Routines can be a great help when it comes to managing your daily life. They allow you to plan and prepare for the days ahead, and therefore minimize the stress and confusion that can result from disorganization. The downside to routines is that a regimented life will usually start to feel confining at some point. Boredom sets in, and you start feeling irritable and restless.
Taking a break from your routine every now and then can bring a welcome sense of freedom and fun back into your life. Even very small changes can be invigorating, such as rearranging your furniture, or starting a new fitness program.
Ideally, you might start by thinking about the areas of your life that feel a bit flat and uninteresting, and come up with ways to make them more fun and inspiring. For example, if you are in the habit of carefully prepping meals every week and you tend to eat the same foods repetitively, research some new recipes, or try a restaurant where you have not eaten before, or even try a meal delivery service for a week.
If you tend to follow the same waking and sleeping schedule every day, set your alarm to wake up earlier to catch the sunrise, or stay up a bit later to gaze at the stars. Rather than watching the same programming on television week after week, seek out an interesting documentary or a musical concert to enjoy.
Take in some new scenery by deliberately choosing a new route when driving to your destination, or even plan a short road trip with a friend. Set aside a few hours each week to broaden your experiences by visiting museums, libraries, public gardens and parks. Get your body moving on some new hiking trails, treat yourself to a spa visit or get a massage once a month, or awaken your creativity with a new hobby.
Another important routine that you may wish to change is your habit of thought. If you find that you are often stuck in the cycle of complaining or criticizing yourself or others, choose a new positive thought to practice, such as, “I choose to focus on the good today.”
When you first begin changing your routines, you might feel a bit unsettled or displaced. You may have become so comfortable in your routines that you find yourself resisting any kind of change. If you push through that initial resistance, you will likely come to love the feeling of enthusiasm that results from trying new things.
While you may decide to keep certain routines in place simply because they help your life run more smoothly, you will also quickly become committed to releasing unnecessary routines wherever possible and embracing change in the areas that have become dull and stagnant.