At some point in everyone’s career, routines will be developed and they’ll influence the decisions we make as well as our mental and physical well-being. We can develop good routines that keep us optimistic and energized every day or we could have bad routines that drain our motivation. To avoid creating routines that instill a pessimistic outlook in my life, I’ve made breaking routines a priority. Here’s why breaking routines is important to renewing your sense of self-worth, optimism, and motivation.
Be aware of your habits
Every time we make a decision, we draw from our knowledge and intuition that’s driven by past experiences. Over time, many of these decisions are made unconsciously because we’ve decided that the actions or answers will always be the same. For example, let’s say I have a habit of waking up to my alarm at 6:00 in the morning and I hit the snooze button for 15 extra minutes of sleep. When it goes off again, I repeat this action until I eventually decide that I have to get up and start my day.
During the first few times that this occurs, I’m aware of my decision to snooze my alarm and I have a few seconds to choose my action. However, each time this happens, it starts to become a habit and I’m no longer aware of the decision that I make every morning. Now add this to all of my other morning habits and there’s my morning routine.
Being aware of the decisions that we make is important to developing a lifestyle that we want for ourselves. With this awareness, we’re able to reflect on the reasons why we choose to snooze our alarms several times every morning or why we only had enough time to grab a prepackaged breakfast on the way out the door.
Each of our routines affects our health, lifestyle, mentality, and energy throughout our day. As we develop one bad routine after another such as eating processed foods, sleeping late, and binging Netflix shows every night, it can make us feel tired and frustrated throughout the day. This will reflect poorly in our actions at work and home. However, if we develop better habits such as healthier eating, exercising, sleeping early, and avoiding the never ending social media feeds, we’ll feel more energetic and optimistic about ourselves.
Breaking your routines
Deciding between a good or bad routine is subjective and it’s based on the experiences that have shaped us. For us to determine which of our routines might be bad, we need to know what we value the most in our lives. Perhaps it’s having the energy or time to hang out with our children or be able to go traveling to places around the world where transportation is limited. Knowing our most important values will help us determine what routines we need to have to get us there.
Once we figure out our values, the next step is to reflect on a typical day from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep at night. During this time when we’re awake, what happens on a typical weekday and weekend? What time do we wake up in the morning and what’s the first thing that we do? What happens when we take the first step out of our beds? How long does it take us to leave our house and head to the office?
Review this list from the perspective of time. How long do we spend on our phones in the morning? How long do our conversations with our loved ones last? How much time do we spend exercising? Traveling to and from work? Then, we take this knowledge and we reflect on the reasons why we spend more time in some areas and less in others.
Now, we compare our list of current routines against our biggest values for our foreseeable future. How many of these routines align with what we ultimately want to do with our lives? Which routines do we need to change to reach our values faster? Lastly, choose the routines that need to change and focus on implementing these changes one habit at a time.
Based on these simple tasks and questions, we can see that crafting proper routines for our lives increases our sense of fulfillment, self-worth, optimism, and motivation. The act of writing down our values and shaping our routines to achieve them creates a sense of excitement that might’ve been lost in our current routines that we’ve been repeating for years, maybe decades.
Why we should always break our routines
For me, breaking my routines has always helped me renew my sense of being by resetting my values and helping me focus on my life goal. As I share on this blog, I eventually want to start my own architecture and design firm, which means that I need to learn all the different areas of running a business.
To reach this goal, I reflect on my routines at least once every quarter and determine if any of them need to be broken and changed. Some of these routines, like attempting to multitask while watching a show on Netflix, were very difficult to break. Other bad routines were missed because they never crossed my mind like grabbing my phone and surfing my newsfeeds every morning.
So with the beginning of 2018, we should all take some time to change our bad habits and set new routines to practice in our day to day activities. Let’s dispel the myth of architects being both night owls and early birds, which basically means architects never sleep, and put our health ahead of our work. When we’ve reached our mental limit at the architecture firm, let’s put down our phones and walk away from our desktops. Let’s wake up and watch the sunrise as we get a head start to our day. Lastly, let’s put away technology when we’re spending time with someone we love.
Break bad routines, not ourselves.
This post is part of the ArchiTalks blog series where a topic is chosen for fellow bloggers to interpret and write about. This month's topic was "Renewal". Check out some of the other posts from this series by clicking on their title below!
Lee Calisti, AIA - Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
get out of town renewal
Lora Teagarden - L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
Jeremiah Russell, AIA - ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
Eric T. Faulkner - Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
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Stephen Ramos - BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@BuildingsRCool)
No guts, no glory!
Brian Paletz - The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
Jeffrey Pelletier - Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
5 Tips for Harnessing Renewal to Advance Your Goals
Jim Mehaffey - Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
Renewal (at Each Beginning)
Meghana Joshi - IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
Architalks 34: Renewal
Samantha R. Markham - The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)
reNEWal. new year. new goals
Larry Lucas - Lucas Sustainable, PLLC (@LarryLucasArch)
Renewal is Valuable for Heart and Hometown
Steve Mouzon - The Original Green Blog (@stevemouzon)
The 12 Steps of Sprawl Recovery