One of my main reasons for taking A Million Steps on the Camino de Santiago was to put myself in an environment where everything was outside of my comfort zones. I flew to a foreign country, slept in bunk beds, walked 500 miles, changed my diet, and met strangers from throughout the world. This is not for everyone, but for me, most of my personal growth occurs on the edge of the bubble. Never inside.
I strive to become aware of my routines and to make a cognizant effort to avoid sleepwalking through life. Like everything that is good, it takes work. It is so easy to fall into the trap of eating the same food, doing the same stuff, and letting life live you instead of living life. A Camino can be had on a daily basis by driving home on a different route, making a strange meal for dinner, or trying a new form of exercise. Just make sure to do something different.
I take an annual vacation with my mom to Palm Springs. We have been coming to this area for over 20 years and it is very easy to fall into the stale trap. Last week, some of my best friends flew into town and I was forced to make a plan to show them the area. My dear friends bumped me out of orbit. I dug deep into my past and created a series of events for all of us to enjoy together. We hiked on new trails, drove though Joshua Tree National Park, found new restaurants, and visited new galleries. It was a nice reminder to always endeavor to keep it fresh.
Here are ten tips to avoid routines:
- Hang with different people.
- Change jobs.
- Alter your times for everything.
- Change your diet.
- Unplug the TV.
- Read new materials.
- Listen to new music.
Change is never easy, but time can never be replaced. Live life!