While modern medical science may have revolutionized our life expectancy, it is not a magic wand to resolve all our health-related issues instantly. For best result, it’s procedures, and schedules need to be followed accurately. Being unmindful about one’s drug routine is a standard error that can be avoided easily. In many cases, such a forgetful and careless attitude is the only thing that derails one’s timely recovery from an ailment.
Take my case, for example. As a teenager, I had a massive acne problem. Apart from its adverse impact on my skin and health, it took a toll on my social life and self-confidence. Determined to find a cure, I visited a dermatologist. As per his recommendation, I invested heavily on a wide range of skincare products like face wash, moisturizer, cream and some antibiotic pills. Initially, I was disappointed by the slow results but realized that the medication wasn’t at fault since it was entirely effective for a friend.
When I discussed the issue with him, he asked whether I was following the routine for using the products religiously. Since I was not, I realized that the lack of results was due to irregular usage and not for the ineffectiveness of the products. Determined to have better results, I resolved to stick to my medication schedule. But my resolve lasted only a couple of days as complacency took over and irregularities again crept in. That was when I found a solution never to forget to take my medication on time.
The first thing that came to my mind was setting phone reminders. My phone screen was something I spent considerable amounts of time looking at, and it was almost always with me. My phone’s notification tone always made me unlock it. After setting reminders at appropriate times, I noticed that I mostly never forgot to take my medicine. But the plan was still not completely foolproof.
So, I bought a pillbox and kept it in my tiffin bag. This way, I made sure that I saw the pillbox after lunch when I would put my tiffin box back in its place. Plus, having a pillbox with seven compartments for the seven days of a week instilled a sort of perpetual regime subconsciously. It almost became a part of my daily routine to check my pillbox after lunch.
For maintaining a habit of using my face wash gel, I came up with an idea. I stuck a post-it note above my geyser switch so that I would remember using it while showering every morning. I kept the face cream next to my deodorant on my dressing table so that I would not forget applying it before starting the day.
One more measure that I started to take was putting a calendar next to my bed. Before going to sleep, I would mark a cross on the day’s date if I had taken my last medicine for the day. It became a routine. Since the calendar was next to my bed, filled with crosses from the previous days, I never forgot to mark it.
I already had a formidable plan in place. But to reinforce it, I decided to take assistance from my family members. Two is better than one. So, I assigned my little brother on the watch. I promised him candies and a ride on my bicycle if he reminded me of my medications every morning.
The results followed soon and were spectacular. With the help of overlapping reminders and discipline to follow them, I had a blemish-free face in no time. The trick to accomplish a significant objective lies in systematically achieving a series of small ones.