We all have our daily routines that provide structure and comfort to our everyday life. It is soothing to know what to expect each day. We are after all, inherently creatures of habit. Whether it’s taking a cycling class at the gym that gets your workday started, or lazy Sunday mornings spent with a cup of coffee solving the Sunday crossword puzzle, we can all find enjoyment in our rituals.
But have you ever noticed the thrill you experience when you try something new or take an unexpected detour from your regular routine? It could be as simple as taking a cardio dance class instead of your regular cycling class or going to the Sunday morning farmer’s market and picking fresh produce for dinner. Taking that step outside of your routine opens that curious child within us and can bring out our playful side. After all, repeating the same experiences over and over again can lose its excitement, not to mention limit our opportunities for growth.
So the next time you are at work, instead of eating lunch at your desk, take your lunch outdoors and people watch while enjoying the fresh air. You never know, you might even make a new friend or meet a potential love interest. The next time you are at your favorite restaurant, order something you have never tried before. Better still? Why not order dessert for dinner. In these moments when you take a trip off the beaten path, acknowledge how it feels, physically, mentally, and spiritually, to try something new. When we shake up our routines, we can discover new ways to infuse our lives with delight and happiness because we are more present in each moment instead of living on autopilot.
Think about the most routine part of your day. Do you always eat the same thing for dinner? Do you always grab that coffee from Starbucks on your way to work? When you run, is it always along an identical route? Pinpoint one activity in your daily life from which you never vary. Now, think about a new activity or variation you could implement to break your established routine. Make that change today.
Take this exercise a step further by making a little change to your routine every few days. Take notice of how your mind feels when you try something different. Through these little changes, you should begin to notice an increase in your energy and enthusiasm for daily life.
Remember, happiness is an inside job®
Harvesting Happiness blog archives, originally published December 25th, 2012