Can I just throw it out there that I freakin’ love my neighborhood Starbucks? The people. The new pastries. The mostly mediocre drinks with an occasional touch of awesome at the hands of a loving and creative barista.
But mostly, the routine.
I’ve changed up my life some by putting myself in a position to have deadlines every week. My gym time (and my diet) has suffered. My dogs have been neglected. But what I failed to notice – until these past couple days (in Starbucks) – is that my routine Starbucks visits have been missing.
I used to have a routine: Wake up. Eat. Shower, brush teeth, shave, fix hair, get dressed. Pack my bags if I didn’t the night before (usually I didn’t). Go to the gym. Sit at Starbucks for several hours. Go home.
Often I’d write to myself in my journal for an hour or so. I’d read significant amounts of material from books I was reading or the Bible. I’d make three new friends every day on average just by talking to strangers.
And then I changed it up. Now I only get a chance to go about three times a week; and I only went once or twice in the first two-week stretch of my new schedule and responsibilities.
And life happened. And I got stressed. And I got sad. And people let me down. And I started to lose sleep. And I started to eat like crap.
But you know what I realized? That stuff will happen anyway. And what I was unintentionally doing by developing my routine was coping with it and turning it into creative fuel to move forward in very important, but non-urgent areas of my life.
Stephen Covey (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) would be proud.
My point is: routines are important. You can recite a mantra over and over again to calm yourself and purge the unnecessary from your consciousness. Your body has a mantra too. It’s called your routine.
One last thing:
Deviation from the routine is highly encouraged. The only thing worse than not having a routine is only having a routine.