It’s really easy to fall into a rut. The “same ole same ole”. We want to be comfortable. We like the familiar. So more often than not, no matter what we say we want, we’ll gravitate toward and maintain the same ole regular routine.
It’s not our fault. It’s the way I think we were built. There’s probably some research somewhere that has been able to correlate our inability to change routines that aren’t productive or healthy for us to our ancestors’ experiences as wandering nomads who never had enough to eat and were never able to secure a safe place to call home. (I haven’t looked, but it seems like you can always find a statistic somewhere to support whatever argument you are trying to make.)
I boil it down to this: change is damn hard.
There is no sugarcoating it. When you decide to wrestle with attempting a significant change, you have to suck it up. Be uncomfortable. Get a little angry. And somehow stay motivated until you reach the promised land of “you like it” (I have to say that is a bit of a myth when it comes to some things for me).
I tell you this because I want you to know that I don’t think I have some profound secret to making everlasting change. I struggle daily just like everyone else. Some things have worked (committing to my morning pages) and most everything else has not. So I devised a plan (through my morning pages) to accomplish a couple of my goals at the same time:
I decided to experiment.
I’ve experimented before- mostly with some kind of diet/exercise routine, but I know from experience that every time I set out on this new path I get all excited and pumped up. I visualize my success and feel thrilled thinking about crossing the finish line. I smile more often and feel more relaxed because I am DOING something.
Over the years, I’ve experimented with some really cool things that have worked. And honestly- most don’t. (Go look up the statistic on Einstein’s failure rate. There is an actual book on his failures!) Experimenting keeps things interesting. It adds a little needed sizzle to life. And if you keep an open mind, you can learn a lot.
My latest experiment is getting up earlier to exercise (a 20-min program) and write my morning pages in the actual morning. (Although I have been doing them, I often find that I’m writing later in the evening.) Day 1 was a successful. Because I have to travel early on Day 2 (tomorrow), I might run into some issues, but that remains to be seen.
Plus the biggest benefit: experimentation is FUN.
What have you experimented with lately?
Photo credit: fdecomite