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Dear Wendy

Establishing a new daily routine with your partner

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  • #848354 Reply

    Fiance and I are two very busy and ambitious people. We therefore have a very stressed and unproductive daily routine that does not leave a lot of room for health habits.
    For example, on days when finance works from home, I rush out the door in the morning, usually stressed out by the traffic or by the fact that I am running late. On days when finance works in the office, we are both doing the same thing with some additional prodding for each other to wake up.
    After a long day at work, I end up sitting on the couch cruising social media until fiance gets home. We lounge around for a good hour or so on some days, and talk about our day. One of us (usually the fiance since he’s a better cook) then makes dinner. We binge our shows then go to bed super late only to start the day over again.
    I enjoy this to an extent but want to establish a routine that allows for healthier habits, like going to the gym together or reading together instead of always binging on Netflix. It’s easier said than done.
    Any advice on how to establish better routine habits with your partner? We talk about establishing a new routine a lot but often fall back into this lazy way of life OR often something in our schedule changes and fall back into this comfort zone.

    Posted this on the Chat forum originally but meant to post here.

    #848357 Reply

    I think you’ll find you are better rested and less stressed if you don’t always stay up very late binge watching TV. You can hit the gym on your own after work, instead of going home to cruise social media, before your fiancé gets home. Little sleep is going to cause the problems you are having.

    #848360 Reply
    Dear WendyDear Wendy

    You just do it. So what if it’s easier said than done? Do it anyway. Get up early and go for a jog or a bike ride or a brisk walk or a fitness class. Join a gym or a studio so you have accountability and some financial pressure to show up. Sign you and your fiancé up for a weekly class in the evenings that gets you moving, like a dance class or something like that. When you get home from work, instead of scrolling through social media, do some prep work for dinner or prep breakfast for the next morning (like, make some overnight oats for each of you). Instead of lounging and talking for an hour before dinner, catch up during dinner. Or go for a walk together and talk then, instead of talking while lounging, especially since you’re looking at a whole night of sitting and watching television.

    Set goals for yourself – to move more each day, to have less screen time, maybe lose weight (?), try new activities together and hold each other accountable.

    You have to put some effort into this, but the pay-off (better health and a closer relationship) will be worth it.

    #848362 Reply

    You could sit down and write up a schedule. You guys could also sign up for workout groups or classes that would commit you to doing things at specific times.

    Let me ask you this? Is it possible that your fiance prefers to be indolent? If you want to be healthier do you need to do it with him? Is he getting fat and this is a roundabout way to deal with it?

    When you say read together do you mean the same book or read different books sitting next to each other?

    #848363 Reply

    What Wendy said. If you want some strategies, here’s how I manage time:

    For meals during the week, I prep everything on Sunday’s. It usually takes anywhere from 2 – 4 hours, depending on what I’m cutting/prepping/making (like a huge pot of soup for lunches). It makes mornings easier. Packing for lunches easier. Making dinner easier.

    For TV time, after I (or he… depending on who is home from work first) makes dinner, we sit down at the table and dine together. Phones off. We clean up then we get about 1.5 to 2 hours of TV/down time. We pick what we want to watch that evening based on time constraints and promptly go to bed and don’t do the “let’s just watch one more show.” To fall asleep easier, I usually read about a chapter in a book. Some days, maybe two pages.

    As for workouts, the husband is committed to working out two nights a week at a minimum, sometimes more. So, he goes to the gym after work and runs on the weekends. I take pilates every Monday at 6:00 am. It’s something we do.

    Cleaning, we have someone do a deep clean once a month and we take a few minutes in the evening or an hour on weekends to maintain.

    Activities besides TV and phone? We bought Broadway in Chicago season tickets so we’re guaranteed nights out during the week. In fact, we’re going to Cats tonight. We schedule activities with friends, alone and together. We’re open to last minute invites.

    I mean really, all you have to do is make the effort and commit.

    #848374 Reply

    I think you should focus on yourself and hope he follows suit. You don’t have to do everything together. What did you do before you moved in together?

    Go to the gym, run or whatever form of exercise you enjoy right after work instead of scrolling through social media. If you don’t want to veg and watch tv, read. Maybe you should be cooking dinner a few nights a week and you can make healthier meals.

    #848376 Reply

    Find a gym that’s on your way home from work and make it a stop before you get home. The older I’ve gotten, the more I have on my plate, and at this point, if I don’t make it to the gym on the way home from work, it’s not going to happen. I go to a gym with small HIIT/weight group classes and I love it.

    If you have an iPhone, there is a way to have someone else set a password so that you are unable to open specific apps at specific timeframes. If your phone is a problem, do this. Other phones may have a similar feature.

    You’ll also have more time during the week if you do some meal/food prep on the weekend. I try to always have my lunches prepped to the extent possible by Sunday evening, and a plan for fast, easy, and healthier dinners. (Keep in mind, I live alone. If I lived with my boyfriend, I’d take care of my lunches the same way but would probably force him to think ahead about weeknight dinners with me.)

    I can be guilty of this, too, but seriously… just stop going to bed late. The older I get, the harder the next day is for me if I choose to stay up watching TV or out at a bar or whatever. Set a bedtime and stick to it.

    I find the less I exhaust myself by Friday, the more productive my weekends are, too.

    ETA: Anything you can do at night to make your morning easier, do it. I know it’s boring and you just don’t wanna when Netflix is calling your name. Or, in any case, that’s how I am. My mornings are way smoother when I pack my bag with what I need for work and the gym (if I’m going), prep French press for the morning and my snacks for the next day, and round brush my hair. Sometimes I don’t even brush it in the morning when it still looks nice.

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by CopaCopa.
    #848378 Reply

    Also, have kids, which will make it much easier to maintain healthy and productive habits and to exercise at the gym regularly.

    #848379 Reply

    I’ve started by deleting a few applications on my phone, which I think will help. My fiancé is actually the active one so he goes to the gym more regularly than I do but I feel lazy consistently. A big part of it is that I just finished a stressful year and now that it’s over, I want to just lounge. This was fine for a few weeks but I don’t want to be stuck on being lazy for my entire life.

    #848381 Reply

    Being lazy for a few weeks isn’t the same as being lazy for the rest of your life. Go for a walk after work. Go to the the gym. Don’t be hard on yourself. Stop staying up too late. Treat your body well.

    #848382 Reply

    OMG @Fyodor, I lol’ed for real. Seriously OP, I don’t know if you’re planning to have kids, but get in all the shape and get all the sleep now! Only sorta kidding…!

    One thing I do to motivate myself is to think of what Future Me would thank Present Me for doing. Like, Future Me is going to be happy that I set the coffee maker to automatically brew tomorrow morning. The Me of 2 hours from now is going to feel great and enjoy my dinner more, because I’m heading off to the gym. Tomorrow Morning Me is going to be pissed at Tonight Me for bingeing TV instead of going to bed (I also struggle with this one, partly because I DO have a kid and love to have some quiet time after she goes to bed!)

    #848387 Reply

    @Vathena, in the flesh me needs to really think more about future me on Friday evenings when I fall asleep on the couch at, IDK, like 7:30. Future me always hates the six minutes it takes to take out my contacts, wash my face, floss, brush my teeth and moisturize between transitioning from the couch to the bed.

    EDT. Also to note, the husband and I can’t watch a new movie that I really want to see on Friday’s after dinner because without fail, I pass out between 7:30 and 8:15. If I make it to 9:00, it’s a huge win.

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by avatarktfran.
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