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Conscious Routines

How many of us are tied to a similar routine? Sometimes to the point we could live our daily lives with our eyes closed. This can be the order we do things in the morning, or the food we have for breakfast and the direction taken to work. The majority of the time, we live according to a pre-recorded tape in our brain, created from the constant repetition of tasks. Think of all the things you do using unconscious competence – have you ever driven to work, got there and suddenly realised you don’t remember any of the journey? That’s because your brain has reached a point where you can do the job without your conscious mind being involved!

I remember that when I was teaching full-time, going to the same school or college every day made the daily run incredibly regimental. I knew what I would be doing, down to the last minute. When I handed in my notice, then a couple of months later ended up in a field in a caravan with no electricity or running water, my brain had no programming for such an extreme transformation. The only option I had was to be present in the moment, figuring everything out as it happened.

Now, I’m not suggesting you need to move into a caravan in the middle of a field to have this experience. But variety is the spice of life, and it’s great to engage your conscious brain, make new neurological pathways and take your brain to the gym. Breaking your routine forces you to be conscious in that moment, as you can’t rely on a pre-recorded programme to tell your brain what to do. 

So, this week, I invite you to spice it up a bit and get out of your head and into your whole body. Do things differently. Below are some suggestions to help you:

  • Drive, cycle, or walk a different way to work. 
  • If you always go to the same place for lunch, try somewhere different.
  • If you always have a shower before breakfast, then switch it around.
  • If you have set nights for particular meals, change them around. In fact, why not have something that’s not usually on the menu?

How did it feel to change things around? Were you more present in the moment? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below and find out how such change makes you feel.

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