“Once we fall into a routine, we fall into a rut”

James Altucher said this in a post I read. This can be confusing because how many self-help books have been written about the habits and routines of successful people? It’s as if only by keeping a schedule, a to-do list, and a sensible routine will we ever amount to anything.

I suppose if we believe that, that keeping to a routine will result in our success, then if we don’t achieve what we want we can beat ourselves up for not keeping better track of our time, or having bad habits and routines. It’s “time’s” fault…we did something wrong. We can fix it by being more disciplined.

But I wonder…does it really need to be one way or the other?

Do you have to be all-in on the habits wagon to be successful? Will being spontaneous and wandering through life only lead to a careless and reckless existence with no meaning and purpose…nothing to show for it?

Can I have my feet in both camps?

As Altucher says, a lion caged up in the zoo has a great, predictable routine, but he’s no longer the king of the jungle.

There’s a book, Building a Love that Lasts, the Seven Surprising Secrets of a Successful Marriage and guess what? One of the secrets is to create a home that has stability. Which as you can imagine is based on predictable routine.

But they go on to say too much routine and predictability can lead to boredom…a rut…and lack of fun in your marriage. And so, the ones who make it and love to tell about it have plenty of stories about fun and spontaneity and excitement.

Happy couples who have been married for decades have a strong foundation which is spiced up with the unexpected.

They have their feet in both camps…I love that!

For me, I have a morning routine that’s pretty consistent. That’s my base. Workout, breakfast, read, write. Those are things that support my physical and mental health goals and allow me to do something (write) to get closer to my business goals.

What happens after that varies each day. And some days…I just wander.

I guess I’m lucky. I know when I’m getting burnt out or uninspired. I feel it – down to my core, and it can affect every area of my life.

But rather than ask “why” something isn’t working or complain that I’m feeling bad, I understand it’s not that big of a deal. I just need to do something different.

Go hiking, take a weekend trip, pack a picnic for the beach, dress up to go to dinner, grab my camera and go for a drive. The point is to do anything that’s different from your normal routine.

Because I’m so aware of this about me, I try to do something every day rather than wait for the “right” time to be spontaneous. Because when you think about it, waiting for the right time is not being spontaneous.

You’re the lion(ess) in the cage waiting for permission to do something different. Permission from who?

Here’s a secret: YOU have the keys to your cage…

You don’t need permission. If you think you do, then write yourself a permission slip and tack it to the fridge for all the world to see.

Then go. Do. Be. Roar. Get Inspired.

Don’t worry, your routines will be waiting for you when you get back.

They say if you don’t make a decision about something in a few seconds, you’ll probably never do it. If you have the urge to say “yes” to something and it won’t get you incarcerated or harm other people….why not?

Write things worth reading; Do things worth writing about.

I have that written on a note by my computer…

Did you know…Great stories come from saying YES!

Find out more about success beyond life’s routines…