Routines – Holding You Back or Setting You Free

January 6, 2016 Responsibility

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Do Your Routines Hold You Back?

When I was young, my routines led me to keeping my head down, never volunteering for anything, and staying out of trouble. For the most part, I succeeded – I succeeded in going nowhere and accomplishing nothing. Have you, “been there, done that?”

For many people, each day is just like the one before it. When enough routines are followed, life becomes automatic with very little foresight involved. Some people like their lives being very predictable. They don’t change their appearance, they eat the same three or four meals over and over again, and follow the same route to and from work.

This way of living sets you up for rigid thinking, of being upset about changes of any kind. Change becomes something to be avoided. It also slams the door on learning anything new, content with sticking with what you already know. Life is constantly changing all around us, but for many people, their heels are dug in, vainly trying to hang on to an inflexible way of life that holds them back.

Others are proud of their carefree lifestyle, having no set schedules, no routines, eating when they get hungry, sleeping when they are tired and just drifting along with the breeze.

Neither of these choices has any aim to them, no direction and no real rewards aside from a twisted sense of self-satisfaction.

Purposeful Routines

Routines are established to create efficiencies in how we get things done. We do not have to think about which sock to put on first, how much toothpaste to squeeze on our toothbrush, or any of the mundane tasks we engage in every day.

There are other matters, however, of a more personal choice which lead to self improvement of one kind or another. Examples are:

  • being responsible in your relationships, in your various roles and to yourself,
  • maintaining a gratitude journal of all the things you are grateful for each day,
  • engaging in physical activity suited to your age and condition on a regular basis,
  • allowing some quiet time every day for whatever form of prayer and meditation suits you,
  • providing your body with the nutrients it requires to maintain your health and strengthen your immune system.

This does require foresight, determination and a sense of discipline but rich rewards await you for your efforts. Purposeful routines open you up to new opportunities and ways of understanding your life’s purpose. Yes, that is right – you do have a purpose for being who you are. Your life is precious, far too precious to keep hidden away in a cloud of indifference and insecurities.

Creating New Routines

If any of what I have written is hitting the target with you, it is time to spread your wings. Give thought to which time-wasting routines you follow which no longer serve you (if they ever did). Before you are ready for long flights of changes, start off with short hops. Here are some ideas to consider:

  1. Changing your appearance (hair style, different cut or colour of clothes) gives you a different image. Try a number of things to see what makes you feel better.
  2. Take a different way home from work taking note of things you had not noticed before.
  3. On your days off, explore areas you are unfamiliar with. Heidi and I often take roads just to see where they will take us. We have found many hidden treasures this way.
  4. Shop at a number of independent retailers rather than loading up at the big box stores or multi-national chains. This puts you face to face with fellow residents who are making a living and raising their families in your community.
  5. Take courses in things you know very little about. Keeping your brain working on new skills has many benefits.
  6. Take responsibility for your future. Treat yourself with respect. There has never been another you.

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