From the second we start grade school we are taught to live by a routine or a rigid schedule in order to accomplish all of the things we “have” to do in a day. The thing is, this whole routine thing doesn’t always work for everyone. As someone who didn’t love the routine, rules, or general structure of school, I don’t know why I ever thought sticking to that same structure into adulthood would somehow work for me. It’s like I was conditioned at a young age to believe that in order to be successful you had to be a Type A personality. Well, friend, let me tell you if you are working to fit that mold that you weren’t made for you are going to spend most of your life feeling out of place and probably super cramped. If you’ve had a hint that maybe this whole routine thing isn’t for you, then you’re going to love this post. Here are 6 little hints that it might be time to break free.
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Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that routines are totally terrible. I mean, I think it’s pretty great when people consistently brush their teeth, wash their hands and wipe their ass. There are some things that we can all agree are good to get in the habit of.
Unfortunately, these routines can tend to spill over into other areas of our lives that were maybe meant to be a little more fluid.
I get it, sometimes life gets busy…we have jobs to get to, kids to cater to, and having a routine can allow us to pencil in some fun times too. But I recently realized that even my fun times were becoming a routine.
After vacation last year I realized how much better I feel after having spent time outside. So I started scheduling a time to walk my dogs after doing all of the other things that I enjoyed like reading and journaling. However, it started to occur to me when I started getting stressed about getting on my walk and then stressing even more about not doing my walk fast enough so I could get to the gym (because moving my body also makes me feel better), that maybe I was missing the whole point.
Call me crazy, but I think taking a walk or going to the gym loses its mental health benefits when it becomes another chore on the to-do list.
So you think maybe you’re someone like me who has fallen into a routine you weren’t actually designed for? Well, I’ve put together some tell-tale signs that you are a person who craves being consistently inconsistent.
They say the surest sign that we are on the path to living a successful, purpose-filled life is if we are having fun. We feel in flow.
What does it mean to be “in flow?”
If you have seen the movie, Soul, you might have a good visual representation in your mind about what being in flow actually means. In the movie, they demonstrate the zone that people go to when they are living in a state of peace, flow and purpose. When you’re in the zone, time stands still and things just feel…easy.
Maybe you’ve been in this place when you were listening to music, when you’re in the kitchen, working on a car, or even running. (PS I can’t relate to that last one at all.)
If you can’t remember the last time you felt that feeling of ease, bliss, and “flowness” then there is a good chance that you have got to switch up your routine.
Of course, some people thrive in routine! That’s where they feel on purpose. It’s what helps them have fun and feel good. For others, however, it can completely hinder us from being who we were made to be! Here’s how to know if you might be one of those people…
I have sifted through the enneagrams a bit to come up with the 4 enneagram types that are most likely to struggle in routine. If you call into enneagrams 2, 4, 7 or 9, you just might be designed to live out of the routine life.
One big ‘ol red flag that your routine isn’t working is if it’s not even yours, to begin with. This realization first occurred to me back in 2015 when I realized I had been living my entire life for what society told me would make me happy. That’s when I decided to create a plan to break free and start living life on my own terms.
Unfortunately, a few years ago I got sucked into the wrong grouping of self-help books mostly written by highly motivated entrepreneurs. With a deep desire to accel at life on “my own terms,” I started to believe that my day had to look like this:
This was of course my interpretation. However, the idea of not achieving the big things I dreamed of achieving in my life scared the crap out of me, so I did my best to follow this billionaire entrepreneur’s idea of success.
While I appreciate the wisdom and knowledge all of these books gave me, I allowed them to get me out of tune with myself, who I am, and what works best for me. Damnit…why do I keep doing this?
The truth is, it can be so hard to un-do our programming, trust our gut instinct and create a life that is actually aligned with our values, who we are, and what we want. If you feel like you need a little guidance in this area, I created a program designed to help you re-design your whole life in 30 days or less.
So if you’re feeling stuck in a routine, take the time to look at your day-to-day and ask yourself how much of what you do was decided on by you and how much was put there by other people?
Remember when I said I tried walking my dogs because being outdoors was fun for me? Then I went and big fat made it no fun anymore?
If you are someone who tries scheduling fun stuff into your life like cocktails with coworkers, sexy time with your partner, or even vacations it might be a good idea to pay attention to whether or not these things even feel fun or relaxing like they used to.
Do you still like those coworkers that you’re sipping cosmos with? Maybe the conversation just isn’t what it used to be and what you really want is to hang out with that new neighbor who moved in next door and has the exact same obsession with knitting as you.
Is your bedroom time feeling very…missionary these days? It can be good to schedule it in, for sure. The benefits of intimate time with someone you love kind of carry over into every area of your life. However, maybe it’s time to literally switch things up. Move around. Dress up. Change locations. Whatever it might be…
Don’t even get me started on that vacation…as someone who has grown a deep fondness for travel, I kind of cringe when I see a fellow mama packing for that same old vacation that she and her family take every year to the same place at the same time.
Is there anything wrong with repeating a vacation to somewhere you love? No. However, the dead-ness in the eyes of a person who has started to see this as a routine is unmistakable.
Before you go playing Groundhogs day with your vacation time, please check in with yourself and see if it even feels like a vacation anymore.
Speaking of..another sign that you are stuck in a routine rut is if you are constantly dreaming of getting the hell out of it. Are you constantly scrolling vacation packages, drooling over other people’s vacay photos, or counting down the days until you can finally get on a plane to Mexico?
If so, you probably aren’t feeling your day-to-day routine so much. I know this was the habit I had fallen into before I decided to completely redesign my entire life.
Switching up our routines can allow us to have a little more fun and freedom in our day to day which means we are less likely to be crazy desperate to escape from it!
Hey, and who says you can’t start having mini vacays without starting too far from home? When I started dreaming of a life of travel, the first thing I did was make sure I could get started ASAP! 5 Things I Did to Live a Wanderlust Life When I Was Broke.
Randomly scrolling Amazon = I’m bored and I need to switch it up by convincing myself that I actually do need a brand new knife sharpener.
Trust me, as a recovering shopaholic, I can promise you that consistently overspending or overshopping is a sure-fire sign that something is off and you are not confronting it.
Even in high school, my desire to never wear the same outfit twice was really my way of trying to keep things a little less routine.
Of course, internet shopping could be a distraction from so many things, being stuck in a routine is just one of the options. So, if you find yourself scrolling Amazon more than normal, let me encourage you to at least pause for a second and ask yourself why you think that is.
Remember, we all do well with a little bit of a routine, sometimes it just takes a little trial and error to figure out what works for us. If you are totally ready to redesign your entire life, check out my Rich Minimalist program that was created to do exactly that!
To find what works best for you, the first thing to do is get to know yourself a little bit:
Check out some of these resources for additional guidance!
Are you designed for routine or not-so-much? The more you know about yourself and what works for you the sooner you can find a routine where it’s needed and create a little more flexibility where you crave it the most.