Habit: Routine

Most weeks are heavily driven by my calendar - and at the moment, a lot of external calendars as well. On Sunday, after I get my weekly plan from my coach, I align my fitness goals with my family and fortune (i.e. work.)

Between Teresa using Training Peaks to prescribe my workouts, reserved gym classes I attend at SSP, the pool schedules at QA / Ballard, Taekwondo with the family, and finally, work - not to mention the ad-hoc - this takes some juggling.

I start by using these calendar entries that are shared between home and work to convey my transit between those two worlds; a typical start & stop might be:

So from 9:00-5:30 I’m only focused on the events on my work calendar, and Eriko can see when I’m working out and leaving/returning home. Because my commute is less than 15 minutes, I have some slop to play with. My co-workers are free to schedule away otherwise.

The Routine habit incentivizes me to plan my week and stick to it. It causes me to analyze how I’m feeling about repeat or consecutive events and the environment in which I’m expecting to be executing them in. It encourages me to build schedules in which I can accomplish my goals so I have more time for myself. I complete this habit if I stick to the calendar I made myself for the day, in particular:

  • I did my fitness when I told myself I would
  • I fulfilled commitments to family and self
  • I transited to office/home when I told my wife I would

I give myself a little leeway for a minor adjustment, but if I push a workout later in the week, no credit. If I push my start or return times by a big amount, then no credit. If I miss an errand I explicitly scheduled, no credit.

Here’s a typical week:

is my opportunity to walk with Momo to her friend’s house (on the way to school.)

This habit is relatively new and came about as I gave myself more freedom to rearrange coach’s schedule and re-committed to attending SSP on a regular basis. Even now, I’m still figuring out the optimal pool time, and injuries have caused me to miss a number of weekend workouts.

I often had unrealistic expectations for when I would complete a workout or how quickly I could transit, which unnecessarily increased stress. Now if I know I need to work later, I’ll just give myself more space. I know I won’t be able to go from SSP to Ballard in enough time for the typical swim workout, so I won’t try. Instead, I’ll move the swim to the evening, even if it’s on another day.

I’m not a robot, but I think this habit helps me to spend my days efficiently, effectively, and achieve my goals - and it gives me more contiguous unscheduled space too.