You have systems, habits—a set of actions and behaviors you’re constantly repeating on autopilot. From time to time it’s worth asking the question: does this routine bring a sense of peace and order? Does it align with your real priorities?
In a distracted culture, the word “routine” can show up to the party with a black eye. It’s easily mistaken as with a life of mundane repetition: equal parts ordinary, dull, and stifling. Because of this misconception we may instinctively want to run away from it as fast as we can. We evade anything that smells remotely close to a humdrum life, constantly on the lookout for something more novel.
It’s a natural, human inclination to search for novelty. But adhering to the right routine is the opposite of boring. If we can learn how to use it, routine becomes a tool that encourages us to dig deeper—rather than digging everywhere. It lets us explore the excitement of the everyday, resulting in a richer, more thoughtful life.
Monks remind us that our lives are spent no matter what we do. They know that having processes and boundaries doesn’t just eliminate distractions, but steadies us to grow in a richer understanding of ourselves and the world we live in. Ultimately this enables us to have a more profound experience of the present, because there is no where else we can really “be.”
However, creating a personalized sense of order in your life isn’t easy, especially at first. It takes commitment and it takes perseverance. And initially, it might take a little discomfort as we eliminate a routine based on mere momentum with one based on intention.
WAYS TO INCORPORATE THIS PRACTICE
Discipline/Commitment • Obedience • Structure
Commit to time blocking for one month. Each day block out every hour of your day and how you plan to spend it.
Create a morning routine and commit to following it for one month. The more consistent it is from day-to-day the better.
Create an evening routine and commit to following it for one month. The more consistent it is from night-to-night the better.
“If we can learn how to use it, routine becomes a tool that encourages us to dig deeper—rather than digging everywhere.”
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