Who remembers the days of youthful enthusiasm, going to the gym with your mates, endless levels of energy bursting at the seams? Perhaps for the fortunate ones, those days still abound. I recall as a young teenager heading off to the gym, board shorts and singlet — the singlet was a pre-requisite: showed off the muscle definition (or lack thereof in my case) — and water bottle in hand, ready for a huge workout.

One thing you soon learn upon entering the gymnasium is the need for routine in your workout. Starting out, you simply try all the machines, two repetitions on this one, and 20 on that easier one; don’t even go near that one. But sooner or later, the manager of the organisation pulls you aside and suggests, if you are serious and a regular attendee, to form a routine. But why?

Routine wasn’t something that came naturally for a 17-year-old male, living life on a diet of fast food and spontaneity. We just don’t feel the need to be so organised, or somewhat regulated in our lifestyle — we know what we want and when we want it, and not much more.

Building Habits

That’s all well and good, until the ‘married with children’ theme song begins. I think it must be a maternal thing, how females are naturally good at organising and diarising their activities. How did mum, and how does your spouse get the eggs to boil at exactly the right time — just as the toast pops up? S’pose it just comes with time. I’ll get there.

Guys, in general, take time in becoming the least bit routine in their lifestyle. My wife has learnt the importance and the feudal-dampening benefits of placing reminder notes all over the house.

I mean, come on, am I the only guy in the world that continually forgets (conveniently) to bring the washing in, or clean the windows, or mow the lawn, or… We don’t mean to forget, it’s just the way we were made. Our minds are elsewhere, whether it is whose turn is it to drive to the beach on Saturday, whether that fishing reel is still on sale, I wonder what the surf’s like today? You know, all those important things in life.

However, I must admit, effort has been made to be more diligent in my routine skills. Especially when you have young children at school, forgetting to pick them up can place a little bit of tension around the dinner table that night — not that I have done that!

Important Occasions

As the years go on, the importance of memory retention becomes focused on certain areas in particular — birthdays and wedding anniversaries. Forget these ones, fellas, and look out.

I am fortunate that my wife is overly enthusiastic about birthdays, and I receive a daily reminder from about six weeks prior to the event. Phew!

But, on a serious note — my tip to achieve an increased level of harmony within the household is to make an effort to formulate a routine. It’s the little things that make a big difference — remember those necessary dates and events — and also those insignificant things that can mean so much to a woman.

When questioned ‘Did you remember to…?” — saying yes to ‘all the above’ will certainly make for happy families. Routine in family life is very important if you want to be a successful father, and sometimes your routine can save you!

Get organised, get motivated, become a gym junkie — at home! This is the best way to win Gold in the “Fatherhood Routine Regatta.”


Photo by Werner Pfennig.

About the Author: Paul Sloan

Paul Sloan is an accountant by trade, but has been a miner and many other things besides. He is married with three children and like most of us, he is still learning to be a father. Paul is an active surfer who lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. He is a family man who hasn't lost his sense of humour.

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