this took repetition for me to re-master at 46. (photocredit 9 year old)
When we lived in Oakland we had a marriage counselor whose name auto-corrected to Dr. Creepy.
Remember, we have Dr. Creepy today! Dr. Creepy called…
That tidbit is only tangentially related to my post, yet each time I think about it I smile.
So I share it with you.
Currently, Lately I’ve realized (thanks to Austin’s version of Dr. Creepy) how crucial consistency is for me.
In all facets of life.
I was aware with regards to fitness/healthy living.
I kinda knew with regards to parenthood.
I wasn’t in-tune with this with regards to my marriage.
I don’t need big exciting surprises—I require small gestures repeatedly.
I’ve created a first aid kit for the BIG stuff.
No need to whisk me off to Costa Rica–just pause each night and ask about my high and low.
I’ve mentioned this realization to friends and it’s funny (odd not ha-ha) how consistently they’ve responded consistency of action (same nightly query) wouldn’t be satisfying to them.
They desire/thrive on new or grandiose where, for me, repetition isn’t boring—it’s the key to success.
Repetition is how we create habits we desire and it’s consistent effort (even when the ‘effort’ always looks the same) which propels us forward.
Repetition of new skills creates new habits.
repetition of #wycwyc helped me ‘learn’ to drink only 1/2 my soda
Whether it’s waking earlier in the morning or changing eating habits repetition breeds mastery.
For good and for bad.
We learn to be kind and do unto others and we learn to frame how we see our world.
We can also “learn” to isolate ourselves and “teach” ourselves food comforts when we’re sad through these same repetitive behaviors.
Repetition is key to mastery and routine does not mean boring.
The final five words above are pivotal in my world right now.
Routine, like “work,” seems to be a word which has received a bad rap as of late.
I’m working on new behaviors and focusing on creating new ways of thinking.
Repetition (which here greatly resembles routine) is key for me to make these new ways of living reflexive and second nature.
we are all Superwomen when we repeat the habits we seek.
The challenge for me is to stay the course.
To maintain my routine even when I don’t see immediate change.
To remind myself of this post’s title (and of something we address consistently with regards to fitness):
To repeat repeat repeat even when mastery feels elusive and repetition threatens boredom.
to the Doodle’s delight re-mastery demanded repetition.
- Do you find repetition crucial when trying to master new thought processes/skills?
- Do you associate the word “routine” with boredom?
sarah@creatingbettertomorrow saysAugust 5, 2015 at 4:42 am
#1 love the sports bra
#2 nope I LOVE routine and it means to me consistency and I’m if honest comfortable with ikeeping to my routines (maybe I need to divert from them sometimes more than I do actually!!)
Runner Girl saysAugust 5, 2015 at 4:55 am
I get bored really easily.
I may never get marriedLOL
Bea saysAugust 5, 2015 at 5:27 am
I tend to associate routine with boredom, but as I age I’ve realized how few new skills I am trying to master, too.
I might need more routine.
jill conyers saysAugust 5, 2015 at 5:34 am
Routine isn’t necessarily synonymous with boring. Life is wonderfully busy and can be unpredictable. Having a routine when I can is comforting, reassuring and having that control over a small part of my life makes the unexpected and unpredictable so much easier to manage. Put it all together and it keeps me balanced.
Susie @ SuzLyfe saysAugust 5, 2015 at 5:36 am
I think that there is a huge difference between routine and rut. A routine is something that you do consistently because it is beneficial to your life and your mental state. A rut is in the negative: something you consistently do because you feel you have no other choice.
Coco saysAugust 5, 2015 at 6:07 am
I am a creature of habit and my life is pretty routine – but it works for me!
Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home saysAugust 5, 2015 at 6:39 am
For sure, there’s comfort in routines, practice makes perfect, all of that. But like Susie said, there’s a difference between routine and getting stuck in a rut. And you never really see change if you don’t challenge the status quo…
Laura @ Mommy Run Fast saysAugust 5, 2015 at 6:41 am
Consistency, yes! So important!
