Routine, oh sweet routine. You’re comfortable, you’re reliable, and you’re always there. You’re also deceiving like no other and a detriment to society.
When faced with routine, we all must channel our inner Ivan Drago and sternly say, “I must break you”.
We all want change, to an extent, but wanting gets you nowhere and doing gets you everywhere. So why do we often stop at the wanting-stage and rarely venture over to the doing-stage? Is it our laziness, fear of failure, and uncertainty that keeps us at bay?
Yes, of course it is. But that’s just a small sample of the many false barriers routine likes to throw our way and keep us from making that necessary change.
Change isn’t some big ordeal like most people make it out to be. Let’s go through a couple of ways on how to break out of your routine and make change seem a little less haunting.
“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.”
– Paulo Coelho
Small changes go a long way
If you only look at the big end result, without any regard for the small steps that lead up to it, there’s no doubt you’ll feel very overwhelmed. You’re even likely to avoid taking that first step. But what if you chopped down the big change into many small changes? Each small change in its own right will then seem more attainable, doable, and less complicated than the big change had.
Brainstorm a list of steps you think are needed to achieve that big change. Make the changes as small as you feel necessary. The less effort needed per change, the more likely you’ll go through with it.
With this in mind, make it your duty to do at least one of these small changes every day. Gradually, you’ll start to see the big change come to light by completing a new small change every single day.
Furthermore, your daily routine will ALWAYS be changing now. This alone will train your conscience to break down any given routine more efficiently and effectively.
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.”
– John C. Maxwell
Next, it’s important to realize how much of a snowball effect small changes can have on your life. Each small change continuously acts as a catalyst towards making the next change. It’s that first small change that gives the push the snowball needs to start rolling down the hill. Eventually, others around you will notice how big of a change you made, similar to how big a snowball can get as it’s rolling downhill. Yet, all you’ve been doing is one small change each day.
The snowball effect extends to changing things about you that you had never even planned to. For example, say you make that small change to start waking up one hour earlier every morning, so that you can go to the gym before work, instead of after work.
It’s crazy how much freer your evening will now feel. That extra hour of productivity in your evenings can give you the needed time to start reading more. Books, blogs, Wikipedia, you name it. Your knowledge will grow and grow. You may then decide to use all this new knowledge to start a blog, build a following, and get paid to write about what interests you.
There you have it! The snowball effect is in full power, transforming your one-hour earlier rise each morning into a profitable hobby.
Tell others what you plan to change
You’re stuck in that cubicle, crossing out each day on your calendar for no apparent reason, and you dream of making that million-dollar idea you’ve always had into a reality and a business. But you’re too nervous to take the plunge, too scared that you will fail and have no source of income to fall back on, and/or far too lazy to do all that extra-curricular work for no extra pay. Am I right?
This is what you do. Tell others bits and pieces of your plan. No, don’t tell them your idea, that’s the one thing you keep to yourself. But tell them you plan to make a website, or that you plan to start a GoFundMe or Kickstarter to generate funding for your idea. If they ask why, just tell them it’s an idea you have but you’ll be sure to share it with them when it gets big.
What you’ve done here is essentially given others expectations of you. Big or small, the task that you told the person you would do is now something they expect you to do in the very near future. By telling others you intend to do something, you are influencing external sources to urge you on.
Two days later someone you told about your plan to build a website might ask you, “Hey, is that website up yet?”, and you’ll either say “You betcha!” or hang your head in shame and feel guilty for disappointing this person. As harsh as it sounds, finding ways to generate internal guilt of not going through with something will end up lighting that fire under you to get going and do it.
If you do this with each step in your business plan, barring you aren’t completely guilt-ridden from disappointing others, your million-dollar idea will be on the right path to success.
Practice sharing small tidbits of your grandiose idea with others. Any future routines you fall into will be much easier to break and you’ll never view change the same way again.
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