Switching up unwanted routines
"By changing nothing, nothing changes."
- Tony Robbins
Even for the most adventurous people out there, life can sometimes feel like an endless series of routines. Self-care routines. Work routines. Family routines. Some repetitive routines, like driving, can put our minds in a form of autopilot where our default mode network kicks in while we effortlessly and mindlessly complete tasks. This is where we can find ourselves getting sucked into a daydream or the latest podcast/audio book and forgetting about the car ride home. Our days are built around our routines.
While routines like exercise and meditation can be very helpful when they benefit our wellbeing, unhealthy routines like excessive alcohol consumption or depriving ourselves of sleep can create bigger health problems for us. We each have our set of routines both good and bad that help shape our days, and ultimately, our livelihoods. It can be easy to get comfortable with routines even when we are aware how some of them do not serve our best interests. We just roll with the routine.
Some routines and habits can be tough to address, especially ones related to addiction like shopping and gambling. There is always help available. Some routines, like keeping our living space clean and avoiding late night snacking, can be more manageable. Switching up our daily routines to create more healthier and productive ones is the key to creating a better quality of life. It takes discipline on our part. Forming healthy and productive routines may seem challenging at times, but once those habits are formed, we can see the benefits and hopefully realize how they help us avoid the unhelpful and unhealthy routines.
What are the one or two unwanted routines you are looking to switch up or eliminate? It can be easier to change an unwanted routine when we replace it with a routine that benefits our wellbeing. It can be as simple as switching out an unhealthy snack for a healthy one, or incorporating some exercise while binging on the latest hit TV show. It all comes down to how bad we want to make those positive changes in our life. While sometimes we may ignore the fact we are stuck in unwanted routines, we can make the effort to do something about it. Our future better self will thank us for it later.
Psychology Today: Why It’s Important to Break Routines
Healthline: How to Break a Habit (and Make It Stick)