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Manage Systems, Not Routines


I was thinking the other day about how much I hate routine. Just the term, “routine,” makes me cringe. I’ve never liked to think that I would get into a day-to-day routine for any aspect of my life — not even the things I enjoy the most.

For some reason, routine to me is negative. It’s boring and too buttoned up — I don’t like it. However, I’m not saying I’m against schedules and maintaining patterns to assist in achieving success. Now, I know what you’re thinking. I’m crazy because a routine is a simply a pattern developed in ones life. However, that’s not a routine in my mind. In my mind, a routine is boring and lifeless — a routine makes me think of childhood, when you wake up, go to school, go to practice, come home, eat dinner, do your homework, go to bed and then repeat. BORING!

As I’ve gotten older I’ve changed my thinking about being routine. I manage a schedule that dictates my work at Club Solutions, my exercise at the gym and most social activities — but it’s hardly routine. I like to think of it as a system. I understand that it could all be a terminology differentiation, but for me routines are boring, systems are necessary.

At the office we manage systems that help us get the magazine to print. We have systems in place that contact you for answers and we have systems for writing, design, printing and mailing. All these systems ensure that you receive your issue of Club Solutions on time every month.

Personally, I believe routines are extremely dated for a lot of your members. You are striving and driving as fast as you can (Cake reference) to get members into a routine to attend your gym. But, routines are like rules — made to be broken. You get a member on a routine and immediately the child in them sits on one shoulder and attempts to sway them off the routine. However, if your member is managing their life as a system, they are much less apt to let the system crash.

Systems are necessary for survival. Ask any computer engineer and see how important systems are for the execution of computer programs. Without systems in place, I might not be easily typing this great blog to you right now. But also, if I didn’t have a system in place that provided me with X amount of time to write the blog each week, it would go out whenever I felt like it, or not go out at all — it would just be all lackadaisical.

Systems require variation, but they must have a method to the madness. The variation is why it truly differs from a routine. Variation is OK because you aren’t managing the task, but you are managing the system and successful systems are developed for end goals. If people want to look and feel better, then they need to develop a system that can help them reach that goal — adding health and fitness into their system will help them reach that goal.

Tyler Montgomery is the Editor of Club Solutions Magazine. Contact him at tyler@clubsolutionsmagazine.com

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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