She was an odd cat. Not at all a slave to routine like other cats – or even like me, her own human mama.
She would sleep in her bed…or my bed…or the couch. She didn’t have to have her food first thing in the morning, like my last cat. She would eat when she was hungry. Well, I suppose she did have one routine – when we sat down for Sunday lunch, she would eat Sunday lunch, too! Crazy cat.
There’s a lesson to be learned here. Our cat lived a life of routine in all her days: same house, same rooms, yet none of it was routine to her. She made every little thing new and different.
“Maybe tonight I’ll sleep on the iComfort bed. Ooh, tomorrow night I’ll sleep in the guest bedroom! There’s cushy pillows in there! I like looking through the living room window, but tomorrow I think I’ll get the view from the bedroom window.”
As we face this new year, and think about goals and resolutions, we can take a page from her book:
Our ordinary days don’t have to be routine.
Studies show that every thought you have digs a small trench in your brain. The more often you have that thought, the deeper the rut. When you have daily habits that you do over and over, it seems like you don’t even have to think about them, but your brain is actually following the trench – or rut – that has developed over time. Your brain has kicked into auto mode. Why, I have ruts so deep in my brain, they crack open my sinus cavities!
If your life seems to be filled with routine, if you feel like you’re in a rut, take a page from the cat – do something different! Change things up.
See your ordinary, everyday life through new eyes.
Here are some small changes you can make that will shake up your routine and get out of your rut:
1. Take a different route to work. But don’t just drive. Notice where you are, the different scenery! You may be pleasantly surprised at what you see. Make your commute into a journey!
2. Listen to a different radio station. I’m doing this now. You know what? I have rediscovered classical music. I find Mozart relaxing.
3. Listen to podcasts instead of music! One of my favorites is Live the Promise by Suzie Larson. Good stuff there
4. Watch a lot of TV? Try reading a good book.
5. Tap into your creative side: Start a project. Build, make, or practice something. Give yourself something to do and think about. Sometimes ruts are a result of stress, and projects can be a vacation from stress.
Why is it important to get out of our ruts?
A recent study in Newsweek found that a particular ares of your brain (the posterior cingulate cortex) seems to get excited when you shake up your routine! Imagine that!
Go ahead, shake up your routine. Get out of your rut. Make 2018 a year and a season of change! Not the same ol’ same ol’ – I’m going to give it a try, how about you?
Let me know in the comments what small changes you are going to make to shake up your routine.
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
Grace be with you,