Don’t worry. It happens to all of us.
You get busy with work and family, and before you know it, you have done the exact same thing every week for months or even years.
Some people find comfort in keeping a routine, and there are times when it is extremely helpful (exercise, diet). But having a routine for everything in your life means nothing is left to chance, there is no room for discovery, and you never push the boundaries.
Gary at Everything-Everywhere has been traveling the world, and last week he wrote a post about his 2-year travel anniversary. In listing some of the things he’s learned, the following struck me:
I can remember almost everything from the last two years. I can usually pinpoint to within a day or two where I was or when something happened. There are entire events I can’t even peg to the correct year from before I left. Everything sort of blurs together when you do the same thing every day of your life.
Think about that statement for a minute. Can you remember what you were doing 3 weeks ago? 6 months ago? Does anything stand out, or are you doing the same things over and over again with only a few highlights each year?
I recently let 2 weeks go by where I didn’t see another human except my husband. (Did I just say that out loud?) Working at home makes it easy for me to become a hermit if I let it, and sometimes the “rut” takes over and I do. Do I remember anything specific about those 2 weeks? Nope. Obviously they weren’t memorable because I did the same things I always do when I stay at home.
I could tell myself that I’m preparing for a trip next year which will definitely break up the routine, but do I really want to wait that long to get out of my rut?
What about you? Are you waiting for something to spring you out of your rut – a new job/lover/vacation?
After reading Gary’s article I decided to make a few changes to my routine, changes that will allow discovery in my life and push the boundaries. These are changes you can try, too:
- Go to a different neighborhood in your city for shopping/dining/entertainment.
- Stop eating lunch at your desk – take a walk, eat outside if possible, or just join your coworkers in the breakroom.
- Read something challenging – an opposing viewpoint, a brand-new subject, or a how-to you’ve always wanted to master.
- Try a new route to work, or take public transportation or ride your bike.
- Take up a hobby you’ve always wanted to try. You can even join a MeetUp group in your area to meet other enthusiasts.
Start opening up your routine to allow for discovery, inspiration, and growth. You may still work 40 hours per week and do the same household chores, but challenging yourself within that routine may give you the spark you have been missing from your life.