All of my life I have been a creature of habit. When I say that I like a certain routine, I mean it. If I get caught in a routine, I will follow that routine like a religion, and any unexpected variation to that routine will be enough to leave me feeling like my world has been completely turned upside down.
Don’t get me wrong, some routines are good to have. Like my morning routine for example. I get up, get dressed, go to a coffee shop near my work, plan my day accordingly, read, and then journal. This is a routine that I don’t want to break because I have found my days to be more productive when I follow through with it. That, and I just feel happier. And to save those around me from having to deal with me being in a bad mood, I just decided that it’s probably best that I stick to it…
Then there’s the bad routines – the pointless ones that provide me with nothing more than a sense of comfort. Just to name a few: I eat the same frozen pizza every Monday after work, and on Thursdays, I will order Chinese. It got to the point where I didn’t go for a week and then next time I went, they told me that they thought something happened to me.
After work, I also take the same route home. I got to the same gym, and for the most part, I do the same workout. There is very little variation in this, a.k.a., very little excitement.
Break Habits For The Better
I don’t know what has caused this change specifically, but over the last few weeks, I have found myself breaking out of my routine and venturing out more and more. Instead of going to the gym every day after work I have been enjoying runs in the beautiful summer weather. Instead of pizza and Chinese, I have been enjoying whatever sounds good or whatever my family makes.
My routines have been similar to my depression in the sense that I allowed them to prevent me from fully being able to enjoy my life. I hated breaking my routines, so I would sometimes bail on going out with friends or family just so that I could stick with it.
Now my main focus isn’t to follow a certain routine, it’s actually to do whatever I can do to change it up, even if it is just by a little bit. I try to do things like taking a new route home from work, eating new foods, changing up a workout, or just something that will bring some change and variation to my life.
Nothing Changes If You Never Change
Do you want to know the real reason why I stuck to my routines for so long? It’s because I was scared. I got overly comfortable with my surrounds, with the familiarity of my schedule, and with the way that my routines made me feel. I didn’t want to change what wasn’t broken.
What I failed to realize, though, is that by not changing what wasn’t broken, I was actually missing out on some pretty cool opportunities.
We are not perfect, and I’m sure there are going to be times in the future where I fall back into a certain habit. But we need to realize that if we want something in life that we don’t currently have, then we need to change it up and do something that we aren’t currently doing.
Pushing Your Fears Aside
I stuck to my routine because I was scared of what might happen when I broke out of them. But to my surprise, when I finally did find the strength to break out of them, nothing bad happened. In fact, it’s been all good up to this point. I have created lifelong memories with friends and family in Cancun, I have been more sociable, and I have even built some pretty strong relationships with some amazing people.
None of this would have happened if I hadn’t broken out of my daily routine. As scary as it was to venture out, I haven’t regretted my decision to do so even for a split second.
Routines can be good, but they can also be bad. From someone who was scared to break out of their routine, I will be the first to say that I am sure glad I did.
These last few weeks have been nothing short of amazing and have shown me that there is more to life that we need to venture out and seek. Nothing good is going to come to us unless we first take the action to seek it and go after it.
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