Every year, I set myself at least one new year’s resolution, hoping to dramatically improve my life for the year ahead. I set these resolutions fully intending to keep them…
…and fail every time.
Perhaps it’s a lack of motivation, or setting unrealistic goals, but when we don’t see direct results or find ourselves failing, the natural tendency is to give up. So, to avoid this inevitable outcome in 2016, I’ve set myself an achievable goal: to change my routine.*
*Some of you might be thinking ‘Why make a change on January 1st when you can make a change any day of the year?’ Valid point, but I am of the belief that a new year is a new start, so what better time to starting making a positive change?
Why a change in routine?
Yes, routine has its benefits – it keeps us on track and provides a certain calm in the chaos of life, but you don’t need routine to be a productivity ninja. For me, I think the inspiration for my latest resolution was my own feelings of restlessness. I don’t have a boring life by any means, but I enjoy being spontaneous from time to time. The transition from living and working independently in a bustling city, to moving back home to my tiny village is a big change, and I’ve found myself feeling a little too comfortable, and dare I say it, unproductive.
I love trying new things, but after a long day at work, my motivation to do anything other than catch up on Netflix has dwindled as of recent. My vision (and hope) is that breaking routine will break bad habit and actually increase my productivity. So instead of coming home to watch TV or going to the pub for a drink, I could go for a run or try out that yoga class I’ve always fancied. I don’t expect a miracle to happen overnight, but I think if you intend to have a fresh-start and actively try to make each day different, this mindset will help to reinforce positive changes.
What will this involve?
Each goal I set myself will contribute to an overall change in my routine, but I won’t let one off-day change my mindset. I will try my best to remove negative words from my vocabulary – and I don’t just mean swearing – I mean saying you can’t or won’t do something. I’m aiming for an overall more positive outlook, but if I feel like I need to complain, then I will.
A problem I have is letting stressful situations get the better of me. I think a huge part of the reason behind this is my perfectionist attitude. Cliché, I know, but I have always found failure something difficult to bear. So, as part of my new non-routine, I want allow myself to make mistakes and to be okay with them. When you experiment with your daily routine, inevitably you will run into some problems, and if this happens, I will take a deep breath and embrace my failure. Think zen-like calm ninja.
And, in an effort to inject some excitement into my life and discover new interests, I will put myself in unfamiliar situations. Whether that involves signing up for a new fitness class on my own without a friend to laugh with in the corner, skydiving for charity (a goal of mine), or even just changing my regular coffee shop. “The less routine, the more life” is a great quote from Amos Bronson Alcott, and are words of wisdom I will carry with me in 2016.
By Emma Gibbins