Changing It Up by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC

While 2020 has certainly been a year of change, it doesn’t take humans long to fall into patterns of behavior that are not always positive. In many situations, the changes we have all experienced this year have created a more casual working environment, with bringing your pet to work and wearing your pajama bottoms becoming a daily occurrence.

Regardless of the reason for these changes, the New Year can create a way to challenge ourselves to make changes. Changes do not have to be big changes, and sometimes even small little things can have a big impact on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

The Problem with Routines

Routines are problematic as they are something we do on autopilot. When we are operating on autopilot, we do not challenge ourselves or try to do better. In fact, it is only when there is some reason why we cannot stay on autopilot that we make a change in the routine. It is only through a change in a routine that we try something new, which is more engaging, inspiring, and creates a sense of awareness around what we are doing.

There is a reason why athletes continuously change up their workout and practice routines. They know that if they keep doing the same workout and practice, they hit a performance plateau. However, if they try new equipment, incorporate new exercises, or change weights throughout training, they perform better and have the ability to improve continually.

The same is true for our emotional and mental well-being. Talking to new people, learning new things, engaging our creative side, or challenging ourselves with new roles and responsibilities makes us grow as individuals.

Get Out of the Rut

Getting out of a rut doesn’t mean you have to change everything at once. Instead, try committing to one personal and one professional change. Start small, perhaps taking a new route to work, and notice how you become more aware of the streets, the traffic, and even things around you. Perhaps, instead of sitting in front of the television after dinner, try going for a walk, playing a game with the kids, or reading a book you have always wanted to open but never had the time.

Look for things you do on autopilot and make a change. Challenge yourself to try something new, take a course, commit to something you have always wanted to do, and just get out of that rut.