How often do you completely change the way you do something?
Actually, forget completely. How about partially? Even minimally?
Sometimes, you lose your grip on momentum for those smart habits and ingenious ways of living you had so meticulously planned.
And often times, it is not for lack of trying.
Because plans do not always follow the brilliant paths paved in your mind. Inconvenient as all get out but a fact of life.
You draw up the perfectly logical plan, fine-tune your motivation and re-fuel your inspiration to just the right level. You are ready to go. You know exactly what you want. You know exactly where you are headed. You have the right tools. You took the right classes. You listened to the right people. You adopted the new way of doing things and no one is going to stop you.
And then, a few weeks later, you stop yourself.
You of all people! The driver, the controller, the man or woman in charge, you slow down. You lose steam. You find excuses. By and by, you distract the living daylights out of yourself and what started as a smart habit or an ingenious way of living turns into boring routine.
You still go through the motions so there is hardly room for applying guilt here. You still get up early. You still write. You still do yoga. You still go for a run. You still give up caffeine. You still take that trip and climb that mountain.
You still do whatever it is that you were going to do but deep down, the fire at the pit of your belly, the butterflies of excitement, the bubbles of anticipation have ceased to burn as brightly.
Something is amiss and if only you could find it again. If only you could draw energy and enthusiasm from it again.
This, my dear friends, is the time to shake up that routine. If something does not work for you after you have genuinely tried to do it a certain way, then change up your approach and shift your ways until you tap into your true potential.
Sometimes, the best tricks of the trade may not work for you. Sometimes the most promising product, service or system may not be a good match for you. Who cares if it worked for Oprah and your best friend? What does it matter if it is the most popular technique on the planet according to every media channel? Seriously, how can any one tool or approach have the same exact impact on all of us when we are as unique in personality, character and physique as our finger prints?
You cannot build your mountains of success on a routine which is a lousy fit for your lifestyle or one which puts limits, rather than sparkles, on your individuality.
You want to become an early riser. You want to become a writer. You want to travel to the Far East. You want to go vegan. You want to become a serious entrepreneur. You want to fulfill that vision of success and happiness.
Fine, then do it! Do it all but when your routine is not working, do not dare to give up. Instead, just shake up your routine, adjust your ways, exercise your brain, and seize new paths to your goal however many times it may take. You will find the exact routine for your most productive, creative, authentic and magical zone.
Shake up your Routine with Subtle Changes:
Do not underestimate the powers behind subtle and small changes and tiny shifts in perspective and mindset.
If waking up at 6am does not work for you, then try 6:30 or 5:30 – or even 4:30 before declaring yourself a night owl for life. Fine-tune the minutes and the hours. Play with how the right timing with your sleep cycle responds. Try a different alarm sound. Put your alarm further from the bed. Set a different routine upon waking. Take a 20-minute nap later in the day. Sleep in a different position. Go to bed earlier or later (yes, sometimes going to bed later moves you to the right sleep cycle!)
If a vegetarian diet does not work for you, try to shift the diet around before turning your back on being a vegetarian altogether. There are thousands of ways to be vegetarian, just as there are thousands of ways to not be one. Try different foods. Avoid certain foods even if they are vegetarian. Change the source of your food; try organic or buy from local farmers. Try different spices on your food. Cook foods differently. Consume the food in different forms such as raw, barely cooked, or baked.
If email overwhelms you, change the way you use it before banning it altogether. Stop checking it first thing after you open your eyes. Just stop it. Use it consciously during the day. Set new expectations for senders waiting to hear from you. Choose a different prioritization system. Set up a separate account for all your less-important mail. Create auto-replies for certain situations. Set limits and follow them. Be master of your email.
If your exercise routine bores you out of your mind, try something different. Do not stop til you find something you love. Our bodies were meant to move and dance and stretch and open. You are bound to find something you will love. Walk. Dance. Cycle. Climb. Run. Jog. Swim. Take up martial arts. Do yoga. Leave the gym and join a studio. Find the exact type of exercise made for your soul and do not settle a minute sooner.
If your relationship has lost the spark, spice things up. Add something. Remove something. Talk something over. Bring something new in. Try something new together. Forgive something buried inside. Forget something said in haste. Surprise with something. Make more room for something. Renew. Rejuvenate. Restart. Revitalize.
You know this but it pays to hear what we know again and again at times: Giving up is lousy because you can have anything in life; it is a matter of desire and determination. But beware for when routine sets in where you had nothing but excitement before. Be on your guard because complacence will not be far behind. Fight the urge to go into the patterns which are harder to shift over a long period of time.
As for me, waking up early has to happen at exactly 4:30am or 5:45am – anything in between and I am frazzled all day. Keeping track of my meditation sessions did nothing to encourage me to do them; instead, I simply find a time during the day to do them. I find walking boring, running painful, gyms atrocious, and aerobics so 1980s. Instead, the 5:45am killer indoor cycling classes with hard rock music and a beloved screaming teacher have awakened the type of inner strength I never thought possible in this body. And taking any old yoga class has not brought me closer to my epic yoga goals so I have tightened my rules of practice, became seriously selective about the teacher and the style of my choosing and will be floating up into that handstand without any wall in sight before the year is up.
But that’s me. And I am different from you because, did I mention, we are as individual as our finger prints?
So what about you?
How you shake up the routines that have become stale in your life?
How you find a way to reignite the fire back into your life?
How you not give up and not give in until you find the exact routine for your most productive, creative, authentic and magical zone?