By Caroline Bujold
Think like a high performance athlete
Ask any Olympic or Paralympic athlete how important routines are! If you haven’t been living under a rock lately, you know that the Olympics where held in Russia last month and that the Paralympics are just gearing up. How many times would you guess a high performance athlete needs to practice – perfect – repeat a move to make it to THAT level? How many hours of visualization does it take to get their nerves settled enough so they can perform to the best of their abilities?
I’m not suggesting we, mere mortals, mirror our lives to those who make us so proud during the Games, but we can all learn a little from their self discipline and good habits.
People don’t like routines and I don’t know why. While I understand doing the Metro-Boulot-Dodo routine (literally daily grind) is not the best way to live your life, creating simple routines can be good for you. It can free your mind from trying to remember all the things you should/want to do in your daily life and establish desired behaviours faster than any will power can. This is especially true when people want to get back into or create new good habits (exercise, eat well, spend wisely, etc.).
Here is an example. At my last checkup, my doctor advised I take some vitamins. The first few days, I kept forgetting. So I put the bottles in the tea/coffee drawer we use every morning. So while my coffee is brewing, I have time to take my vitamins. My husband keeps his next to his toothpaste in the bathroom and it works for him. And if by chance we were taking the same kind of vitamins, we would buy two containers and store them in our different preferred locations.
This accomplishes two things:
- We both take our vitamins with absolutely no brain effort or will power;
- I drink a bit of water first thing every morning, which helps me with another routine, drinking enough water every day.
We used to not make our bed very often. This really annoyed me because seriously, what kind of organized person am I if I can’t be bothered to make my bed every morning. The thing is, I felt like I was the one making the bed all the time (even if that was most likely not true). So one morning, I made a rule. The last one out of bed has to make it. Most week days I’m the last out because I work from home, so I need less time for my “commute”. But now I don’t feel bad about having to make the bed, because we both agreed on that routine and I know my husband will hold his end of the deal on weekends, when he gets to sleep in and I (alas) wake up earlier than him. It might sound silly, but our bed is now made 99 % of the time.
What small daily routines have you or can you create today for yourself and your family that will make your life easier or effortless?
Note: I have not received any money from the brands featured in the tea/coffee drawer. They just happen to be the brands we had when I took the picture.