You probably noticed there was no Tuesday Tidbit yesterday.
Why? Because I seem to have a problem.
Despite making these nifty worksheets designed to get me to always do things approximately when I need to do them, and despite improvements in getting them done, especially in the mornings, I STILL am not doing what I said I would do on a regular basis.
Look at all that stuff unchecked …
I seriously think my brain is missing the circuitry needed for me to establish what one might call a ‘routine’.
From my Electronic Journal today (which I have not managed to keep daily, would you believe?):
“Even after getting better about doing certain things regularly, like drinking water almost immediately after waking up, pretty much everything else I really would not do if I didn’t have the “script” in front of me. I know plenty of people (such as the hubby, although he is not a Fanatical Routinist) just seem to have a rhythm, like the movements are ingrained.”
And I have always been like this. I don’t have a routine bedtime. I don’t have a routine morning or nighttime ritual. I’d forget to shower half the time if I didn’t actually write it down on my list of Things To Do.
One of the reasons that musicians are supposed to practice every day is because it takes repetition to get something into what is called our Muscle Memory – dancers of course have that too. It was in fact from a dancer that I learned that the finer, or smaller, the muscle movement, the more often it needs to be repeated, and the faster the muscle ‘forgets’ what to do.
But reading music means your brain has to be able to override the patterns that you learn such as scales and arpeggios. I mean, you use them when you see them, but you’ll also see a lot of different patterns. I’m wondering if that might be part of the reason why I have such a problem with routine – perhaps because my brain discards the patterns and just deals with what’s right in front of it (well, most of the time).
So that’s me. You may be completely the opposite. But either way, how can we use knowledge of self to successfully Megamorph?
I’m going to use these steps:
1. Recognize and Analyze Your Behavior and/or Feelings
2. Activate Your Motivation to Make a Change
3. Identify a Strategy to Change Your Behavior
4. Implement the Strategy
5. Review the Strategy for Effectiveness
Step One: Recognize and Analyze Your Behavior and/or Feelings
I’ve had to look back and ask myself “what happened on those days you didn’t do everything on your list? Why did you not do them? Was it internal or external factors?” Here are the two most important answers I gave myself:
- As the day goes on, I stop looking at my list. In fact, I don’t think I’ve looked at it at after 9pm even one time.
- I got tired of writing everything down, as if it in and of itself became a deplorable chore.
Both of these things are internal rather than external factors, so now to analyze:
Number two feels like it was just a short-term thingy – I know sometimes I won’t do everything or write down everything, and that’s OK as long as its the exception rather than the rule. But number one is clearly a long-term trend and for me to be successful, I have to deal with it.
Step Two: Activate Your Motivation to Make a Change
Time to remind myself what I am doing this for. I am doing this because I want to, need to, earn money and I am a musician. Music is what I do, what I have a passion for. Musicians needs photos and videos to get jobs. I want to look inviting as well as classy, and I will do that more effectively when I have lost at least 25 pounds.
In other words, keeping track and doing the stuff on the list, or at least getting to most of it most of the time is a part of my job. And I don’t want to be fired.
Step Three: Identify a Strategy to Change Your Behavior
I have already divided my worksheets in two – one for health/weight-lost related activities (blue sheet), and one for just stuff I need to do every day (green sheet). I am going to make a new section on both worksheets for things I’m supposed to do right before bed, and include “Do things on the Daily Health To Do worksheet before bed” as a To Do item on the green sheet. I am also going to put same as an ‘alarm’ reminder on my computer.
The old, unimproved form, in all its unchecked glory
Since I haven’t done steps four and five, there’s nothing to write about them yet but I think you get the idea. I’ll keep you updated on what happens with my homemade behavior modification system.
Does routine seem to come easily to you or are you more like me? Does anyone else have some type of system to help them stay on track with what they need to do? Please share in the comments below.