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My ambivalence about Routine

Can you enjoy a routine if you're an out of the box, spontaneous person?

My take on this may surprise you.

You see, I'm quite a spontaneous person with a high value on freedom and adventure. And I used to find routine and structure extremely boring, rigid and constraining. I suppose a part of me still does.

But I've come to realise that I need BALANCE to thrive.

I'm a passionate person and extremes are easy to creep in for me, and before I know it 100% spontaneity can become 50% distraction + 50% chaos. Not quite what I'd hope to get from spontaneity (which can be so fun and adventurous and free!).

But that's the thing with extremes .... they make things morph into something quite different.

For example whilst giving is important and valuable, 100% giving can morph into burnout, being modest and humble works too but 100% modesty can mutate into "Who am I ..." and disempower you, supporting others and doing what is expected has its place but 100% repressing your vision and living someone else's idea of your life can morph into depression, existential crisis, and so on.

Over time I've come to realise that extremes are not really what serves me best. Or anyone I know. So....

I've dug deep into myself and examined these two opposites - Spontaneity and Routine.
They're very different energies and at first glance it seems they would hate each other, so opposite they are. But really they cannot be without one another. At least over the long run. Like opposite sides of a magnet, they actually attract each other.

Spontaneity NEEDS a container, a frame, a grounding force .... and the Routine provides just that. A space to play around, a focus, a funnel even, to pour all that energy into something purposeful. To not spread yourself too thin and get distracted by myriad of details.

Routine is something you come back to and it's soothing. Like a mantra in a meditation. Like your calm anchor amidst a sh*tstorm. Or like a loved one that's there for you after a long hard day.
It's up to you the kind of Routine you create that works for you, but there are a few principles that matter. It needs to be aligned with:

  • your values,
  • your preferences,
  • and the purpose of the Routine you're creating. 

Your VALUES - What is important to you in life, what guides your actions every day?
Your PREFERENCES - What kind of person are you, what do you like or dislike, what fills you with energy vs. what drains you?
The PURPOSE of the routine - Is it to get you psyched up about the day / wind down at night / get you energised mid-way through a workday / be more productive? Or all of the above?
I call mine a Free-Flow Routine, as it feels more inclusive to my spontaneous nature.

In the work context, this comes down to knowing my priorities, having the plans top of mind (also helps to write them down), and then checking-in with myself during the day to make sure that's still accurate. It's about committing my energy to specific things, and then checking that they're still right for me.

Because the last thing I'd want is to keep doing things purely out of habit, unconsciously, on autopilot, without a real purpose behind it. (I do find habits useful, but only when they're really serving me!)

And that checking-in, that open-endedness satisfies my spontaneous nature, and that's the gift in it. It makes sure my "ladder of success is always leaning against the right building" in the words of Stephen Covey.
This flexibility doesn't mean that actions will always deviate from plans, not at all. But sometimes they might. And that's great too.
So I have my Free-flow workout routine, and work routine, and there's many more routines you can create.
But I most love my morning routine that sets me up for the day. I take time to enjoy my tea, sit down with a journal and do my mindset work. I change it up too, the Free-Flow nature of it allows for that ;-)
So, how about you - what's your relationship to Routine? Do you have one, or more? Love it / can't stand it / tried and abandoned all hope of ever getting it? :)
I'd love to know. And I may be able to help too.
If you'd like to create your own free-flow (or any kind of) routine that will help you manage your life better, or you'd like to create a BIG change in your life but not sure where to start - I'd like to gift you a free 30-min Clarity session (can take longer if we dive real deep).
We're going to:

  • dig into your vision, what do you really want to create in your life, what is the BIG change all about;
  • we'll also dissect your present situation, what's going for you and what's in the way, why hasn't it happened already;
  • and we'll piece together a picture of what the next best steps are for you.

I love supporting people with great visions, it's exciting and motivating to help make them a reality!

And I love supporting people in creating great visions too - out of those subtle inklings we flesh out the vision that's laying hidden somewhere deep inside.

If you feel your vision is waiting, book your session on this link:

(If none of the times are right for you, simply email me back and we'll find a time that works for us both.)

Do you know anyone struggling to create a better routine? Please share this blog with them.

And I'm always happy to hear your take on things, so let me know in the comments below :)

Mojca x

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