I love spontaneity. It makes me happy when I do something on the spur of the moment. Even something as small as a detour down a side street gives me a little thrill.
I've adhered to rigid daily routines for months, and they've always ended up feeling soul-crushing, as though they drained all the color out of life. But things are different now.
I've developed new habits that make me feel more alive, not less. I've seen the impact of consistency and commitment. But that longing for novelty, for change, for the unexpected, still lingers.
The question becomes, "how can I balance long-term goals and daily joy?" The answer lies in my mentality.
I used to combine routines and habits into one concept, but now I know they are different.
A routine is something you do in a planned sequence on a scheduled regular basis. A habit is an activity you practice as a principle. Routines are limiting. Habits are liberating.
Routine= Go for a 2-mile run every day at 5 p.m.
Habit= Work out every day
Routine= Check your email at the top of every hour
Habit= Check your email frequently
Routine= Eat pre-planned, pre-prepared meals every 4 hours on the dot
Habit= Eat meals that fit into your dietary guidelines roughly every 4 hours
Routine= Write a blog post as soon as you wake up every morning
Habit= Write a blog post at some point each day
Changing my mental framework to see routines and habits as distinct has allowed me to bring the power of consistency into my life. Using principles to dictate my behavior across a wide range of activities has empowered me to grow in discipline while still enjoying the flexibility I crave.