change your routineYesterday, I encouraged you to Protect Your Daily Rituals, but today I want you to Change Your Routine!

There’s a difference between protecting restorative daily rituals and getting stuck in a rut.

Today, I want you to change something in your usual routine (but not part of your designated daily rituals!).  Does that make sense?

Daily Rituals = Purposeful daily routines that promote well being

Usual Routine = Things you do simply out of habit

Why is it helpful to change something in your daily routine?

First of all, you can get out of a mental rut.  If your habits serve no purpose, maybe there’s a more stimulating or healthy adaptation.  Or, if you change things up, maybe you notice or experience something new–it’s okay if it’s as small as changing the driving route you usually take for work, errands, or school.

Further, as I wrote in Try Something Different, changing routinized habits can stimulate novel parts of your brain.

Small daily challenges that don’t overwhelm are good for you!  Changing Your Routine is the counterbalance to Establishing Daily Rituals.  One of the purposes of establishing rituals is to set off a chain reaction in your brain so your mind and body can go on automatic pilot and easily transition from one thing to the next (remember this from The Power of Habit?).  This is a powerful tool when we need to transition during our day, say from the productive part of your day to family/relaxation time, or when we need to perform certain tasks at peak level.

But, if you’re going through most of your day on automatic pilot, that’s not so great–you’re likely to become bored, understimulated, and not observant of your environment.

So change one (or more!) parts of your routine today to challenge yourself and get those neurons rewiring and firing!

What part of your routine do you plan to change today?

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