The Benefits of Changing Your Routine

Thursday, October 3, 2013

This blog post may seem a bit off topic, but stick with me  – it’ll make sense at the end.  I am a runner – many of you already know this fact.  I’ve been a runner for more than half my life and I run because I love it.  It is my release, my time to clear my head, my time to zone out, and also my most creative time.  Running has been the essential start to my day for as long as I can remember, and if I go too many days without a run, it definitely shows. 

Needless to say, when I was sidelined with a foot injury a couple of months ago, it was not an easy time for me (or my husband!).  Despite the fact that I continued to work out, nothing felt like running.   Everything irritated me because I was not having my “release time”.  I am used to putting my running gear on and heading out the door before 7AM every day and suddenly I had to pack a bag for the gym, drive 15 minutes, and then do something I didn’t even really enjoy, like swim or use the elliptical machine.   But because I continued to seek my endorphin release, I kept going back and continued to find more things that eventually became enjoyable – things like kickboxing, body pump, and TRX, to name a few.  After the first two weeks of griping about not being able to run, I got used to the change in my workout routine.

I stopped resisting the fact that I was on a running hiatus.  I began to shift my perspective about the time away from running which shifted the way I felt.  Instead of being angry that I couldn’t run, I viewed the time off and all the cross-training as what would facilitate me being an even stronger runner in the future.  I began to enjoy the change in my routine because, instead of running five days a week and strength training two days a week, I was doing something different every single day.   This variety was not only much more interesting but has strengthened my body in many different ways.  I have done some workouts the past month that have kicked my butt and I have thought more than once “And, I thought I was in good shape!”  I learned that just because I can go out and run 8-10 miles doesn’t mean anything more than I am in good running shape. 

I recently started to slowly get back into running and there is nothing quite like it for me.  It will always be my top choice and the essential start to my day.  That being said, I am grateful for the change in routine because not only has it made me physically stronger, it has made me appreciate running more than ever.   

So, how does all of this relate to your career or leadership role?  I believe we all could use a change in our work routines every so often – it keeps things interesting and it keeps you stronger as a leader, and in your particular field.  I encourage you to change up your routine a bit at work or do something slightly different in your career.  Maybe you can learn a new skill that will enhance another skill you already have.  Maybe you can restructure how you run your staff meetings or have someone else run one for you.  It may make you appreciate what you do and your own strengths a bit more.  Or perhaps do something simpler like drive a new way to work every day – it will give you a new perspective and may make you appreciate the old way in the future.    The idea is to change your routine so you not only appreciate what you have but also grow through the process of change – just like what happened to me during my running hiatus. 

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