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Taking Your Routines Farther

I still dislike the word New Normal

These two words are a definition which can be applied to any new situation with form of impactful change. Seeing your first child being born welcomes in a new normal for you and your partner; or moving to another town to take up that new corporate challenge falls under a new normal, or finally making that leap of faith to drop a few kilos lauds a new normal.

The sands of time keep on moving. Evolving from what you were last year is a part of human evolution. As long as you choose to take those first steps.

Some situations are beyond our control. We haven’t been able to pull off a win when battling Goliath as a David. Our voices are probably heard, yet a country’s higher powers still pull the strings. Society is getting more boisterous as society is changing.

Can this be defined as New Normal? For sure!

When we must sail into unknown waters, we are often presented in seeing our routines being disrupted. Our daily walks in the park are no longer possible. Our morning routine at a nearby 24/7 fitness centres are put to a halt. We start to get frustrated because our daily routines. One’s favourite spin classes or grid training sessions with a charismatic trainer suddenly are all cancelled.

We sit back and wait until signs of reopening occur – back on the same old track which we are so familiar with. And with it, a ripple effect of other routines often falls like dominos.

We wake up later, because we don’t have to rush out of the door after a fuelling brekkie.

We may go to bed later and graciously hit the snooze button the morning after.

And so forth.

Routines play an immense importance as soon as success is etched in your agenda. It is all about this continuity leading up to success, whatever your goal is. Grinding it out every single day creates habits that are simple, structured and prone to deliver what you are after. These rigid activities blossom achievement when pursued regularly.

But what happens when a (not ‘the’ but ‘a’) new normal hits the fan?

Some of my clients have explained that their routine is now heavily disrupted for whatever reason they present to me. Above example is a real-life story. The mind-set is so engrained to play the same tune over and over because it is their comfort zone. 

This is the signal to turn routines into practices.

Routines are all about fixed activities at fixed times, and it comes with little flexibility. The definition of practices is to take that habitual routine and expand its horizon. Yes, we are not able to hit the gym floor at 6 am every Tuesday and Friday (routine) but we still can work on our health in other ways (practice).

It all revolves what we do (routines) but practices add the three words “who you are” to the definition. 

I am not saying to break routines. As long as it contributes to your long-term goal, then by all means, continue adding them into your daily cycle. It is when obstacles and hurdles throwing at you during times of change, practices must take over.

Practice is what you do, not matter what is thrown at you.

The bridge between your routines and practices are entwined with your “why”. As routines are defined by what, your ‘why’ is chiselled our when you take on your practices head on. A hiccup in your routines will not deviate from your path to thrive when practices lead the pack to health and wellness.

When your fitness centre is closed, there are other ways to keep on moving. If exercise is a practice, then there are always other options to keep your heart rate up, like going for a jog, doing some bodyweight exercises, or simply connect with a coach for a virtual session.

Broaden your view, find alternatives, adapt to the situation, ask for advice before you downgrade your routine further and that practice will never see the light of day.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion | Dalai Lama

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