AIUEO － Ru – ルーティンーRoutine
Learning how to come up with your own routine? Find out more about Yumi sensei’s routine and her advice to others!
Some food for thought: Do you have a fixed daily routine?
In my opinion, routines produce results. Thus for me, I adopt a few. I eat natto and eggs for breakfast, drink coffee when I reach my workplace, stretch before sleeping, etc. That being said, I am not consciously doing them at the same time, in the same way, every day. If I do that, then what I think I’m doing well is actually just a habit.
Routines are used to refer to “a fixed task every time,” and might give the impression of being boring tasks. However, ever since a few years ago, it has been used more often to refer to a series of motions that an athlete goes through before an important match. At crucial moments, they go through some fixed motions to stabilize their mental state and heighten their focus.
As for Japanese people, you can see this being done by Ichiro, the baseball athlete, before entering the batter’s box, Goromaru, the rugby athlete, and sumo wrestlers before a match. By consciously doing the same motions that you usually do, you will be able to show off your true abilities without succumbing to the pressure in situations that make you nervous.
There are likely many athletes who stick to a detailed and fixed routine not just in crucial moments, but for their daily schedules, what they eat for their meals, and even the clothes that they wear. By deciding on a daily schedule, it is easy to detect even slight changes within yourself, and practice habits that are appropriate for you.
Thus, the effects of a routine are not limited only to athletes. It is also effective on people who wish to make studying a habit or want to focus on studying for a test. How about making some coffee, sitting at your favourite spot, and studying at a fixed time? Please try doing this at the same time and same place, no matter whether you feel like doing it or not.
I know a few people who have succeeded in making studying a habit. One person comes to school and revises one hour before class. One person uses an app to learn new words for 15 minutes every morning. One person listens to a Japanese audiobook on the train on the way to work. After three months, these routines will become a small form of self-confidence. This is because you will have already achieved something that you decided for yourself before coming to class.
It might be difficult to detect everyday changes. You might feel this way sometimes.
“I’m not getting better even though I’m practising”
“What? I feel like I’m actually getting worse”
Words of encouragement
As long as you continue practising, you will not be disappointed. That is because, when you try to use new words and grammar, that is when you are trying to talk about things that you have never talked about before, right? During the process of taking on new challenges, it is difficult to detect the effects. Instead, you might feel that you are actually getting worse.
But there are many people who, one day, are told, “You’ve gotten really good!” or say, “I’m not sure, but I’ve been getting more chances to speak Japanese lately.” You might only feel how much progress you’ve made when someone else comments on it.
About the Author
Yumi Yoshida from Tohoku has 16 years experience as a Japanese Language Teacher. Yumi loves hiking, travelling and drinking Japanese Sake. She thinks that the best way to learn Japanese is from fun and friendly conversation.