There’s something very comforting about routine. Having your favorite coffee shop to go to in the morning. Taking your preferred route to the office. Watching you favorite television shows every week. A routine makes life’s difficulties easier to manage. It provides an escape from tough choices – even if only for a moment. And it grounds us when things can sometimes overwhelm us.
But routines can also be a double-edged sword. How often have you used your comfortable routine to get out of making one of those tough choices? Did you end up putting it off to the last minute and making the wrong one? Or worse – did you choose to not do it at all? And when was the last time you used your routine as an escape from a reality that no longer serves you? Or when you have been overwhelmed, how often did you use your routine to not just ease the pain but numb it?
Routines may be excellent ways to make the hours go by, but they can also be death to creativity.
Let’s say your post-work routine involves drinks with coworkers, an easy dinner at home with a glass of wine and indulging in a few of your favorite shows. How do you feel when the day is done? For many of us, this is a great way to unwind after work; we all need fun social interaction and a way to just relax after a tough day. If you’re doing this every day for several months and are beginning to feel tired, antsy and dissatisfied, it may be time to ask yourself an important question: does this routine still serve me?
Let me make myself clear here: if this routine is still adding value to your life, there’s no need to deviate from what makes you happy. But if this – or any of your other routines – is leaving you unhappy and wanting more, choose to change.
What does that change look like? It’s taking a painting class once a week to reintroduce yourself to your creative side. It’s dusting off those golf clubs to help increase your focus and patience. It’s doing one thing different each day – no matter how small – to exercise your brain in a new way.
You’ve talked about your ideal life and tapping into your authentic self. You’ve pictured what you wanted and literally wrote down what your “perfect” looked like. Now let’s tackle these routines. Are they helping you or hurting you?
If they’re hurting you, it’s time to rediscover old hobbies. Find new hobbies. Revisit ideas that made your eyes light up but you never pursued. Don’t make new routines; create a life you will love living. Rediscover that feeling of accomplishment after trying something new – or getting better at something not so new. Open yourself to the universe and the universe will show you how to give, receive and enjoy love and life again.g out the next step instead of finding peace in the present. When you find yourself wrought with anxiety over tomorrow, try to focus on what it is that is bringing you joy and happiness right now, in this very moment. Tomorrow is never guaranteed and while we often need to think of the future, we can’t forget about the present.