My (20×3) routine that I swear by…

Building a consistent daily routine has always been a challenge in my life. Regardless of how many times I create a goal to lift weights, read more, or study more efficiently, things always seem to crash and burn.

Over the past two months, I’ve changed my approach to this whole “routine” idea. I realized that my previous mindset was too expansive for a full-time university student. Working out/running an hour every day would be awesome… but it didn’t seem practical long term. I might be able to achieve this within a week, maybe even two weeks…but 6 months later, it might all apart.

Whatever you believe, I think we can agree that Time is something all UVic students want to master. But how do we manage time? An elusive measurement that is always moving ahead of us.

hands holding up vintage alarm clock

We start by trying to manage ourselves, by asking questions like…

  • What things are important in my life?
  • How would my life benefit if I gave myself permission to do these things every day?
  • What is stopping me from doing these things on a daily basis?

For me, I’ve grown a deep passion for three main activities: yoga, calisthenics, and reading. As much as I would like to do an hour of each task every day, my life is also filled with other responsibilities (mostly relentless studying).

So I broke it down.

I started off by trying to accomplish one activity (yoga) every day, for at least two weeks. However, I only asked myself to do 20 minutes of yoga; this activity would come up to 1.4% of my time within a given day. For the value that I gain from this task, a minuscule 20 minutes seemed simple to achieve over months, maybe even years.

After feeling comfortable performing yoga every day for nearly two weeks, I moved-on to calisthenics. Again…only asking myself to do 20 minutes of working out per day.

After a month or so, I decided to bring reading into my daily routine…and here we are.

Although it’s only been two months, I’m confident that I will continue to maintain these tasks in the future. In fact, I’m confident that anyone can follow this routine and turn it into daily practice. Obviously, it doesn’t have to be what I pursue, it simply has to be anything you love and want to find time for.

(20 minutes) x (3 activities) = 60 minutes = 4.2% of time per day

The trick is to never think of a new goal as a “routine.” Instead, view your desired target as a small adjustment to how you spend your time. After a while, the daily clock creeps forward with more and more activities that you love. Eventually, we’ll get to a point in the future where the once-thought impossible habits become muscle memory and second nature.

It helps us build something aside from Time that all students also seek: Self-Discipline.

What used to be a minor task that kicked off on Day 1 is slowly unfolding into a life-long practice that has trickled into other avenues of life.

Do you have 20 minutes to spare?

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1 Response

  1. Nima says:

    Challenge accepted!