Is your routine empowering you? by celestine chua

Purpose of a Routine
A routine is a set of activities you repeat every week. By having a set of tasks to stick to each week, it gives your life a semblance of structure, so you don’t have to wake up every day wondering what you should do. In that sense, it simplifies life and provides you with stability.

Contrary to popular belief, the objective of a routine isn’t to keep things constant in your life. Quite the opposite, in fact. The objective of a routine is really progress – to help you get the best out of your daily life by default. The way it achieves that is two fold: Firstly, by having a reliable set of tasks to do every week, you don’t have to waste time planning what to do every day. You can just stick to your schedule and get right to getting things done. Secondly, by providing your life with a semblance of structure, you can keep your lower-level needs in check and and get working on satisfying higher-level needs.
Powerful Routines vs. Stagnating Routines
The mark of a powerful routine is one where you make big headway in your goals by just sticking to the routine. This means if you are to go auto-pilot for a month, not think about anything at all and just focus on doing what you have planned in your weekly schedule, you’ll be significantly closer to realizing your dreams than you were one month earlier.
On the other hand, a poor routine is one that stagnates you in life, or at times even pulls you back. You have to consciously plan on top of your current routine to get anywhere in your goals, hence requiring extra investment in energy. You can’t rely on your routine to achieve your personal goals and dreams. Such routines don’t serve you and call for a major change.
Most people today have disempowering and stagnating routines. Their weekly schedules are filled to the brim with empty tasks that keep them very busy, but don’t exactly fulfill them. For example, random web surfing. Random channel surfing. Working in a disempowering job. Spending significant time to work around bad eating habits – i.e. trying to exercise, eat less, binging later on, feeling bad about it, then repeating the cycle the next day. Entertaining poor thought patterns – worrying and feeding energy to fears rather than taking action. Meeting up with friends who leave them disenchanted with themselves and with life. Spending too much time on relationships that are parasitic in nature. Sleeping and idling time away.
By repeating the cycle every week, they add power to the bad routine. This makes them sink lower and lower every week, thus making it impossible to get out of the cycle if they have trapped in it for a long time. These people constantly feel dissatisfied and unhappy with themselves and their life, but can’t quite pinpoint why. The answer is they are just running in a loop that’s not serving them. Continuing in this cycle will lead to increased unhappiness with self. Eventually the person’s soul will just wither, and the fire extinguished.
When It’s Time To Change Your Routine
How do you know when it’s time to change your routine? Here are some signs:
You’re constantly wondering what you should do with your time
You often feel uninspired, like you’re in a rut
You feel busy but you don’t know what you’ve accomplished at the end of the week
You feel a lack of satisfaction / fulfillment with yourself/life
You feel you need to consciously monitor your goals to see how they’re doing – You can’t rely on your routine to achieve them