5 Suggestions For Handling Disruptions To Your Routine (#2 Is My Favorite)

I’ve been challenged this week to keep up with my routines.  Coming back from a weekend away where sleep came at a premium, I have been somewhat slow in getting back to my exercise routine.  The past several weeks (since well before Christmas), I have run 30 miles per week.  This requires me to run 4-6 days per week.  So far, I haven’t made it to the gym or to the trail this week.  If all goes well, I’ll be back at the gym on the treadmill early this morning.  It will certainly be a challenge to meet my weekly mileage target this week.  And I’m okay with it.

Do you know why I’m okay with missing my mileage goal this week?

I need a break.

From time to time, we need to take a break.  Our goals cannot become our idols.  As a very disciplined, goal-oriented person, it’s easy for me to let my targets or resolutions become a god.  I want to accomplish the things I said I was going to accomplish.  I want to achieve – or even over achieve.  But sometimes, I need to stop.  I need to take time to rest, to re-evaluate, and to be restored.

So how do I get back on track with my reaching my targets?

Here are 5 suggestions for handling disruptions to your routine.

5 Suggestions For Handling Disruptions To Your Routine

  1. Recognize the disruption to your routine.  In my case, a youth conference (PCTC) interrupted my routine.  This was an important event in my weekend plans.  I didn’t plan to have my routine disrupted, but it happened.  When the wheels come off of your routine, it’s important to understand why.  It could be any number of reasons – a family emergency, a surprise visit from a friend, a big project deadline.  Understanding the why of your routine disruption is critical to accepting the disruption.
  2. Embrace the disruption to your routine.  I’ve been going strong for several weeks without a break.  I probably needed a break from my running routine.  A disruption in our routine can provide rest and a new outlook on things.  Learn to embrace the disruption and to enjoy the time away from your routine.
  3. Reevaluate your routines.  I intend on getting back on track with my running routine next week.  I have running goals for the year.  Besides this, I believe my running helps provide balance for thriving and coping with the rest of my life.  If your routine has been disrupted, I recommend using the time of disruption to analyze your priorities.  Does this routine need to be altered somewhat to be more realistic?  Or does it need to be erased all together?  Why is this routine important to keep?  Should you be focusing on something else instead?  These are all questions worth considering when your routine is disrupted.
  4. Get back on the horse as soon as possible.  For me a few days off from running has been healthy, but I’m ready to get going again.  The sooner I get back on track, the sooner the other parts of my life will feel balanced.  Honestly, I’ve missed running the past four or five days.  Running gives me an opportunity to think and to be active.  If you have healthy, balanced routines, it’s important to get back into the swing of things as soon as you can.  The longer you wait to get back into your routine, the harder it will be to get moving again.
  5. Give yourself grace.  Sometimes it takes a little while to settle back into a routine.  Maybe you need to start slowly and add more things back into the routine as the days unfold.  There’s a tendency to want to get right back to where you left off.  For me, it would be easy for me to try to get 9 or 10 miles in this morning.  While this is possible, I must recognize the importance of returning to my routine gradually.  A gradual increase in mileage back up to my regular running regimen will prevent me from growing tired or getting injured.  It will also ensure I get back to my weekly target as quickly as possible.

How do you handle disruptions to your routines?  How are you doing with your New Year’s goals?