I crave routine and love it… but I understand how it can be boring for others.
Heather@hungryforbalance saysAugust 5, 2015 at 7:14 am
I love routine and have found that I am much happier when I know what to expect/what us to come. Some of my favorite times of the day are the things that I have “scheduled in”, like my workout, dinner/family time, and my husband and i’s nightly couch date with Netflix/Amazon prime.(We are currently watching Girls. It is awesome.).
Kirsten Shaw saysAugust 5, 2015 at 7:50 am
For years, I’ve said that I crave a boring, predictable world. It’s funny how people bring their own emotional connections to a single word. Boring, to me, elicits a positive feeling of safety.
Linz @ Itz Linz saysAugust 5, 2015 at 8:32 am
YES YES YES! repetition is key can be applied to all aspects of our lives – particularly BOOKS and READING for kids!!!
Kate saysAugust 5, 2015 at 8:35 am
I think there’s a difference between “repetition” and “routine”. When I think of “routine” I think of structure… something to build off of, something to anchor, a grid on which to hang my day. When I think of “repetition”, I think of the same ACT rather than the same FRAMEWORK. I understand how repetition builds skill… to a point at least. You have to alter your repetition, it’s not enough to do the same exact thing… make the same exact mistakes… time and time again.
The big problem with repetition, even when the acts are “good”, is that they can become rote. Like saying the same word over and over again until it loses all meaning… It’s important to repeat STRUCTURE, but not ACTIONS.
misszippy saysAugust 5, 2015 at 8:48 am
Routine is anything but boring to me…I love it. And I love repetition. I’m probably on the far end of the spectrum–too much a creature of habit with no big desires to break out of my repetitious routine!
Tamara saysAugust 5, 2015 at 9:01 am
I’m with you on all fronts.
Daily niceties. Repetition. Routine. I don’t care if people want to call it boring or not. It’s what works to keep me sane, focused and grounded.
Of course, a surprise trip to Costs Rica would be wonderful. Especially if our husbands got together to plan how you and I could go together (without them!) 😉
Cat @ Breakfast to Bed saysAugust 5, 2015 at 11:07 am
I wonder if the ecologist in you is as much about Costa Rica as the wife in you. LOL.
Maria Davis saysAugust 5, 2015 at 9:07 am
I love love love routines. I hate schedules but I love routines. My only trouble is getting too comfortable in some of them…and becoming stagnant and sedentary.
Sagan saysAugust 5, 2015 at 9:10 am
Yes repetition! Yes consistency!
Going to the gym for 3 hours once a year is not going to contribute to overall strength. And that can be applied to pretty much EVERY area of life.
It’s the every day, little things that add up and make a difference. The small things that are just because… and it’s definitely what I’ve noticed in my strongest, healthiest relationships: my best relationships don’t have to include grand gestures.
As far as boredom with repetition goes, I think it’s when we keep the MEANING in the small repetition that it counts (such as asking “how was your day” every day and genuinely listening to the response, or saying “I love you” three times a day and meaning it with all your heart – not just saying it because that’s what you do).
Michele @ paleorunningmomma saysAugust 5, 2015 at 9:18 am
100% agree, particularly with marriage! I don’t need big things or surprises and frankly don’t want them at all if the “small” day to day considerations are missing. Small things daily (or lack thereof) add up to years pretty quickly!
Ruth saysAugust 5, 2015 at 9:29 am
Routine and consistency are key to success. It doesn’t mean the same workout forever, it means I will routinely add some fitness into my day in some way. It doesn’t mean the same meal or boring snack forever, it means I’ll try to choose healthy things rountinly instead of turning to junk.
I like my husband kissing me goodbye each morning and that sleepy ‘I love you’ exchange. I just like those small things like him remembering I like a garbage bag put in when he takes out the full one, that shows me more care about each other then a big grand one time gesture ever could.
