Breaking the Cycle – Sometimes It’s Healthy to Get Out of Your Routine

I know that this post goes against my nature and against things I may have posted in the past. I still stand by my comfort level in having a dependable routine, and I still believe that routines are important for establishing healthy patterns that need to be repeated. Routines can also help to put an end to bad habits.

But sometimes the reverse is true. Sometimes it’s healthy to get out of your routine.

My recent trip to Guatemala was certainly a change from my typical schedule and way of doing things. This was good in opening my eyes, ears, and heart to the new things that God had to show me.

This week my routine is once again compromised while our kids are away at “Camp Grammy and Pappap”. This has meant taking the dogs out and taking them for walks instead of heading out for my morning run. It’s meant taking the trash down to the street and other chores that the kids have picked up over the past few years. But it’s also been a welcome change in the evenings as it has provided for one-on-one time with my wife. We’ve gone on a picnic, played tennis, and enjoyed dinner together.  In this case, the change in routine has been great for our marriage, and I think it will ultimately benefit our parenting when our kids return later this week.

I hate change, but sometimes it is so worth it!  Here are a few suggestions for playing with your routine this week:

  1. Drive a different way to or from work this week.  If you’re like me, you could drive to work with your eyes closed (if it weren’t for the other cars and the traffic lights).  Taking a different path could show you something new and different.
  2. Eat something new.  I don’t like tomatoes despite the fact that we grow them in our garden.  Last night, I actually tried a couple of pieces of tomato that my wife had prepared with fresh basil and mozzarella cheese.  It wasn’t my favorite, but it also wasn’t as bad as I expected.
  3. Spend time with God in a new location.  For those of us who have regular “quiet times” with God, we often go to the same location and have the same routine.  This isn’t necessarily bad, but sometimes it can be refreshing to get with God somewhere new and to try a new routine.  Perhaps this means going to a park and sitting by a lake or stream.  Maybe it means exploring a new section of the Bible or praying in a different way.  Whatever you decide to do, consider taking your journal along with you.  Write down your thoughts on how God spoke to you through this change in routine.

Change isn’t always bad.  Sometimes it can be a good thing to break the cycle of our routine.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-23

What other suggestions to you have for getting out of your routine?  How have you broken the cycle of your own routines?  Was that a good experience or not?  Why?