The Impact of Routine
I was thinking about routines today. I know a lot of people who think of routine with a negative connotation. They equate it to being in a rut, something to be avoided. I would say that a routine is more of a neutral than a negative. It’s a lot like money in that regard. Routines are negative in and of themselves. Instead, it’s a tool whose usage reveals the positive or negative intentions of the users.
The thing about routines is that they are so innocuous; they don’t seem to be meaningful at all. When people think about money they immediately understand its power. Most of the time when people think about routines they just shrug their shoulders and think about other things.
I believe that routines are anything other than innocuous. Let’s look at some examples that reveal the impact of a routine.
- If you watch a 1 hour television show once a week, every week for 40 years then you will have spent 86 days of your life watching that show (3 months for those of you who don’t want to do the conversion). Can you imagine?
- What if you’re a couch potato? Let’s say (very conservatively) that you spend 2 hours a day watching television (including weekends). At the end of 40 years you will have spent 1,216 full days watching television. That’s 3.3 years of your life! And that’s only based on a 40 year span of time and based on a conservative 2 hour estimate. I know I’m not the only one who’s guilty of more than that.
- Subscriptions, or monthly payments, are another thing that can surprise you when you think of them in the big picture. I was researching DVR’s recently and was appalled when I found out that there was a monthly fee. $20 a month. It doesn’t sound like a lot, less than a dollar a day, innocuous right? But that adds up to $240 a year. So let’s go back to our 40 year period. Guess how much… or use your calculator if you want to cheat. Too Late – It’s $10K. Is a DVR worth ten thousand dollars???
- What about the snack and soda machines at work. Just a little bit to keep you going through the day, right? Let’s say we spend $2 bucks a day on these. That’s $504 a year based on a 252 day standard work year. Some of you have already done the math. $20K… So basically I can buy a soda and snack at work each day… or I can surprise my children by offering to pay for one of the grandkid’s college tuition!
- Ok, one more topic. How about weight loss. Let’s say you made a commitment to burn 200 calories a day (roughly 20 minutes on a treadmill or elliptical depending on pace). Do you realize that doing this every day for a year is the equivalent of 20 pounds? We’re not talking about a fancy workout here, just 20 minutes a day. I feel like I’ve just created the next weight loss fad. 20 minutes a day can save you 20 pounds in a year! And that’s not even counting the extra calories you burn when you’re done.
All of us would like to lose a little weight. I’m betting that most of us would welcome a 20 pound loss. This one is like a magic bullet. It’s based on the simple power of a daily routine. It’s like the weathering of rock over the course of years. The wind and rain don’t appear to be doing anything, but the constant barrage, day after day eventually make a long term impact.
The question for you is what are your routines today? What are the small expenditures of time, money and other things that you make day after day? I’m not saying that you have to change them. Remember, routines aren’t good or bad and I’m not judging anyone. It wouldn’t make sense to; my routines are just as bad.
What I do want though is for you to take the time to be aware of your own. Then later on, maybe even years down the road, when you might be frustrated by money issues or time issues, you will realize exactly what you need to change. You’ll know how to do it too. Just replace your negative routine with one that delivers positive results instead. I’m working on mine; I hope you’ll join me.
Link – To Routine or Not to Routine
Posted on July 1, 2011, in Personal Development and tagged Health, Motivation, Personal Development, Physical exercise, planning, routine, self-awareness, Weight loss. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.