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January 16, 2023

Your Routine Is Too "Routine"

Listen Now:

I’m a huge advocate for building life systems. I find that when you have standardized routines and processes you get reliable results. Having said that, there’s an interesting caveat I want to add that I’ve only recently been thinking about.

What if your routine is feeling too routine? Meaning, what if the things you’re consistently doing are only functioning at a surface level. The sequence of events have been carefully determined to create a certain result, and it’s possible that you’re only receiving a fraction of that result because your mind isn’t in it. Similar to how sometimes we do things to “check the box”, when we aren’t fully-engaged in the activity it’s possible that the benefits are diluted.

In 2023, I really wanted to revamp my morning routine. I do it consistently but felt like the process wasn’t preparing me for my day as much as it could or how I would have liked it to. So I implemented something to interrupt that normal process and my experience with it so far has been tremendous. 

Basically, instead of just going through the list of things I do in my head, I now have a list written down with an intention assigned to each. This gives a voice to the reason “why” I do it rather than just doing it. With this new list, now my process is to first read the intention before I begin. After that I do the behavior with the intention in mind, and then I acknowledge that I completed by reflecting on how effectively I fulfilled that intention at the end.

What this has done is it has brought consciousness to what had become unconscious over time. The more you routinely do something, the more subconscious it becomes. It’s is a process called automaticity. This is great when you want to stay consistent with something because you can do it on autopilot, without much effort. But in order to get the full benefits of doing that behavior, you must pay attention. The more engaged you are in something the deeper the imprint it leaves.

So beyond being in good habits, which is a challenge in itself, the next step is to stay full-engaged in those habits. The benefits will decay over-time if you’re not intentional about cultivating them. Your task is to be more present, more often, doing the things that serve you most, so that you can be as prepared as possible to take on life and make the most of it!

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