rou·tine /ro͞oˈtēn/ noun – a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.
Some of the most successful people in history, the ones that many of us consider geniuses in their own right and fields, all had one thing in common: they all stuck to a routine. Routines that were rigid, specific and they adhered to them on a daily basis for their entire lives. There are too many of us out there that fall away from routine because it is too boring, we get tired of doing the same old thing every single day.
Yes, routines seem boring, they seem like they ground you in one place and you can’t ever go somewhere else. Routine and happiness don’t go together, but darling, they could. Your routine doesn’t have to be sitting in the same office for 8 hours, going home and making dinner, tucking your kids in – which, don’t get me wrong, is still great. Seeking your perpetual happiness, your ‘more,’ can be your routine. Trust me, I know I sound crazy, just bear with me.
Your routine could be that road trip once a month, your weekly girls/guys night. It could be travelling to a new province, state, country once a month. Your routine could be the least likely of all routines out there and it could push you towards your perpetual happiness. The point of a routine like this is not to have the same constant stimulus thrown your way but to stimulate yourself in a way that excites you. To get you out of your zone and push your subconscious mind elsewhere, somewhere that is out of the realm of constant, repetitive motion.
Step outside the box of the instant gratification that this life can throw at you. Step away from it and stick to something that creates your own habitualness. This will help you create a shift in your moods and in turn that will allow you to be more in tune with your own personality and nurture it. Push through the resilience with regulation. Psychology teaches you this: moods are created by how much we sleep, what we eat, how much we move throughout the day, what we think about and how often, and so on… It is not just one thing that throws us off for an entire day, week or month. It is the continuous pattern of experience that does.
Let your mind be open to the things that mean something to you in the long-run. Don’t let your impulses dictate your decisions. Certainly don’t let your fears either. Let all of the other shit that builds up fall away. Think about the happiness of a positive experience push you towards something better. The more positive experiences you have surrounding something that seems drab: like marking term papers or filling out reports, allows you to experience them in a new way. You are doing enough, don’t let your mind tell you that you aren’t. Passion drives this and if you are passionate in different ways based on the happiness you have found, your mood will be impacted.
Don’t let your natural instinct of flight and fight be impacted by the things that you have done lately. The more you push yourself away from the unknown, devalues this instinct. We no longer understand that change is important and embrace it, we fear it. If we turned that fear off once in a while to actually enjoy something, we might actually find ourselves liking the unexpected… just a thought.
Don’t be biased on routine. Embrace your un-routine and make it your abstract version of a properly constructed routine. Without some sort of routine, our minds are a breeding ground for a lifetime of procrastination. It gives us every reason to tell us that it is okay to give up even if there is a deadline you have to meet. With your un-routine, you lose this, since you take a break every now and again, it is okay, simply because you always do.
Embrace the idea of un-routines and make them something special. It is okay to love what you do, it is okay to be happy with routine. Look at the lives of Hemingway, Wintour, Franklin, Jobs. Their routines are a brilliant combination of work, reflection and downtime. Nothing more, nothing less.