Repetition – The More Things Change…

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

That’s the mantra I’m repeating this morning.

Repetition isn’t a bad thing.  In many ways, its healthy.  Or rather, its the basis from which healthy habits are formed.

I woke up this morning to an interesting Fast Company article in my inbox this morning that suggested that I could change many of my habits to become more productive and generally evolve into a better person by doing four simple things.

Overly simple?  Perhaps.

And yet it’s true.  As I came to realize last year, the things I was saying yes to were essentially holding me back.  I’ve been working to practice mindfulness.

For example, I’ve been trying to eat healthier and move more.  The best way for me to do that has been to record everything I eat/drink.

Everything.

Even that one Hershey’s Kiss I snuck off someone’s desk candy bowl as I walked by.

Really.

And its been working.  In five weeks, I dropped nine pounds and started sleeping better at night.

And then this week I set off on a nine day business trip that would be entirely in California wine country.  It took a mere three days for the wheels to come off.

But this time, I was back on track after that 72 hour binge.  Why?  Because I’ve realized that the longer I wait to get back on track, the worse the problem becomes and the more removed the simplicity of a daily routine becomes.  And because I felt like absolute crap – blotchy skin, runny eyes, bloating, and heartburn.  No thanks!

I could say the exact same thing about this website.

I’ve lost all discipline for daily posting, something I planned for in the past and simply made a habit.  When I lost that discipline, starting back up became difficult and I kept creating grander excuses.  Just like the “oh, I’ll start eating healthy after the holidays/big trip/wedding/school year” run up, I found myself deciding “I’d write again after I finished this project/completed this trip/had a Saturday to myself”.  I worked it up in my head that I just need my other routines to stabilize and then I’d be fine.  But the fact is that I got away from the repetition of writing

Another reminder this morning snapped me back to reality – my Facebook “On This Day”.  As I flipped through the posts of the last several years, I realized I was traveling in every single one of them.

And then there was this….

That last one was the kicker.  While it seemed intense at the time, I’m actually two million miles ahead of that one now on American only six years later.

Let that sink in for a minute.

So the reality is, this lack of a routine IS my routine.

I have to build my repetition into that routine by just doing it – recording my food every day, carving out 30 minutes to write, unpacking my suitcase every time I come home, and which ever other personal discipline I can tackle next.

Forget four easy steps – it turns out I only need one.

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