill, the one receiving the most refreshing gusts of wind from the gigantic overhead fan, and I’ll go for 2.5, 3.25, 3.6, 4.5, 5.2 or whatever distance my (probably) aching body is willing to give me that morning. I return home caked in sweat, enter the mileage and time into my running spreadsheet, shower and start my day. It’s here where the lack of discipline I speak of so proudly is actually true. Sometimes I’ll see a matinee movie or putz around on my phone -- and there’s always at least one load of laundry to work through – but the large majority of my day is spent standing at a chest-high bureau typing away on my laptop while music swirls the house. See, not a single tortoise to be found. No matter what happens from 10 A.M. onward each day, I know that I’ve taken my Smarty Pants vitamins, run my miles, and set myself up for a day of eating right (because I wouldn’t want to ‘waste’ the exercising, ya know?). So when I doze off for a nap with my cats around 2P.M., I do so without even the tiniest bit of guilt – usually.
  Know anyone who's trying to achieve a goal? Share this with them! What about you? Are you trying to achieve something specific? What's your habit, routine or plan? We'd love to hear in the comments!

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