Rena saysAugust 5, 2015 at 9:53 am
It so weird that I was just talking about this very subject with my husband last night. I am trying to do things differently…healthier and I find that if I do the same thing at the same time it becomes easier for me to maintain what I am trying achieve. So while I am trying to create new healthier habits I am trying to undo certain bad habits. I don’t think that repetition is boring at all. When I think of the word repetition I think “comfort” and that’s always a good thing.
Erica@Erica Mesirov Food Coach saysAugust 5, 2015 at 10:53 am
I just came across your site for the first time and this really resonated with me. Things can seem so difficult when trying to build a new, positive habit. Repetition ups your chances of being successful because it gives you time to get used to change. I never thought about it that way before. Really great post!
Annmarie saysAugust 5, 2015 at 10:56 am
I think my relationship could definitely use a little more repetition when it comes to paying attention to each other 😉
Cat @ Breakfast to Bed saysAugust 5, 2015 at 11:06 am
w/o routine and repetition–I’m lost. I feel adrift. It’s not that I don’t have any sort of manner in which I validate myself, but I need the validation of “us.” Because life is hard.
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table saysAugust 5, 2015 at 11:29 am
I couldn’t agree more! “They” say it takes 21 days to form a habit and I’ve found that to be true. That first 7 days is brutal sometimes though!
AdjustedReality saysAugust 5, 2015 at 11:36 am
I’m a big fan of routine… until I’m not. If that makes any sense.
In other words, I need to get swept away to Costa Rica every now and then. But I’m totally ok planning it all myself! 🙂
Elle saysAugust 5, 2015 at 11:44 am
I admit to being a person who does thrive on change and movement to stay mentally engaged!
I understand though, that repetition leads to mastery. I have learned this many times over the years in honing my golf and tennis games, etc.
I do like routine for the most part, but DARN, I do like a little fireworks now and then!
Jamie saysAugust 5, 2015 at 12:09 pm
This makes me think of something that Barak Obama said when asked about his success- something along the lines of “trust the process”. Even on days when you feel like you are personally floundering, trust that there is a process larger than you the individual. trust that the steps you are taking, the work you are doing, will get you to where you need to be, even if you might question your ability or impact. I kind of feel like that’s what you’re saying here, just in a different way.
Erin @ Erin's Inside Job saysAugust 5, 2015 at 12:47 pm
I have to do things over and over again. I wrote a post recently about repetition being necessary to internalize thoughts, habits, etc. and then from there I have to actually do the WORK to make those necessary changes. So I am right here with you.
karen saysAugust 5, 2015 at 12:56 pm
Routine – spontaneity! What I craves depends on the day lol
…but routine isn’t boring, it really brings comfort.
Oh, and those little things…doing the dishes really says I love you to me 🙂
Liz saysAugust 5, 2015 at 2:22 pm
I NEED repetition in my life. Change is good (sometimes) but I like my routine. Keeps me grounded
Gigi saysAugust 5, 2015 at 3:20 pm
I crave routine as well – even at the risk of others calling me a fuddy-duddy. It works for me. I’ve caught myself before apologizing for not always being the spontaneous person some others wish I was. I’m comfortable in my ways but always open to (most) new things – provided I have enough lead time!
Abby @BackatSquare0 saysAugust 5, 2015 at 3:43 pm
For me routine means consistent. I am having the BEST vacation with my wild nephew, but am missing my normal routine.
lindsay Cotter saysAugust 5, 2015 at 3:50 pm
same here.. which is why i’ve been so crazy. our inconsistency is consistent. which makes me tired. But it will all be okay soon, being positive is good consistency, right?
Liz saysAugust 5, 2015 at 4:26 pm
I think repetition is essential to my life, but for different reasons. First, because of my ADD symptoms I sometimes need to repeat a name, process, activity (you get the idea) many times so it sticks in my head. On top of that I am more comfortable with repetition. I become anxiety ridden when I am out of my routine. Even on vacation.
So no, repetition is not boring for me. I need it.
