In Romanian, the word routine usually has a negative connotation. It’s most commonly an “ingredient” of phrases that talk about why relationships don’t work, why we hate going back to the office on Mondays, or trying to escape it by booking a nice exotic vacation. It’s almost a synonym with boredom.
However, for our silhouette, health, and sports performance (or any kind of performance, actually), there’s nothing more helpful than routine.
An easy example would be comparing days we spend at home with days when we travel.
On a regular routine day at home:
You wake up in your bed.
You make some quick breakfast with something that you bought.
You go to your gym for a workout right before work.
You have a lunch break at work at the same hour that you do every day.
You order one of the same 3-5 dishes you always order.
You go out a bit after work.
Or, if you’re training for something big, you check your daily workout.
You’re back home again for a home cooked dinner or you eat out, at one of the 3-5 restaurants in your list.
On a vacation day:
You wake up a bit tired because you didn’t sleep in your bed.
You have buffet breakfast at the hotel and eat a bit more than usual.
No gym. You start visiting, walk a lot, and need some breaks in cafes. Cafes have croissants.
For lunch and dinner, you have something local. Usually with more fat and sugar than what you have at home.
You end the day with drinks and snacks, go to bed late, with a tired body and willpower.
The difference between a few days in your routine and a few days out of it is a few kilos, a few minutes/km, a few hours of sleep that add up and so on.
So next time you think about routine in negative terms, reconsider.
The same goes for times when you feel you’re losing the illusionary control of everything or that you just can’t create a habit out of something. Try making room for it in your schedule and make it a routine.
Consistently good beats intermittent perfect.