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July 24, 2018

We all have a routine of some shape or form. Some people manage to fit more into their days than others and some are most definitely healthier, but there comes a point where we need to stir things up and add a little bit of spice to the daily groove. Routine is, in my opinion, great. I like to know what I will be doing, when I can work, train and, in general, live some sort of a balanced life. Routine is comforting and evolutionarily self-protective, however, at some point, it can become more of a hindrance to our growth than we may want to believe. 

Unconsciously and unintentionally we slip into a bubble of some kind. We stop learning and ultimately start stagnating. 

A phenomenon of modernity has resulted in many people "having it all", but still feeling bored.  Habit and comfort slowly take hold of this groove and that is when even the most rushed and busy routines can become too comfortable. It is just a matter of time, we assume that it is imposed on us and that we have no means of getting out of this hole of say, sitting in traffic or not feeling excited about the day ahead. Wrong! As they say in the classics, “we are the masters of our own destinies” and with that, we can spark feelings of curiosity, excitement and personal well-being.

How? By adding something new and, as I'll explain, something that takes you out of your comfort zone.

I personally like to set challenges for myself and June was of no exception. Each and every morning I had a cold swim. In the pool or the chilly Atlantic Ocean. No matter how rainy, windy or unsavoury the conditions, I would drag myself out of bed, to the horror of my loved ones some days, and plunge myself into the frigid waters. I wouldn’t really call it fun, but it kicked my days off with a blast of serotonin and raging endorphins. The swim ranged from 4 minutes (on the chilliest of days) to days that I had no intention of getting out.

It doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking…

In the grand scheme of things, “my daily plunge” represented only a small amount of time, but it revved me up and gave my routine a serious injection of adrenalin. These little “challenges” are subjective, but they are as necessary for a type-A Triathlete as it is for Joe Bog down the road. Maybe, try 15 minutes of yoga every morning before you get your day going, try a month of veganism, go for a hike in a new beautiful park (we have lots of them) every weekend for a month, do a dozen handstands during lunch or cycle to work instead of complaining about your traffic sorrows.

I am a strong believer that if things get too comfortable we will regret it later on. A small “challenge” to your day can only be positive and by the end of your little uncomfortable bubble-popping challenge, you will be happier because of it.

“We fear death because we don’t understand the purpose of this life.”- Wim Hof (The Ice-Man)

 Written by: Kai Firchen (Making Mountains Metaphors)

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