3 Simple Steps to Establishing a New Routine (in the Middle of a Pandemic)

Today is six years since I took my last drink.


It was red wine, drank as a hangover cure from a night of liquor and beer. I was never a connoisseur of fine wine, delicious beers or high end liquor. I drank to get drunk, then drank to cure the hangovers. Part of not drinking was walking into a meeting and admitting I had a problem, mostly to myself. Another bigger part was establishing new routines.


When the s*** hit the fan in March of this year (2020) routine was shook, big time. I no longer drove my boys to school 4 days a week. I no longer picked them up at 1:50 or 3:05 daily. I no longer had the 2 hour gap to sit and write and do admin tasks for my businesses. All of a sudden we were thrust into a new routine, and at the same time we had shuttered 3 gyms and were fighting for their survival.


The first week I locked myself in my garage gym/broadcast studio and taught 7 classes a day, in an attempt to create a new normal, a new routine, for our members. I had my coaches watch me and learn the formula. We made changes, refined the product and eventually I was able to turn the classes over to them. We succeeded in transitioning in the best way possible, but my routine had been annihilated. I was back to waking up at 4am and grinding until midnight. As my partner Chad has said, "Dan was running CPR on our businesses." It was exhausting and 100% worth it, but also took its toll.


Today, 2 months away from that first Sunday, of running classes online and building a formula for our team, I can say that I'm finally getting some sort of order back. The alarm hits at 6:30, I wake up, coffee, water, go outside, then sit down and write. I still scrolled my feed for too long today but that's getting better.


For me change is all about simplicity and never about perfect. If I did better than yesterday I'm doing ok. Slow, steady change beats fast erratic change, every time.


Ok, so how can you set a routine make it work in the middle of these unprecedented times? I mean, seriously, the United States is openly admitting to UFOs and no one is blinking an eye (LOL). Ok - enough LULZ - here's the simple steps to a reset.


1. Make it simple.

Don't try to change everything at once. Pick an easy win that you can do right away. Start with drinking water first thing in the morning. That's it. Wake up, drink a glass of water. Give yourself a hi-five and a smile - not just in your mind, actually do these thing. Give your brain the little boost of a real smile. You did it. If drinking water isn't your goal, try doing one stretch or one push up or one squat. Again, keep it VERY simple.


2. Make it repeatable.

Pick simple tasks that you can repeat over and over. For me I wake up, water, coffee, outside, laptop open & write. If I do these four things I have won already. My next win is to take a shower before I start my day. I meet with a super consistent personal training client at 8:15am everyday. At 7:45 I'm in the shower, getting ready. Even though I don't leave the house, this does a few things. I look like I have my s*** together (and i do), I feel better & I have hit the reset button.


3. Give yourself a clean slate everyday, every hour, every minute.

Yesterday was a mess? It means nothing. Water under the bridge. When you wake up, you have a clean slate. Use it wisely. If your goal is to not scroll first thing, and you do (whups) - STOP - and move forward. It's ok, you messed up, now move forward. It will work, over time. Try again tomorrow. I make mistakes constantly, and I learn from them and recover (my wife might say different, buy hey...). Without mistakes I wouldn't be where I am. It's my obligation to learn from them, to use them as fuel for the fire, not something to look back at and regret.


OK. That's it for today, time to hit the shower and get after it, one mistake at a time.


Better not perfect.

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