The thing about routines is that we will either establish one that we want, or we will fall into one. Breaking a routine can be hard and often takes a huge amount of mental (and sometimes physical) effort to do. Can anyone even remember the New Year’s resolution they made 4 months ago?
In the past four weeks, how many times have you stopped and asked yourself…. is it Wednesday today or Thursday? Usually the only time we consider this is the week between Christmas and New Year, where most of our routines go out of the window but we don’t make new ones as things will return to normal the week after.
Now during lockdown - it is Groundhog Day. That week between Christmas and New Year is happening over and over, but without the family gatherings, festive television, or knowing that things will return to normal soon.
But this lockdown isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it has simply forced our hand to try things that we might not otherwise have tried.
In the past month, I have had some amazing conversations with business owners, leaders and managers all of whom are saying the same thing – ‘we will do things differently post-lockdown’. Having been forced into a different way of working we find that some of the barriers we put up are not real - they are just our fixed thinking way of seeing the world.
On a personal level, whilst it is frustrating that we cannot go out, see friends and family, or do the things we were used to doing, a lot of people I have spoken to have found lifestyles that are healthier, more relaxed, and with better patterns that suit them. They are also saying the same thing – ‘I will do things differently when lockdown ends!’
In my role as a coach, this is one of the topics that comes up frequently. Whether it is a work pattern that needs to change or a personal one. We don’t need something as dramatic as a lockdown to help us change our habits though.
What it requires is an open enough mind to see things differently. Our behaviours are driven by our brain and it can sometimes get in our way. Telling ourselves better stories or being able to visualise things differently is the first step along the road to changing any routine that we want.