I love routines because they are convenient. They help me to get something done without much thought or effort on my part. This means that I can conserve my energy for more important matters. But routines are a double-edged sword. While they have their uses, an overreliance on them will cause us to be stuck in a rut. To avoid this situation, it is beneficial to changes our routines from time to time. Before I discuss some simple changes we can make to our routines, let us look at some of the benefits that come with a change in routine.
A routine is a tried and true method of getting a task done. As such, it eliminates the need for thinking and creativity. Whenever I carry out a routine, my brain goes into a coma to avoid reinventing the wheel. But like any other muscle of the body, prolonged disuse causes atrophy. When the need arises to use my brain in a creative manner, I find that my thoughts are sluggish from disuse.
You do not need to strain yourself to be creative. The simple act of changing your routine forces you to find new ways of getting the job done. By exercising your creativity to adapt to new conditions, you become more creative as a result.
Routines keep me within my comfort zone where it is safe and familiar. It is safe and familiar because I think I know what to expect. Naturally, I do not bother to notice what happens as I carry out my tasks in a robot-like fashion. There is nothing new to notice anyway. Since inspiration thrives on new experiences and ideas, it is hard for routines to inspire me.
Thankfully, the world is much larger than our comfort zones. Life does not have to be and is never dull and boring. Just the simple act of making small changes to your routine can leave you inspired. This is because in changing your routine, you enter a larger world. There are so many things for you to savour and try. There are so many experiences waiting to enrich your life. From the richness of your new experiences comes inspiration.
Mastery of Changes
As I mentioned earlier, routines make tend to make me sluggish. Sure, I have no problem in carrying out a routine task quickly if everything goes as I expect it to. But if a change were to disrupt my routine, it would leave me disoriented, as if I had just awakened from a long slumber. This is hardly the right frame of mind for me to handle change or challenges. Although routines can be useful, an overreliance on them only dulls my edge.
Changes are the only constant in life. To master change, you have to deal with change on a constant basis. This is the only way to learn to handle change successfully. With time, you will gain the wisdom needed to handle most changes with calm and composure simply because you are used to it. Learning to handle change is not difficult. All it takes is to make small changes to your routines from time to time. These little changes count because they keep you sharp and ready for change at any time.
5 Simple Changes in Routine
Having said all that, changing your routine does not entail huge upheavals that will upset your life. That is counter-productive. The original purpose of a routine is to make your life easier in this hectic day and age. So unless you have a pressing reason for massive change, small and simple changes to your routine will do.
Personally, I prefer simple changes to my routine. I believe that small and lasting changes have a greater effect than a one-off major change. So here are some small changes that I made to my routines that you can try as well.
1. A Change in Reading Habits
Reading is one of the main ways in which we absorb information. Yet many of us have fixed reading habits. We like to stick to the same type of books and websites because they are familiar. This is one area where we can make small changes to our routines.
I remember the first time I read the manga Naruto. I was sceptical about it at first, but I soon found myself sucked into a fascinating world. In the process, I learned a lot about life and its lessons. Who would have thought that a manga could teach me such things?
If you like to read fiction, try non-fiction instead. If you read books, try reading comics or manga. Or you could also try visiting other websites to see what they have to offer. By reading things you would not normally read, you step out of your comfort zone into another world. In doing so, you life will be richer because of it.
2. A Change in Culinary Delights
Ok I admit I am not a foodie. In fact, I am a boring eater who eats to function. It is therefore not surprising that people have expressed concerned for my underused taste buds. Thus for me, a change in culinary delights is a great way to add change to my routine. When I try new food, I excite my taste buds because they do not know what to expect. On top of that, I get to enjoy the ambience of each new restaurant that I visit. By changing the food and the places you eat, you are likely to take the time to savour your meals instead of rushing through them. A great meal can leave you feeling refreshed and inspired.
3. Have a Mini-Adventure
Do you notice the surroundings as you travel back and forth from point A to B? Most people I observe travel with glazed eyes. Whether it is on a train or a bus, they sleep, read or listen to music. Since they know where and how to get to their destination, they can afford to zone out and make it there in one piece. But if they were in an unfamiliar place, they would not have the luxury of doing so.
As such, having a mini-adventure is a great way to add change to your routine. You could visit a new country, check out a new place or take a different route to a familiar destination. On the one hand, you expose yourself to things you have never seen or done before. On the other hand, you become more alert and present as you immerse yourself in the experience. Changes are bound to accompany new experiences. Your mini-adventures will help you to deal with changes as they arise.
4. Make New Friends
Making new friends is another simple change you can introduce to your life. When new friends enter your life, they bring along their experiences and ideas that will influence you in some way. As time passes, you learn from and grow with them, stepping out of your comfort zone in the process. Together, you will create shared experiences that add flavour and meaning to your life.
Much of who we are today are the result of the influence that our friends have on us. As such, we have to be careful in choosing our friends. In this way, we ensure that the changes our friends introduce to our lives are good for us.
5. Learn Something New
Learning a new skill or hobby helps to unleash your potential. It can stretch your mind or cause you to use your body in ways you never have. Sometimes it can do both. Take yoga for example. It increases your flexibility, tones your muscles and harmonizes your mind with your body. Learning to play chess on the other hand, teaches you mental clarity, focus, patience and strategy. Each new skill you pick up will add variety and spice to your life.
As you can see, it does not take a massive upheaval to attain the benefits of changing your routine from time to time. Simple changes are just as effective, if not more so. What matters is that we do not allow ourselves to become too comfortable with any routine that keeps our lives going. A little change from time to time is good for the soul.
What are your thoughts on the routines in your life? What other benefits are there in changing our routines from time to time? Are there any other simple changes we can make to the routines we have? Do share your thoughts and comments below.