I’m really bad at sticking to a routine. But the weird part is, I really romanticize routine. Like ever since college, I’ve dreamt of the day where I have my own place and a job, and I would imagine what a “day in the life” would look like. In this ideal world, I’m getting up early and working out and then listening to music while I make myself breakfast, getting dressed in a super cute outfit and commuting to work while I listen to NPR. I would come home from work, make dinner, read a book, have some tea and then go to bed at a reasonable hour before getting up and doing it all again. This is a very mundane and very achievable goal. The problem is, whenever I try to develop a routine like this, I’ll mess up once and then promptly abandon the whole thing.
I used to think I wasn’t a perfectionist. I am not a type A personality. I don’t plan every aspect of the day, I don’t have color coded notebooks and highlighters. I don’t keep everything perfect and organized. In college, I didn’t obsess over getting straight A’s or frantically read and reread my essays to make sure they were absolutely perfect before submitting them. But now I’ve realized that I AM a perfectionist because for some reason, I won’t even START a task unless I know that I can do it perfectly. Apparently this is common for “creatives” where they say, “Well I won’t bother starting on this project because it won’t be perfect right away.” That’s why you’ll read all of those think pieces about being okay with the “shitty first draft”. You have to mess up a few times before you have something decent. I know this. But I hate this. It’s why I never work on my book anymore. It’s why I’m terrified to promote my own content. I know it’s flawed. I hate that it’s flawed.
Anyways so what does this have to do with routines? When I do try to start a routine if I miss a day, or sleep in, or fail at one aspect of the routine I say: “Well, no sense in ever doing it again then, because I’ve messed up.” (This is ridiculous. I know.) You literally can’t develop a routine if you abandon the routine the second you miss part of it.
So I’m writing this blog post as a pact with myself to try to keep up with a routine even when I mess up. I always imagine the perfect life for myself and the ideal routine is 100% achievable. In the coming weeks I want to wake up 6 or 6:30, do yoga, make myself breakfast, get dressed in a cute outfit, go to work, come home and make myself a healthy dinner and make sure I’m drinking enough water every day. None of that is out of the realms of possibility and if I mess up I’m not a failure and I still can succeed.