Routine or Not

I admire people who live by routine.

Get up at the same time every morning; go to work; go to their gym; go running; see their mother; and so on. Here, I’m talking about people who choose to repeat a pattern and make it into a habit. For example writers who write at the same time every day. I’m not talking about people who work or go to school on a regular basis, because that’s what’s expected when you make a living or when you are a student.

I’m talking about the discipline it takes to make something into a habit.

Write that weekly blog. Do that daily jog or yoga. Make that daily visit. Clean house weekly. All ruled and structured by time.

I try.

I started walking briskly every morning for half an hour. Along the beach by the bay. Beautiful. When windy and cold. When sunny and bright. When foggy and grey. When clear and warm. Always different, always fresh air. I started hurting my left hip. It got stiff. I knew I shouldn’t have ditched yoga for the walking. I wanted cardiovascular exercise to lose weight. I got one-dimensional. This morning routine lasted 3-4 weeks. Then I said: I need to do yoga, too. I’m getting too stiff. I tried alternating, every other day, walk, and every other day, yoga.

Still, a routine.

I want to winter bathe, too. How to fit that in? Every third day? But the weather? Always changing. Want to bathe when calm weather, mild even. Want to do yoga when feeling stressed. Want to walk when feeling low energy.

I always know when I need what. But putting it all into a routine? Doesn’t seem to work for me.

I tried writing a blog every two weeks. That’s the recommendation, actually, once a week, but that’s too much for me. I managed once a month this year until lately; been more than two months now, I think. I lose track of time. I find I have a very hard time living by a system.

If I follow how I feel, it is ever-changing, just like the weather (here in Denmark).

I have been successful on one front. I go to my studio every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And I paint. I share a studio with four other artists and we all get there on those days. That makes me go, aside the fact that I love to paint. But knowing the others are there I feel the extra push to be there, too. This is good. I know it would be harder for me if I were alone in my own studio. I’ve tried that and I lack the discipline to go.

Is it that some people are better at routine, creating habits and sticking to them and others – like me – need an extra push, either through obligations, expectations, or other people?

Looking at myself through my life, I’ve never good at routine. Yes, I can hold down a job and I can be an A+ student, but in both cases, something is expected of me which I need to live up to. When I need to expect something of myself, I fall through. Instead, I write when I want, I walk when I want, I do yoga when I want, etc.

I listen to my body and what it wants


  1. I could NEVER make myself jump into unheated, open water unless I was otherwise going to burn up in an explosion — so good on you for doing it ever, let alone making it a routine!

  2. I do believe must humans are creatures of habits and routine and exist best in that environment, with that said, I also feel the importance of listening to your bodies signals of needs, be gentle with yourself and allow the break in a routine.
    Love you Lillbeth ❤️

  3. I just started to read “Good Habits, Bad Habits”, a book by a social psychologist researcher. And… you’re not alone. Even though (I read) that a significant amount of what we do is out of habit (and we don’t even realize it), breaking habits and forming new ones is extremely difficult, she says.

    So the good news is that you are not alone 🙂 And realizing how difficult it is, is already a huge step forward!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s