Bored by Routine? Learn to Unleash the Power of Repetition to Improve Your Health and Life
Is predictability passé? Do you thrive on change? Is chasing novel experiences your thing? Do you view routine activities as boring, even a waste of time? I get it. I’m the kind of person who craves something different. For example, I’m not happy unless I rearrange my furniture every few months. But I’ve learned that tapping into the power of repetition and routine actually gives me more freedom to enjoy novel experiences in my life, and I think it will work for you, too.
The number one reason why routine and the power of repetition gives you more freedom, is that repetitive actions reduce your overall stress levels. Every time you have to stop and make a conscious decision, you’re adding stress to your life. But once the decision is made, you’re free to not think about it again unless you choose.
Doing things routinely allows you to become more centered. I’ll get to how to do that in just a moment. However, let me first assure you that learning to love the power of repetition will improve not only your mental health, but also your physical health. So many people tell me they don’t like the rigidity of counting calories, tracking their food intake, or doing the same exercise routines. With a simple mindset change, you can flip this thinking on its head!
If you think a routine is boring, turn it into a mindful practice — that’s how you unleash the power of repetition. You’ll quickly weed out the things that don’t matter or that you don’t like, and hone in on the ones that make a huge shift in your life. (If you’re not sure of where to start, take my Wellness Assessment. It will help you lay a solid foundation for your best life ever.)
By mindfully executing each routine, you’re taking back control, as you choose to enjoy aspects of each process. With a clear life goal, you become the captain of your life, steering it to the places YOU choose. Sometimes that takes hard work, but your focus is not on the work, it’s on the reward! Thus you become fully attuned to your innate power for self-regulation and self-determination.
Self-care is essential to sustain all that life throws at us, but sustaining a certain level of personal care requires intention, forethought, and practice. This is why turning anything worth doing well and doing often into a daily or weekly practice helps us sustain it and make it better.
There are everyday activities we do automatically. Even these will benefit from a practice of mindfulness, as it builds your “muscle” for choosing and savoring each aspect of your day.
The simple steps to unleashing the power of repetition through a practice of mindfulness
You cannot rush this process. Be prepared to be very patient with yourself. Just know that the more you practice it, the more momentum you’ll pick up and the more progress you’ll make.
Pick one routine activity you do and examine it mindfully for a day or week. I suggest you journal about it, because you’ll discover amazing insights about yourself along the way. Capture them on the page to create a solid record of your wins and reasons for self-confidence.
When you have thorough self-knowledge about the first activity, choose another one and so forth. If you find a routine that’s not working, mindfully change it until it does.
Here’s an example: Morning Coffee…
Smell the fresh ground coffee. Feel the grittiness against the scoop. Think of the plant and land it comes from and how someone picked and prepared it. Listen to the hissing of the hot water hitting the coffee. How is my body responding to the sound? As I take my first sip, how does the mug feel in my hand? What memory(s) does the aroma bring? Do I enjoy the temperature, flavor, or caffeine jolt? Does the second sip taste as good as the first one? If I can’t drink it without sugar or flavoring, is there another healthful beverage I could enjoy just as much that wouldn’t add to my weight? If my goal is to have a sparkling, white smile, how am I feeling about the coffee stains on my teeth? How soon after the caffeine high wear off do I need another jolt? How is my stomach reacting? Does it hinder my ability to sleep? Am I neglecting healthful food, by opting for a quick cuppa instead? Is it changing my mood so I’m impatient with others? If I don’t drink coffee for a month, do I have more energy? (Keep asking questions, until you can’t think of another.)
I’ve done this exercise and I still love my coffee. However, now it’s a choice I’ve consciously made. If, at any time, it no longer serves me, I have the strength to change this routine. And I know that if, and when, I change it up, I’m going to feel excitement over trying something new.
Learning to be mindful about simple things like eating, dressing, and sleeping will build your confidence to safely explore the more turbulent areas of your life.
People who “hate” routine and structure, often love it once they feel safe enough to slow down and learn to listen to what their body is saying. For example, because of unresolved anxiety over a past “failure”, someone seeks diversion from the pain or discomfort that’s manifesting in their body. It’s a form of running away from their discomfort. Once they recognize what’s going on, they can resolve it, finding peace and confidence to follow their big dream.
Would you like assistance in learning how to listen to your body? Somatic coaching unlocks this indispensable skill. Please contact me and schedule a 30-minute complimentary consultation by phone or via Zoom to see if you’d like to partner with me.
Thank you for letting me use your photo Ashley Batz on Unsplash
Habits and Routines, Personal Growth - Professional Growth, self-understanding