3 Reasons to Change Up Your Routine

3 Reasons to Change Up Your Routine

Imagine if this happened to you. What would you make of it?

On a really warm day last fall, I decided to change my daily routine. I’d been in a bit of a rut and was feeling uninspired, so I made a conscious decision to do something different moving forward.

The next morning, rather than starting my day with coffee and catching up on emails, I decided I’d go for a walk. I put on my sneakers, leashed up the family dog, and out the door we went. But before we reached the end of the driveway, I stopped. Walking in the neighborhood felt too ordinary. It’s something I’ve done far too many times before, just not as often in the morning. I wanted to do something really different.

Then it hit me — I should take a walk around the lake. We live about a 10-minute drive from a beautiful lake with lovely trails.

At first, my work-brain kicked in and said, “If you go to the lake, you’ll get behind on work today.” But I pushed that voice aside and my dog and I headed off to the water.

When we got there, the trail by the lake was empty. There was a little breeze in the air that rippled the water. The only sound was the gravel crunching under my sneakers.

Just then, I said out loud to my dog, “I love walking with you, but you sure don’t have much to say.” Yes, I talk to my dog! A moment later, I followed that thought up with, “Maybe I’ll meet a walking partner. I’d sure love someone to talk to.”

No joke — I said that out loud.

My dog and I walked alone on the trail for about 15 more minutes until another walker emerged coming towards us. Instinctively, I crossed to the other side of the trail so we had room to pass each other.

About six feet after I pass her, she stops, turns around, and says, “Excuse me, this might sound weird, but where did you go to college?”

We both take off our sunglasses, and just like that, I’m reunited after many years with a friend from years passed that I went to school with. We hadn’t seen each other since we graduated, and unfortunately we hadn’t kept in touch.

Viola! I stated I wanted a new walking partner, and a new walking partner appeared!

As it turned out, my friend had a long career in marketing. And guess what I needed most at that moment in time? A marketing expert!

And I wasn’t the only person who benefitted from the conversation. My friend-turned-walking partner was in need of an objective listener to help her sort out her next career move. And if you’re reading this right now, you know exactly what I do for a living! We were the perfect pair for that morning’s walk.

Here’s what I made of this experience.

1. Small Changes May Lead to Great Opportunities or Perspectives

A simple shift in your routine can bring you an opportunity that you might otherwise miss if your brain is on autopilot. By making the commitment to try something new, you’ll put yourself in new circumstances, you’ll be around new people, and you may even get a shift in perspective. If you continue to always do the same ol’ thing, you’ll never know exactly what could be out there.

2. Declare What It Is That You Want

How will you ever get what you want if you don’t state it? Now, in my story, did I get a walking partner just because I said it out loud? Maybe, maybe not. But the truth is, if you want something, don’t just hold it in. Declare it! If it’s something that makes you nervous, write it in a journal. If you’re feeling fearless, scream it to the universe!

3. Follow Your Instincts!

Something compelled me to go to the lake that day. I pushed aside the little risk-adverse voice that said I’d get behind in my work, something that I care deeply about, and I followed my instincts. I was drawn to doing something different with my day, and I trusted myself and went with that feeling.

To this day, my college friend turned walking partner meets me on that trail a few times each week for exercise and friendship. Thank goodness I changed things up and followed my instincts. Our walks rejuvenate me every time.

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