Well, I’m sure this isn’t something the majority of us were prepared for, and because it doesn’t look like this will be over anytime soon, I thought I’d share some thoughts on building a “Quarantine Routine”!
What I’ve noticed is that many of my routines have fallen apart or ceased to begin because of an unclear goal, lack of an enticing day-starter and not planning for sustainability.
ZOOM OUT YOUR PERSPECTIVE
Let’s start with a goal, this, can be thought of as the “why” for each item in your routine. Why are you waking up early? Why would you schedule time to workout? Why try to read for 30 minutes? Extrapolating backwards from the action to the reasoning will not only help you envision the entire path to achieving your goal, which is key in breaking down large goals into actionable items, but it will also help you weed out items that aren’t leading anywhere. So take the time to close your eyes and think about why you want to put yourself through that grueling 30 minute HIIT workout (p.s., as of writing this, summer is only 90 days away;) ).
The second is the initiator, or really, what is going to excite you to get out of bed?! Because let’s be honest, getting out of bed is the hardest part of the day (or maybe I’m just lazy). It’s nice to start your day with something easy, like agreeing to set aside the first 30 minutes of your day to make a coffee in your pajamas, take in some fresh air and FaceTime a friend (ahhhhh, relaxing…).
If you’re feeling a little more ambitious, you can decide to workout first thing, but you better have your entire workout planned to make it easy for you. During these times, that probably looks like setting aside your workout clothes and deciding how you’re gonna workout (e.g., choosing a video on YouTube that you’re going to follow) the night before. This way you can just roll out of bed half-asleep and get right to it!
Now, you’ve probably heard that advice before, so I thought I would also suggest getting a group of friends together over a video chat (like FaceTime) and all doing the same home-workout, this way you can cheer on one-another (a.k.a. call one-another out for slacking)! Accountability makes things HAPPEN! Plus workouts are always more fun with friends.
MAKE IT SUSTAINABLE
Lastly, planning for sustainability is the key to any behaviour change. There’s a reason so many people fail to quit things cold-turkey - it’s friggin’ hard. But if you think about it, the outcome of an “easy routine” is sticking to it and the possibility of adding more items; the outcome of a strict routine is quitting.
You don’t need to be productive all day, every day - life’s about balance. For me, this is setting time aside at the end of the day to crack a pint, hop on Xbox and relieve myself from any cares in the world. For you, this might be opening that book and diving into the story or eating some ice cream with Netflix on, but whatever it is, take the time to enjoy it - you’ve stuck to your routine all day - you’ve earned it.