If you want to see improvement in your life, the most essential thing that you need to do is ensure you stick to a regular routine
“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine”
One of my biggest mistakes with training at the gym is that I constantly would change up my routine doing different exercises influenced by Men’s fitness magazines, blogs, Youtube videos and suggestions from friends and gym bros.
As a result I saw little to no progression in my physique. This was because although I was putting a lot of time and effort into the gym – I never dedicated time to mastering a basic routine.
It was only when I decided to be consistent and have a routine doing the same thing week in week out that I saw progress.
By sticking to a routine that used the same weightlifting exercises, my muscles grew, I lost body fat and a belly that I had all my adult life.
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
The benefits to routine
If you do something once you probably aren’t very good at it. Do it a thousand times and you will at least be at a level of competency.
“Kidney transplants seem so routine now. But the first one was like Lindbergh’s flight across the ocean”
You’ll also get more done. If you are setting goals this is very important. Imagine if one week you decide that you want a routine to help you get “big”, but then next week you decide you want to run a marathon, so change your diet and exercise to focus on being lean. Your body wouldn’t get any benefit if you keep changing your mind.
Finally you will also have a clear purpose of your day – if you know that you have your gym workout in the morning this sets you up for the rest of your daily routine.
When is routine bad?
Upon researching this article I found a lot of negatives against routine. This is because it is seen as boring and mundane. Although I agree with trying new things and taking risks – a routine is required to achieve mastery in any area. Learn to walk before you start running.
Routine requires patience
The downside of routine is that it can become frustratingly boring doing the same thing week-in, week-out. The temptation is to drop the basics for some gimmicky complex workout that you read in the latest issue of Men’s Health.
But don’t do that! Keep patient and persist with the basics – they are well known because they are tried and tested to work!
The best attitude I take to routine is just viewing it like anything else I have to do in life that is continuous and gets dull like having breakfast or commuting to work.
It’s not always overly obvious in a short period of time what sticking to a routine does to you, but over a year or more when you start to reach a level of mastery over your routine you will reflect back and see all the passive changes.
“You can’t enter the Olympics unless you do your routine to get in shape for it. The idea of going out on stage on a tour without having prepped for it would be suicide, literally”
Routine beyond the gym
I have used the example of a gym workout to illustrate the importance of routine, but I believe it can apply to all areas of self-improvement. For example when I started writing this blog I wanted to read more books – I was at a rate of about 2 to 3 a year.
Every night before bed I would make a point of reading and it was hard, it was boring and all I wanted to do was put my book down and watch a DVD instead.
When I started I was reading maybe for about 5 or 10 minutes and I really had to force myself to do it. Then I was able to read longer, until it got to a point where picking up a book became habit – I got to a point where I didn’t even think about watching TV in bed and just went straight for books!
So stick to it – whether it’s reading, a diet, a gym routine or something else the most important thing to see results is dedicate yourself to a steady consistent routine.
Further reading: 7 benefits of a solid daily routine
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