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Daily Routine

May 07, 2017

The more I live in this world, the more I confirm that success is not a destination, but it is a journey. It took me a long time to get that fact right but eventually I did and now that it is in my mind, it no longer worries me any more that I might not get to my destination. Why? Because it is not the actual destination that counts but what you do between now and where your supposed destination is. I use the word “supposed” loosely because once you get to where you thought you were going, you will realize that it is just the beginning of yet another journey. That’s why many people who are successful writers will tell you that once they wrote the first book and became published, it seemed like the second one was calling for them to write it and after that the third and the forth.

Once you achieve success in one area of your life, you will want to keep achieving more and more success in the same area, and eventually you will want to replicate what you did to achieve that success to other areas of your life. I agree with Arthur Ashe who said, “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome." Why? Because once you have identified what you did to become successful in the first instant, you can replicate the same thing to other areas of your life and bring them to the level of success they need to be. In other words, there are certain things that when done will make you very successful.

Today I want to focus on one such “thing”; the thing called a REGIMEN.

Anyone who has ever succeeded in anything will tell you one thing; they had a set of things they did on a regular basis to make things work for them. In other words, they had a regimen they followed like clock-work and no matter what was going on in their world, they tried as much as possible not to break that regimen. Why? Because like John C. Maxwell says, “the secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”  Or regimen.

What you do every day translates to a successful you or a non-successful you. So how do you create a regimen, you might ask. It all boils down to one thing; your vision. What is your vision or goal? What do you want to achieve and by when do you want to achieve it? This is why I always say that unless you have a clear vision or goal of what you want to achieve, it will become very difficult for you to come up with a clear strategy of where you want to go.

If for instance you want to lose weight, you need to decide by when you want to have lost that weight, how much weight you want to have lost by then, which parts of your body you dealt with by that time, maybe through toning, etc. Armed with that clear goal in your mind, you will then be able to craft a daily routine for yourself that will help you achieve your ultimate goal. You can’t wake up one morning and decide to run the whole day and expect that by the end of the day you will have lost your weight. That’s absurd! Remember, it didn’t take you a day to get to that weight, so how do you expect to lose it all in one day? It is the consistency of the routine you create for yourself that will help you lose that weight in the end.

So how do you create a routine for such a goal? You can decide that you will be jogging for 45 minutes everyday, lift weights for 30 minutes everyday, do 50 squats or 50 jumping jacks every day, etc.  Your vision will help you determine the actions (routine) you need to take daily in order to get to your desired destination. Remember, even after reaching that destination (the ideal weight), you will still need to come up with another set of actions (routine) to help you maintain that weight, otherwise, you will find yourself going back to that weight you fought so hard to lose. This goes back to what I said earlier; success is a journey not a destination.

I was looking at some of the most successful people in the world (in their specific areas) and landed on one very interesting person; Michael Phelps aka the human dolphin. When I looked at his daily regimen, I concluded whoever nicknamed him that name was very right! To give you a sneak peak of his routine, just like other swimmers’ routines, he spends many hours in the pool, with added dry training, which largely involves weight training, isometrics and HIIT. But here is the difference between him and others; Phelps trains in the pool for SIX hours a day, SIX days a week, without fail. Even if Christmas day falls on a training day, he does a full day of training. This total and absolute dedication to his training program has made him a world champion. He swims approximately 50 miles (80km) each week, which is over 8 miles per training day (who spends so much time in water, unless you are a fish!). He also does dry training for another 4 hours daily, before he goes for two massages and ice baths to help his body to recover.

But that’s not all; his diet is equally shocking. According to statistics, an average man (not an athlete or sportsman of any kind) only needs 2000 calories a day, while sportsmen and power-lifters need maximum 8000 calories a day.  You’ll never guess how much Phelps consumes in a day.

Michael Phelps consumes a staggering 12,000 calories each day!

His breakfast typically consists of three fried egg sandwiches topped with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions and mayonnaise, toast, an omelette, porridge, three pancakes and two cups of coffee. This breakfast could easily feed my family. Thankfully, this is not all eaten at once. Before practice, he eats cereal or oatmeal, and then after practice, it’s the eggs, omelettes and veges. Phelps’ lunch usually consists of ½ Kg of pasta, with two ham and cheese sandwiches and approx. 1000 kcal of energy drinks. For dinner Michael Phelps has more pasta, another ½ Kg of it, with a pizza and more energy drinks. In addition to this he will take protein supplements to keep his muscles in top condition.

Out of a 24-hour day, Michael Phelps spends a minimum of 10 hours exercising. Are you then surprised that as of August 2016 he had 19 Gold Medals? Now, you attempt to take this kind of a diet and you don’t follow it up with the rigorous routine Michael Phelps keeps up with for six days a week, then we’ll see how you will look like after one month.

So, what’s your takeout for today? If you want to succeed in something, you must have a clear routine you follow through with the utmost discipline, come rain or sunshine, in order to achieve the results you want.

Are you learning a new language, or a new skill? You could decide to read on that area for one hour every morning, discovering something new each day, then practice that skill for another one hour every day, then watch YouTube videos of people who are good in that skill for another hour every day, etc. Whatever it is, create a daily routine for it, stick to that routine and see how much progress you will have after ninety days.

Are you writing a book? Create time on a daily basis to do three very important things; one, think about what you want your readers to read about; two, read in depth about the area you are writing on; three, set at least a minimum of 30 minutes every day to write your book. Within a very short period of time you will see the achievements you will have made.

Whatever it is you are doing, you will only succeed if you have a clear routine and be disciplined enough to keep that routine.

Remember, a routine consistently repeated paves way for related results. I say this because if you are engaging in a negative routine, your results will be negative but if you engage in a positive routine, your results will be positive.

Curate a (positive) routine that will change your story forever. 

 

PS: This article was originally published in Tanzania's Guardian On Sunday on the 7th May, 2017, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words".

 

 

 

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