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March 11, 2024

Breakthroughs Come From Breaking Out Of Routine

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I’m a huge advocate for having structure and routine in life. Jocko Willink says “Discipline creates freedom”, and I believe that we have more license to be creative when we have lines to draw within because it helps us know where to start.

However, there are some downsides to having overly rigid routines. When we do the same things over and over again it leads to something called ‘automaticity’. This is what the mind does - It tries to offload the cognitive demand of repetitive tasks so that you can save your higher-level thinking for more important things.

While this is a great and helpful mechanism for many things, it creates problems when it causes us to be unconscious for things we’d rather be more present for (and engaged in). For example, gratitude journaling. Automaticity slowly makes the practice a little more automated, meaning you become less connected to the experience, experiencing less gratitude only receive a fraction of the benefits.

So, when we settle into routines over time we start to get less out of them. 

The engine behind automaticity is that we gravitate toward what we’re familiar with. It’s an evolutionary trait that we all share as humans, so if we want to create breakthroughs to our next level we need to break out of our current routine.

This means that we need to create a pattern interrupt. We need to inject consciousness and awareness into what we’re doing to bring us back to it. When you pierce the facade of how things have been you get more choice in how things end up.

We all want a breakthrough. A breakthrough in our health and wellness where we start crushing our workouts, buzz with energy, and get really good rest. A breakthrough in our work where we do a great job with that project, are assigned more responsibility, and increase our income. And the fastest way to achieve that is by doing things different from how you’re currently doing them.

So what can you do differently to ignite the breakthrough you’ve been looking for? For me, right now it’s by experimenting with my eating and sleeping schedules. Reflect on it for yourself and see what you come up with! 

If you want to learn a few small things you can do to radically increase your energy, productivity, and mindset, I’ve put together a video series about the 9 Super Habits that have the power to transform your life with little effort behind the scenes.

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