Several guidelines to break the monotony and open up to changes.
We wake up, take a shower, have breakfast, go to work, eat, go back to work, come home, chat a bit with our loved ones, do various chores, watch television or play sports, have dinner, sleep … and start over. A large number of people will feel identified with this succession of actions, being in reality their daily or almost daily routine. Many of them will have sighed with some disgust.
And the routine is monotonous, being for many something boring or limited and generating the desire to introduce some other variation. But the question is … how to do it? How to get out of the routine? In this article we are going to try to give some guidelines or indications to try to introduce modifications that allow us to live our life as something a little less monotonous.
What is routine?
For better or for worse, most people know what routine is: it is defined as such the presence of a series of customs and habits that are continuously repeated over time and whose achievement is carried out often automatically.
The routine implies the existence of a functioning scheme from which the subject does not move, and on which, as a general rule, there is no idea of introducing modifications. And the constant repetition and the lack of news can generate that, at the end of the day, we come to think that our life is still a concatenation of the same actions, coming to appear a certain boredom. That is why most people with a fixed routine usually want to modify it from time to time.
But the routine also has good things: it provides security in how things are going to be and makes it difficult for us to have to face unexpected situations and beyond what has already been planned. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why, although it may be monotonous, there is resistance to making changes. The novelty supposes a risk, a risk that can be a certain fear and have different consequences.
Also, many people justify not varying their routine because they have no alternative. And it is true that in today’s society we generally need to have a job, pay bills and maintain our home. However, this does not imply that there is also part of an excuse: although it is possible and even recommended in some cases it is not necessary to make a radical change in life to introduce modifications that make life more exciting.
Guidelines to get out of the routine
Getting out of the routine implies carrying out different actions than we normally do, something that said like that may be easy but in reality it has a certain complexity. That is why in this article we are going to see different guidelines to introduce changes in our day to day and get out of our routine.
1. Identify your routine
The first step in being able to get out of the rut is to recognize that it exists, and to be able to identify it. If you consider that you have a very routine life, you should take into account what you do on a day-to-day basis and that it is repeated continuously.
2. Appreciate what makes her unpleasant
Once the routine we follow has been identified, it is necessary to assess what of all this we dislike, produce rejection or make us feel stagnant. It can be useful to make a self-registration or a schedule of our day to day in which we also assess what each performance makes us feel.
3. Ask yourself what changes you want
What do I want to achieve? How far am I from it? What can I do to get closer? These three questions are fundamental. It is about thinking about what you want and what aspects of the routine bring us closer and which ones take us away. We must also assess what we are willing to do to change. Sometimes it may be necessary to completely break with previous schemes (for example, changing a job that does not satisfy us or ending a relationship that does not fulfill us).
4. Eat and sleep properly
Food and sleep are some of the elements that are least often taken into account and that nevertheless are the most important when it comes to explaining our well-being. This also influences the perception of life as routine. It is important that eating and sleeping are acts in which we are focused on what we do and that we do it well: getting enough sleep and eating in a balanced way is essential to maintain our physical and mental health.
5. Separate spaces
One of the things that can make us see our daily lives as routine is the fact that we do everything at any time and place. It is not uncommon for spaces and actions to intermingle, being difficult to separate the different moments and it is easy for a sense of continuity to appear from which it is difficult for us to disconnect. We must separate spaces and moments, each having its moment and its place and generating a break between the different tasks: do not work stretched out in bed or in the same place where you eat.
6. What do you like or want?
One of the aspects that will allow us to change our routine is to begin to assess elements that we do not practice in our routine and that we would like to implement nonetheless. Ask yourself what your hobbies are or what catches your attention. Maybe we like to crochet, climb a climbing wall, or go to the opera. Leisure is important, and we often do not take advantage of the moments we have free. It is important to generate moments in which we can cultivate our tastes.
7. Set new goals
Perhaps one of the most important ways that can generate the greatest change is the idea of forming a goal or objective, something that we can focus on and that is highly motivating for us.
These goals can be practically anything, but the point is that they are something far from our daily activity. For example, learning to play an instrument, speak a language, study a career, lose weight, take a trip or volunteer, or play sports may be somewhat different goals than usual. It is even possible that the goal is to change jobs or find a partner. Of course, they have to be realistic goals
8. Generate small intermediate steps to reach the new goal
Our original goals can be complex to achieve if the goal is very ambitious. However, this does not mean that we should not try. We will have to establish small intermediate goals that allow us to approach the final objective little by little, these goals being also something stimulating in themselves.
9. Commit and persevere with change
It is fine to make plans, but they are useless if there is not a firm commitment to carry them out. We have to bear in mind that difficulties and obstacles may appear, but we must be capable of being decisive and face that a change requires an effort.
One thing is clear: in most situations, changes will not occur spontaneously but require involvement and effort on the part of oneself. As Einstein said: if you want new results, don’t always do the same. Sitting on the couch and lamenting is understandable at some point, but in practice it is useless and it will be necessary for us to commit to change.
10. Change stimuli in your environment
In addition to the above changes, it may be useful to try to modify small aspects of your environment. Introduce new elements into your office, redecorate your house, change your clothes between work and your leisure moments or put on music that activates or relaxes you (depending on your needs).
11. Meet people and keep an open mind
Meeting new people will push us to see new life perspectives, to learn from others and to give ourselves. It is important to share and be open to trying to understand how others understand the world.
12. Get in touch with nature
Most people who live in a city have little or no contact with nature. And the truth is that such contact has been shown to be beneficial for a large number of conditions such as stress, depression or anxiety. Going from time to time to getaways in natural places can help us better cope with the usual routine and can generate changes.
13. Play sports
Sport is always something positive in terms of reducing stress levels and increasing endorphins, as well as being one of the possible modifications in our day-to-day life (if we did not do it previously) that can generate a great change. Of course, it is important that it does not represent a new routine, but rather a challenge or challenge that we really want to carry out (although at first it will probably be necessary to push ourselves a bit)
14. Allow yourself to improvise
One of the great problems of routine is precisely that it is tremendously predictable. In this way, we must leave a space for improvisation in our lives : it is good that we leave a certain time without planning, in which we can do whatever we want at the moment or that arises.
15. Get out of your comfort zone: explore new possibilities
Something fundamental if we want to break with the routine is the fact of leaving aside our comfort zone. It is important to dare to experience new things, even if we do not know if we will like them or not. Perhaps it is enough to explore a new neighborhood in your city, a type of activity that you have never considered trying or visiting other cultures and countries. And very important: do something you want to do even if it scares you.
16. Meditate or do mindfulness
Another way to proceed may be to do some type of meditation or mindfulness, through which we begin to fully experience the moment we are in, putting aside thoughts and judgments and letting them flow without altering us.