Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Give Change a Chance

Photo: herd.typepad.com

Hello Optimists,

I've been feeling a bit out of my element lately...like my schedule has been turned upside down and my daily "routines" have been thrown out the window. I'm usually one to try to stray away from routine and I'm usually a "go with the flow" type of person. But lately I feel like I've been turning in circles, unsure what I should do or when I should do it. I'm like a dog who keeps circling and circling inside their little bed, trying to find that perfect spot to lay down. I guess things for me have been a bit less structured these past few weeks, and now I'm left with a little more of an open schedule (and I'm sure not complaining about that!) yet I feel as if I got more accomplished when I was busier.

I guess whether we realize it or not, we all have a little routine we follow every day. And it's not such a bad thing either, as long as we don't let it rule our every move. Switching to a new surrounding or taking on a new task can really disrupt things though, and whenever that happens, we're forced to readjust. Finding the "normal" way of life again takes a while...and we need to take some time to get back into the swing of things. As annoying as this may be, it's kind of fun to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. It allows us to explore more, find new ways of doing things, or maybe even just find a new order of getting things done. Thinking of all of this reminded me of a great quote I once read about breaking routine, and I thought it would be a good one to feature for today's post.
As long as habit and routine dictate the pattern of living, new dimensions of the soul will not emerge. -Henry Van Dyke
It's important for all of us to keep this in mind because it's easy to get lost in a whirlwind of habit. If you think about it, most of us have a daily routine; everything from our morning wake up ritual to our daily commute to work is identical. Welcoming change and new ways of doing things should be something we do on a regular basis. And you know, it's kind of fun to mix things up...it really has a way of making you feel present in your daily activities.

So while I thought I was feeling all out of sorts because of adjusting to my new schedule, I am now realizing that this is a perfect opportunity to create a new dimension to my life. This new change of pace may be the wake up call I needed. It will always feel a bit weird the first time we do something new, but change is the way of life and we have to be open to the "new dimensions of our soul that can emerge" if we just give change a chance.

Here are a few ways I came up with to change up our habit and routine and open the doors to new opportunities:
- Change your daily route to work - you never know what cool scenery you might come across or what new shortcut you might find.
- Try a new restaurant - being a regular is not a bad thing, but you may find that you can now add a new favorite to your list of best places to eat.
- Gearing up for your everyday treadmill workout? Mix it up and have some fun on the bike or try out the elliptical.
- Make some time in your schedule to do something you want to do - instead of sleep, eat, work, gym, eat, sleep... mix it up and fit in some fun!

So, Optimists, do you let habit and routine dictate your pattern of living? What do you do to mix things up?

Keep Smiling,


  1. I never really feel like I operate in a routine but I do things out of habit all the time... so it is sort of the same thing! Before becoming a SAHM I had a very demanding job that required I be diligent about time management and I was really good at getting a ton of stuff done. Like you, now that things aren't so structured, I find it hard to accomplish as much. I'm ok with that for now but I definitely feel change a brewing!

  2. When I am in school, I have such a routine. Now, I have no set weekly schedule. In a few weeks, my work schedule will normalize, so I am taking advantage of this free time by going to a giant flea market one day and a local state park to run and hike the next.


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