Nellie saysAugust 5, 2015 at 5:08 pm
I am a fan of the repetition. I don’t think I can go very far without it. Somehow I always come back to it!! I just think some folks are built to be comfortable in repetition like myself
Jen saysAugust 5, 2015 at 7:29 pm
Repetition is comfort for me.
MCM Mama Runs saysAugust 5, 2015 at 7:30 pm
I definitely like repetition for learning things. The more you do something, the better you do it. As far as routine, I used to think I wasn’t really a routine lover. We follow a routine around here during the school year because my husband and son are happier that way. This summer, life has been anything but routine. Guess what? I’m feeling off and in need of getting back to our regularly scheduled life.
cheryl saysAugust 5, 2015 at 7:46 pm
Let’s see…44 years of running, 34 years of triathlon and 40 years of teaching, and 29 yrs. being a parent….I am not a master of anything.
Go to my site for a 62 yr. old variation of wheel pose (Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana)- it’s surely not what I want it to be-but it’s fun. So’s racing and so is my job. If you love what you are doing it’s never boring!
Jessica @ Keeping Mommy Sane saysAugust 5, 2015 at 8:31 pm
I am all about consistency, routine repetition — especially when it comes to learning. And I am a total creature of habit, which can be both good and bad 🙂 Going off our routine kinda stressed me out.
GiGi Eats saysAugust 5, 2015 at 9:16 pm
YES! REPETITION = ROUTINE = WILL STICK WITH IT! Story of my life!!! HOWEVER -sometimes it can get a little obsessive, so as long as you stay aware of what you’re doing… You should be A -OK and actually 10000% healthy!
EB @ Running on E saysAugust 6, 2015 at 10:12 am
Yes. I am the same. I like repetition. I like developing a routine. It give me something to compare/contrast against. Maybe I’m overly analytical.
Love the sportsbra.
She Rocks Fitness saysAugust 6, 2015 at 10:20 am
YES and YES to both!
Erin saysAugust 6, 2015 at 3:56 pm
Interesting food for thought here. I am currently working on some stuff within myself to try and figure out why I cannot (aka “choose not”) to stick with something long enough to make it a habit. I do know myself well enough that if routine is boring (and is more than just a situational thing or a funk), it’s the WRONG ROUTINE. Something needs to be adjusted.
Carla saysAugust 7, 2015 at 2:14 pm
OH. I LIKE THAT. If a routine is boring it’s the wrong routine. There’s food for thought for me there as well…”
Jody - Fit at 57 saysAugust 6, 2015 at 6:01 pm
I think I am a master of routine.. I kinda am like that in life BUT like you, certain areas need help & I need to take a lesson from my workouts! 🙂
Jennice saysAugust 6, 2015 at 6:46 pm
I have a hard time with consistency. Especially with me being out of work and my daughter being out of school for the summer. Laundry doesn’t get done as regularly as it does during the school year. I don’t wake up at 6;45am every morning anymore. My daughter follows her morning hygiene routine sporadically. I don’t even write in my gratitude journal every evening. I think its like you said, that consistency can sometimes be boring and therefore I ditch it. However, there are some consistent behaviors that are necessary to make life run more smoothly. Now, I feel a little ashamed and plan on going back to my routines. My daughter is not going to like this but..I’m the mom,right?
Dr. J saysAugust 7, 2015 at 11:53 am
Very well said!
Repetition with consistency is a way of life for me. Whether to learn new skills or maintain or relearn old ones. I suppose that’s where use it or lose it came from. One good thing is that it is easier to relearn something we once knew than learn something for the first time, I think.
Deborah saysAugust 8, 2015 at 4:54 am
I’m the sort of person who would say repetition is boring but I have to admit I like my routines.
Sandra Laflamme saysAugust 8, 2015 at 11:52 am
Repetition is definitely important we we are all creatures of routine and habit aren’t we. Repetition serves to make us more comfortable. Kids do better with repetition such as regular check-ins each night. Just like kids we adults need this too! Great post!