It’s important to refresh your daily routine once in a while to stop things going stale. After all, if you’re experiencing the same things every single day, there are no standouts. No highs to celebrate, no lows to bounce back from.
So let’s start creating a memorable life by getting out of groundhog day.
I’d be willing to bet you know the feeling of wanting to change but feeling trapped in your current routine. You wake in the morning and immediately switch into auto-pilot mode, getting dressed, pouring coffee, and going to work.
After that, you watch the clock until it’s home time, where you grab some food, put your feet up, and watch TV for the evening.
And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that day… unless you’ve already lived it a thousand times.
Yup, you’re just going through the motions.
So, if you’re stuck in a rut, it’s time to refresh your daily routine by making some small changes that will lead to big results. Here are 8 hacks that are guaranteed to get you moving in the right direction.
8 Ways To Refresh Your Daily Routine
1. Change what you wake up to
What do you see and hear when you open your eyes in the morning? Do they you make you want to jump out of bed… or crawl further under the covers? What would make the experience more pleasant for you?
Maybe you need to move your bed so it faces a window and you can see sunlight peeping through. Even if that isn’t an option or is too awkward, there are still other ways to improve what you see when you open your eyes. Get yourself one of those wake-up lights that mimics sunrise. Hang some beautiful artwork on the wall. Write or print your favourite inspirational quote and pop it in a small photo frame on your bedside table. Prop up a vision board somewhere you can see it, full of pictures that represent the life you’re working towards.
What do you hear? Change your alarm sound to something a little more soothing so you’re not jolted awake. Create a morning playlist full of songs that get you fired up. (Optional extra: using your toothbrush or the shower head as a microphone. Everyone loves getting their jam on every now and then.)
Change how you start your day, and everything will seem new and fresh.
2. Switch up your meals
Always eating a boring breakfast? Ditch the same-ol’ cereal and cook up some eggs and toast. Bringing the same, sad sandwich to work every day? Fill a flask with a hearty soup and be on your merry way. Try go an entire day eating foods you’ve never tried before, or at times you’ve never tried them. (Cereal for lunch? Don’t mind if I do.)
Also remember that food is supposed to fuel you, not just fill you. Stop pumping yourself full of the cheapest stuff and, instead, opt for premium grub. It’ll make a big difference to how smoothly your days run.
3. Take a side street
Probably not something you want to do on the way to work lest you be late, but on your way home, or just while you’re out and about, try a different route. Google Maps usually gives you one or two alternative roads you could try. Sure, one of them may add an extra minute to your journey, but it might pass by a beautiful park, or you might discover your new favourite coffee shop there.
I also find that looking up opens my eyes to a whole new world. Above the store fronts and window displays, you'll see old architecture, ornate clocks, menacing gargoyles, or even a glimpse into a store room or living space. Life is different above that first floor.
When the same sights start to feel stale, check out a side street or new neighbourhood, or even just look up, to give yourself a fresh perspective.
4. Do things backwards
(Bear with me on this one.)
We’ve become accustomed to having short mornings and long evenings. To eating larger meals later in the day. To leaving all the large, boring tasks to the last minute.
What if you tried having a longer, less rushed morning? Or making breakfast or lunch your main meal? What if you tackled the hard tasks first and got those out of the way? Or watched TV in the morning and then switched to the newspaper at night? (Maybe skip the midnight coffee though. 😉 )
Look at all the things and tasks you have to do and when you usually do them, and see if you could switch them to earlier or later. There’s no better way to refresh your daily routine than to try live it back-to-front.
Some of it will be silly, harmless fun, but you may surprise yourself and realise that it actually makes more sense for you to do something at a different time of day.
5. Try something new
Download a new podcast, pick up a book you wouldn’t normally read, learn some basic phrases in a new language, buy a random ingredient and then look up recipes for what you could make with it. Even something as simple as sitting in a different spot on the bus or at the dinner table, or sleeping on the other side of the bed, can make a difference.
Spot what you’re doing, stop what you’re doing, and start doing something new.
6. Move things around
I mentioned this briefly above in #1 but this isn’t limited to your bed. Switch up the seating arrangement in your living room, move pots and pans to a cupboard closer to the cooker, change your watch to the other arm, re-arrange your bookshelves, turn your coffee table around, switch out your artwork, turn all your hangers so your clothes face the other way, switch everything from the left side of your desk to the right and vice versa…
All of these things will seem slightly foreign and maybe even a bit frustrating to you at first. But they all challenge your brain to make new connections and to be on the ball to look out for other changes. See how long it takes you to get used to the new setup. When it starts to get stale, switch it up again.
7. Write down everything you do
Every time you’re about to start a new activity, jot it down on a piece of paper or in an app, even if it’s just a word or two. You’ll find that, more often than not, it will make you re-evaluate the activity you’re about to take part in. I’m guessing no-one wants to add “Mindlessly stare at a screen for the next few hours” to their list.
This little exercise will help bring more awareness to your daily activities. If you don’t feel good about writing it on your list, you don’t feel good about having it in your life. Time to change!
8. Leave things to chance
Get yourself a few small scraps of paper and write down a task, chore, or something fun to do on each of them. Throw them all in a bowl, mix them up, and then let the fates decide what you’re going to do next. Make a deal with yourself that whatever that piece of paper says, that’s what you’re going to do.
May the odds be ever in your favour. 😉
If all your days are the same then nothing stands out. No-one wants to look back on their life and say, “I did the exact same thing every day.”
When my family and I moved to the States, I challenged myself to try something new every day so that I could learn about my surroundings as quickly as possible and, therefore, settle in a lot faster. The result? I’m not sure I’ve ever achieved so much in one month in my life… nor have I ever slept better! My brain was active and engaged, learning new things and making new connections. It made me feel energised during the day and sleep soundly at night.
Now I’m not saying habits and routines aren’t important in your life. Sometimes you need to practice things over and over again to get the hang of them. But once you’ve mastered those, it’s time to step things up a notch. Refresh your daily routine, give your schedule a bit of a shake-up, and wake up to a whole new world of possibilities.
Pick one of the tips above… and get yourself out of groundhog day.
Which one will you choose?