Break Free of the Monotony

You wake up at the same time every morning, you have the same morning routine, and then you get to work. Everything’s the same; same tasks, same co-worker, same boss. You come home, it’s all the same; same chores, same dinner, same taking care of the same family members. Everything is the same, day in and day out. Now, look, I am a huge fan of routines. Routines are proven to build a framework in order for you to maximize your resources, and to be as productive and efficient as possible.

So I don’t want you to ditch the routines, but how do you move out of this monotony?

In past videos, one of the strategies I’ve talked about is planning something for the future, something you can look forward to. But if today you’re sitting here saying, “Colleen that’s great, but I’ve got to move out of this monotony right now. I cannot plan something in the future, I’ve got to make some changes or I’m going to go a little bit crazy!” If that’s where you are today, I want to offer how you can do that without breaking up or disrupting the foundation of your routines. Because we want to stay as productive as possible, but how do we shake things up a little bit?

Recently at the gym, as you know, I’m an instructor and I teach just one format called Body Combat. Well, a fellow instructor’s on vacation for a couple of weeks, and she teaches completely different formats than I do. But they were having trouble finding some coverage for her classes, so I said, sure, I’ll come in and cover – however I can only teach my format, not hers. We made tons of announcements and tried to let all of the members know, but inevitably I show up to cover her class and of course, there were a couple of members who didn’t realize that it was not going to be a weightlifting class, but it was going to be a mixed martial arts inspired cardio class – completely different.

I shared with them, “Hey, have you done this before? Why not stay and check it out? I won’t get offended if you stay for 10-15 minutes and it’s not the right fit, then leave.” One of the members, an older woman, said, “You know what, how are we going to know if we like it or we don’t like it if we just don’t try it?” This woman, including several others, stayed for the entire hour class. And that woman came up to me afterwards and she said, “That was so much fun! When else do you teach that class? I can’t wait to build that into my routine.”

Look, she would have never known! She wasn’t going outside the structure of her routine, she was showing up the same day and same time, she just decided to try something new in that time slot. And that’s what I offer for you. Where can you, in the framework of your current routines, just tweak something small? For example, if you read at a particular time each day, could you change the genre that you typically read?

If you exercise at a certain time each day or certain days during the week, could you try a new format? If you cook dinner every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, could you try a new recipe, or even not just a new recipe but a new type of cuisine? For me, I had never really experimented with any type of Indian based dishes, those kinds of spices, and it completely changed up how our family enjoys dinner and our food selection.

So keep your routines – keep your routine so you stay productive and you don’t drive yourself crazy that you’re trying to completely flip everything upside down.

But where in your current routines can you make a small tweak to try something new, so that you can move out of the monotony you may be feeling today? Post in the comments below, I’d love to hear what that thing is going to be for you in the coming days and weeks ahead.

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