“Variety is the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor.” ~William Cowper, “The Task”
Whether conscious or not, I bet you have a daily routine. We all do. Get up at the same time. Go to work the same way. Eat the same things for lunch. Watch your favorite shows at the same time on the same night.
Same. Same. Same.
That’s not all bad – studies tell us that having a daily routine can make us more productive and efficient. Routines can help us cruise through the mundane tasks of the day.
But lately I’ve been thinking about the benefits of shaking things up a bit. Stepping out of your routine can feel a bit unnerving or even scary for some of us. But it can also be a little bit exciting.
See changes to your routine actually exercise your brain. Most of us know it’s important to focus on our physical health, but we can’t overlook the need to exercise and take care of our brains and psyche too. Just like other parts of our body, our brains need that daily dose of stimulation to keep us mentally sharp.
When you cruise through your day following your daily mundane routines, your brain is running through the same circuits of neurons without expanding or strengthening. That’s why we can move through those routines without little or no conscious thought.
So one of the easiest way to start exercising and challenging your brain is to shake up your routines. Simply changing some of your daily routine can bring the variety that you didn’t even realize you needed.
This is literally something you can start today and it can begin with taking a minute to think about the things you do every day.
Can you think of a different way to do them? Or make small tweaks to them? Or turn them upside down and take a whole new path or approach?
I recently found a photo of my oldest daughters first birthday – and I’ve had, basically, the same haircut since she was one. SHE’S ALMOST 32 YEARS OLD! So I’ve tried a totally new haircut. Not sure if I love it, but every time I look in the mirror, I like that I have a new look! I know it’s exercising my brain, because I’m still shocked when I see myself in the mirror! ?
So shake it up! Maybe take a different route to work tomorrow or even walk on the opposite side of the street. Maybe smile at that stranger that you pass everyday in the hallway. It doesn’t need to be anything monumental. It can be as simple as brushing your teeth with your non-dominate hand! Anything at all to shake up your brain and get it thinking and focusing on something new.
I started this blog with a quote and here is one to end it…
’If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It’s lethal’. ~Paulo Coelho
I think variety really is the spice of life and I’m challenging you to try it. Let me know what routines you’re going to shake up and how it makes you feel.