"Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want a different result, make a different choice."
I tried to find the source of this quote to no avail. It's a popular one and so very true along with all of the other quotes about having to do things differently for different results. We all know the quote by Albert Einstein- "The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result".
This is something we all know and have heard in various ways but a lot of us still get sucked into a routine we've created for ourselves, then feel stuck, like this is it, this is how my life has to go. I wonder what the story was that we heard when we were younger that led us to believe this is true.
Maybe our parents told us to find a job and stick with it for longevity and security. Then we think it's the only path to a secure life, a textbook life, the house with the picket fence, 2 kids and a dog life.
Maybe we just get comfortable, hate taking risks, have a fear about the greener grass on the other side being an illusion- is it smoke & mirrors? I'm sure a lot of the time the greener grass isn't always greener but you can't let that stop you from eyeballing the scene anyway. It's important not to be reckless with your risks, but more like push the envelope a little.
We all get in a phase in our life (hopefully not our entire life), where everything seems a little mundane. Where every day tends to run together, we forget the day of the week, we don't remember what we ate for lunch yesterday because 'does it really matter?'. Our routine seems to be set in stone and we get bored. Then when we get bored we start looking outside of ourselves, at social media, our friends, or coworkers and suddenly we feel envy.
"Everyone is doing so much more than I am! I'm wasting my life away at this job I don't like and Milly is off gallivanting around Europe again with who knows what money because she never seems to work a day in her life! Look at all the photos Billy is posting! His house looks like it's straight out of a catalog! Sally's new dress is gorgeous. I need it, even if it's $500. Why me?"
These stories we tell ourselves can take shape in many forms. You may not be envious of Sally's dress but if a coworker comes to work with a fresh tan, parading around the office with the tale of his weekend on a yacht, it could possibly rub you the wrong way.
Why are we like this? Why do we feel like we're missing out and need to keep up with others? "Keeping up with the Jones" is not a new expression and has certainly existed long before social media. Why can't we just be happy with what we have and our own life path? More importantly, why can't you be Milly, Billy or Sally? Why are you limiting yourself?
Instead of feeling bad about being in a routine rut, let's work our way out of it, on our own terms. There's no need to compare. If you're tired of the choices you've made, make different choices. It's easy as that, and there's no need for anything extreme. I'm offering up a little list on how to mix up your every day to give it a little kick, a little spice, a little something new.
Here we go:
~ Travel a different route to work. Leave 10-20 minutes earlier and take the scenic route. If you stop somewhere for coffee or breakfast on the way, make a game out of it and try a new place every day for a week or two. You might find a new favorite. You can also do this for lunch but make sure it's in your lunch budget. No need to go crazy.
~ The outfit in the back of the closet that you tend to pass over for no good reason? Wear it (or get rid of it).
~ Listen to a new playlist on Spotify or Pandora- music you don't usually listen to but like. Maybe you always seem to feel happy when you hear jazz but you tend to default to pop music whenever you turn on the radio. Turn up the jazz today!
~ Go somewhere you've never been. A lot of people have a set list of things they do on the weekends. If they want to get out of the house they usually choose x, y, or z every weekend. Stop with the x, y, and z! Go somewhere else! Choose a new restaurant, go to a new part of town and stop wherever it catches your eye. Go to a new park, go to a different library, go to a different bookstore (even if it's the same chain), heck, go to a different gas station!
~ Make something new for dinner all week. We all get in a routine with foods we eat. Challenge yourself to make something different every night for a week. It doesn't have to be elaborate. If you eat salad every night for dinner, it could even be mixing up a new dressing every night. Changes don't have to be crazy.
~ Sit on the other side of the couch for once.
~ Start a new series on Netflix, one you've eyed but never actually clicked on.
~ When you run out of products, like soap, get a completely different brand/scent.
~ Put on the necklace you never wear.
~ Part your hair on the opposite side.
~ Buy flowers for your house.
~ Rearrange your furniture.
~ Get a haircut, one you've never had before! (Hair grows, it'll be fine).
~ The morning bagel? Get a muffin.
~ Seek out different stores you buy your groceries or other items from so you can try different products.
~ Always text your friends? Call or write letters on stationery.
~ Is your default "going out for dessert" always the same ice cream place? Try going out for cupcakes instead!
~ Read a book to your child before bed? Listen to an audiobook together instead.
There are so many ways we can mix up our every day lives to create "different results". If we're on a path that begins to feel boring, we're not stuck! That's only the story you're telling yourself. Of course you can make big changes like quitting your job and finding a new one. While that takes a bit more planning financially, it's not impossible. I highly advise never working or spending the majority of your days at something you don't like doing. Why on earth would you be here wasting your good years doing something you don't like? You don't get that time back. This is not a dress rehearsal for another life. Not to sound morbid or anything but every day is one day closer to the end of your story and that's what you want to tell? You suffered through some job/relationship/situation for..... what? There's no certificate at the pearly gates for "he who most suffered".
We're here to enjoy ourselves, to make a positive difference in the world, to love life, to turn our life into an artistic masterpiece. How is yours shaping up? Are you stagnant?
What if, for one week, you did everything differently? Starting from the moment you woke up to the moment you went to sleep, you mixed up your entire day? You had a different breakfast, you watched different tv shows, wore something differently, used different pens at work, emailed people in the afternoon instead of the morning, etc. It doesn't matter how big or how small the changes.
Our life is a direct result of our choices. You are where you are because of every single choice you've ever made. Instead of whining about what your life looks like, take responsibility! Nobody dropped you like a pin on a map and stuck you where you are, you did that. And guess what, it's you who can get you out. Even if you enjoy your life, it's always nice to mix things up. You never know what you'll find out there in our infinite world of opportunity.
So, instead of comparing ourselves to others, or even if you don't, even if you're just bored with what you've created for yourself, know you're not trapped and you're entirely capable of changing the way things are. One step at a time! Little things add up to big things and often it's the little things that really impact our day to day lives. It's important to focus on the smaller scale that we can effectively control each day.
You are in charge.
If you decide to do things a little differently, let me know how!