We are creatures of habit. Habits help us get through the day. They help us take out the stress and fatigue that comes with having to make decisions all day long. That’s why successful people often choose to wear the same suit everyday : to eliminate those small unimpactful decisions from their daily tasks so that they can focus on what truly matters, like being president of America.
However, we are not all running for president of the United States. And although we can definitely benefit from the idea of simplifying our lives, there is a point where our habits become our routine, and our routine becomes our one way to go through life, and that’s when we start missing out on some of the wonders of nature and life.
How can we find the proper balance between great habits that are beneficial to us, like exercising, eating lots of fruit and vegetables, and sleeping enough, and a routine that makes us forget how beautiful life is?
Establish a routine as a frame
Based on my dream vision, I chose to separate my time between the things that will get me closer to my ideal future. Establishing a routine helps me make sure I make space into my schedule to see my family, get in touch with my friends, energize with exercise, get some work done and then relax with yoga.
I see my routine as a frame. I know now that my energy and my time are limited, so I want to make sure I get the most out of it (that’s my perfectionist/hyperactive self talking here) and that I make time for what matters the most to me.
Explore within that frame
Once the frame is set, I get to explore within it, and I make sure I am always open to new experiences while performing the different activities I chose. Just like every day at work is different for me (I’m pretty lucky, my job is quite creative), just like every yoga class is different, since I am always learning something new, just like every dinner with a friend is different, since we are always evolving, my life can still be pretty much exciting within that frame. And since I love every activity I chose, I am always eager to wake up to the new day and what it has to offer.
That’s also within that frame that I believe we can get quite creative. Even though we do have a lot of freedom and we can make choices that will make us happy, we still get some constraints, some pretty basic, to respond to the most basic needs we have: having a roof on our heads, food on the table, and friends to be with.
To answer those needs, we have to get to work. That can be a constraint for most of us, but there is for sure a way to make it fun, learn, and enjoy it while doing so.
The more we limit ourselves, the more we can get creative. That’s one of the possibilities of the frame: how can we make our life exciting while having to respond to the constraints imposed by the very nature of it? That’s one of a challenge I am definitely up to.
Playing, exploring life like a child, seeing the bright side of things, transforming problems into challenges, those are all ways I find to get creative on a daily basis. And that’s what makes me enjoy my “routine”.
Break the routine
Then once your routine is well-established, break it. Do something spontaneous. Your routine is not a regimen, it is there to help you get things done, but once in a while, I’d say at least once or twice a month, do something you are not used to. Try something new. Take risks. Say yes when you would usually say no. Do not think, just do it, now.
Breaking habits may seem easier than it is. We do get stuck into our routine. We get used to doing things a certain way, and as insecure beings, we find comfort in doing the same thing the same way over and over again. We know it’s going to work, we know what to expect, and we do not want it to change. We do not want to live in uncertainty. But we can deal with it
But you also know that life is out there, outside your comfort zone. What is your most vivid memory of the last year? Do you remember getting to work on that morning on March 14th, do you remember that day? I bet you mostly remember the moments where you weren’t doing exactly the same thing that you do every day, the trips, the big family gatherings, the huge events.
Those are the highs of our lives, and we need some of these special moments to. They are not what will necessarily get us closer to realize our dream vision (our routine is there to help us get there once we get to work) but the crazy dreams, the wild adventures do deserve their place into our journey. They can become our journey. And we have to create space for them to happen.
That’s why you need to break the routine. To get out of your autopilot mode. To try new things, force ourselves to get out of our comfort zone, to see what it feels like, to think again, and feel, what we really want to pursue in life.
Let’s make your life an adventure. Be spontaneous. Get into the wild. Get outside. Get out there. That’s where the magic happens.
If you are looking for inspiration to break your routine, I recommend watching that Ted Talk from Mel Robbins on getting out of autopilot mode and create the amazing life you deserve.