I just got back from holiday. Wonderful. Peaceful. Serene. Nothing about it resembled my normal routine. Getting out of our normal routines can give us a fresh mental break, renewed energy, and greater inspiration for when we need a little extra motivation.
Wayne Dyer said, “Have you really lived ten thousand or more days, or have you lived one day ten thousand or more times?”
I don’t want to live the same day over and over. It is the experiences that build us. It is the experiences that challenge us. Living the same day time and time again only provides us comfort. It doesn’t provide growth.
Do We Need a Routine?
Research seems to suggest that routines are good for us. A routine is what you repeat every day, week, or month, etc. It gives you some sort of consistent structure. Maybe you wake up at 5:00 a.m., do yoga, or go for a run. Or maybe you always stay in on Friday night and order pizza and watch a movie. Routines simplify life but they can also bring some boredom to life.
Some great things happen with a routine:
- Productivity: You get things done with nominal thinking. You don’t waste time.
- Progress: Potent routines help you meet your goals. If you consistently follow your routine, you’ll meet your goals much quicker.
- Better Sleep – A study by Reuters, shows that keeping a consistent daily schedule is associated with better sleep.
A lackluster routine can be stagnating. If that’s the kind of routine you have, you can’t rely on that routine to help you achieve your goals and dreams. Those routines don’t serve you well. If your weekly schedule is filled with tasks that keep you busy, but you don’t have anything to show for it at the end of the week, you don’t have a great routine. Continuing in this cycle will only lead to increased discontentment.
Signs it May Be Time to Change Your Schedule
How do you know when it’s time to change your routine?
- You feel stuck in a rut
- You feel uninspired
- You feel a lack of satisfaction / fulfillment with life
- Your daily tasks feel like an obligation or chore rather than fun
- You are busy but have no forward progress
- Your daily activities are not what you want to do
- You feel tired easily and have no energy
Shake it Off and Shake it Up
Maybe your routine is working for you or maybe it’s not. If it’s not, shake it off and make it a goal to switch it up. If your routine isn’t serving you well, admit it, recognize it, and change it.
The Impediment to Success is Comfort
A comfort zone isn’t always bad. It’s like your security blanket. Sometimes you need it. You need that place where you are free of anxiety and stress. You need a place where you feel secure but when you stay in it too long, you are confining your life to a small radius.
You stop growing.
“Your comfort zone is like a rubber band. Once you stretch it, it never reverts back to its original size.”
Your comfort zone is nothing more than a self-imposed boundary. You’ve decided where the markers for your boundary resides. No other person drew those boundaries for you. And if you stay inside of it too long, you’ll risk complacency and your life will stall.
Inspirational and revolutionary thoughts are seldom born from stagnation.
Your Comfort Zone is the Easy Way Out
There’s an old Eagles (yes, severely dating myself) song, Already Gone, which says:
“So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains, And we never even know we have the key”
We do hold the key.
And as you think about branching out it can be a terrifying thought. It’s not easy to dip your toe in uncharted waters. But that’s where the well of abundance and transformation lies. It’s where we grow, learn, and mature in a way that broadens our horizons beyond anything we thought was ever possible.
Staying put and not moving stops you from making a powerful impact in meeting your objectives. That’s why we must persistently evaluate what keeps us in our comfort zone and what keeps us from executing on the actions that propel us forward.
The Dalai Lama said that man “. . . lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” Take a critical look at your routine and keep what’s working and healthy and think about losing what doesn’t serve a good purpose.
How will you shake it up in 2016? I’d love to hear what you will do differently.