Are Routines Helpful?

Hello dear friend,

How are you today?

I have been thinking about routines and their uses.

Are routines are worth the trouble?

I remember growing up in an idyllic middle-class estate bulging with dreams of young parents and hopes of a better life. A solid feature of that life was routines set in gold.  We had time slots for everything, which meant I became quite good at reading the clock and knowing what to do. Being reminded by an adult, usually came with dire consequences.

You were never in doubt about what you were supposed to do at every time. Thinking about it now, my parents were quite extreme with this routine thing, and now in hindsight, I wonder if it saved them their sanity to just establish that with dual careers and a fast-growing young family.

However as I have grown up, I have found routines to be somewhat comforting and a source of courage to keep things going especially when I don’t have the mental strength to. It’s like being on autopilot sometimes, the work gets done. 

I remember envying my neighbors who were allowed to watch movies with no restrictions and take leisure strolls around the estate unsupervised.
Looking back now, was that really the right thing?

We would never know. Each parent makes the decision they think is best for their family.

Back to routines, I do enjoy a pretty routine life as it’s second nature to me and I didn’t think anything of it. It has served me well to know where all my documents are kept and to keep straight records over the years.

Being an academically minded person, routine translates into my study habits and even my social habits. So there was this time I had a phone call routine to call all my important contacts during the week. Phew! Exhausting.

You see that in itself is not the right kind of routine, the one that wears you down, or the one that doesn’t have much thought put into it.

While routines will get the job done, they may not necessarily get you living your best life and fulfilling your purpose. They have their uses and limitations.

How to Benefit from Routines

The best way I have found to benefit from routines is to plot yours with intention.

I became more intentional about my routine a few years ago 

I realized that it wasn’t just about appearing to be organized, but it was important to fill my days with things I truly enjoyed, that made me feel my best self and elevated my consciousness.

That is what will save you on the hard days. The routines are established to raise you to your highest self not just any old routine.

Reading Oprah’s The Path Made Clear brought the thought home and I set about looking into the small boxes of time that made up my day.

Let’s walk through this together, shall we?

How do we wake up in the morning? Startled jump to the ringing of alarms, the evil elbow of the lover in the gut, water splash on the face, etc

What do you do next? In your head, before you open your eyes. Think about your to do list, pray, worry about some social problem you have, moan about how much sleep you didn’t get?

When you open your eyes, what are you seeing first?

What do you smell?

What’s your next activity? Shower, coffee, pee, poo, scream at everyone else to wake up or die

You see, my point is, your routine doesn’t start with a to-do list. It starts with these small things.

What can you do about how you wake up to improve your day? And by extension the quality of your life.

Should your alarm be gentler? or set to your favorite dance track rather than that awful ring that terrifies you and sets you on edge first thing in the morning.

Should you teach your mind to practice 3 gratitude points before you open your eyes

Should you put on some calming music to set the tone for your daily prep. Check this out.

Should you create and silence and gentle speaking rule in your household for the morning?

A wise woman I know once said “Respect the silence of the morning”. I love by that advice till this day.

Set the tone for your day intentionally by creating routines that are tailored to ensure that you are thriving.

I hope you find this helpful

As usual send me a message by hitting the comment section of this post.

Share your morning routine with me. I always learn from your replies.  Il be delighted to hear what’s changing for you and see how you progress with that.

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Find me on @mindofmakus on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM, and my podcast is also always available to help you stimulate thoughts and conversations.

Check out the podcast here.

It’s short and I hear quite soothing to listen

Keep being your best self one day at a time.

I believe in your value.

Live Wholeheartedly,

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