Are Routines Good or Bad?Jul 12, 2022
Routines are neither good nor bad. It is not about judgement but about the context.
If your routines wear you down, make you feel imbalanced, or keep you in a rut, it is time for you to break away, at least temporarily to reevaluate.
And if you need more structure in your life, a routine can be just what you need.
Break From Routine
It's why vacations are so refreshing. The break from routine opens your eyes to different ways of doing things and opportunities that you hadn’t been able to notice before.
You’ve heard of people going on vacation and falling in love with the place they visited.
Was it the place or how they were being, or who they felt they could be while they were there?
The break from every day routine awakens the senses to possibilities broadening their horizons.
As a parent I am very aware of the routines my children fall into, especially over summer vacation. I see how easily they gravitate to doing the same old same old and notice myself encouraging and even pleading with them to have new experiences. This is a reminder to myself to seek new experiences too.
Is it time to join a club or a group to meet others I normally would not meet? Have you ever wanted to take up ceramics or woodworking? Or join that book club or a group that plays music together? You may have to learn an instrument read authors you have never heard of, or find yourself in a community class with classmates twice or half your age. No matter what the activity, try something that is different from what you normally do. Break from the old routines that can make life feel stale.
Build in Routine
If you lead an unstructured lifestyle and that isn’t working for you, introduce some conscious routine into your life. It doesn’t have to be starting your day with meditations, affirmations, and cold plunges it could be as simple as creating a to-do list. Doing things like making your bed in the morning is a simple training tool for routine and a sense of accomplishment.
And if you tend to be a person who thinks they suck at routine but desperately want routine in your life, you will want to find someone to hold you accountable. Accountability partnerships exist for this very reason to help people create routines around areas where they feel they need structure.
Mix It Up
Many people find having a mix of routine and spontaneity works best for them. I encourage that.
Do something spontaneous to help break up the routine before you get into a rut. And when you return to routine after taking a break it can be a comfort as it restores order in life again.
This may not work for everyone but there is no way to know unless you try.
Only you can decide whether you need to incorporate a routine or if you have too much routine in your life.
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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