left Xtraordinary Living At Its Best: Routines and habits.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

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Routines and habits.

As you know, I'm training for a biking trip - part of our Learning Vacation programs - this coming Summer to Portugal. I've been riding an average of twice a week for about an hour at-a-time for the past month or so. So today, I decided it was time to "up the ante."

I set out to go longer than 1 hour, but I didn't have a particular number in mind. All I knew was that in order for me to ride longer than 60 minutes, I had to take a different route. So rather than planning the ride, I just started biking. I figured as long as I went longer than 30 minutes before I turned around I would accomplish my objective.

Turns out that I biked for close to 90 minutes. What was interesting was that since my only objective today was to extend my time, I didn't have a particular destination in mind. I ended up "exploring" my neighborhood.

I've been living in La Jolla, CA for the past 14 years and yet I hardly ever venture outside of my set routes that I drive. This is certainly true for other areas of my life as well. Why do I this? Because of habits and routines I've developed over the years.

We tend to be prisoners to these habits and routines and unless there is strong enough reason to change them, we don't. And yet, I find that when I do change these habits and routines, I typically enjoy the freshness and discovery that follows.

I know that if it weren't for the Portugal trip, I wouldn't be riding my bike the way I have been for the past few months. And thanks to this, I'm discovering a lot of wonderful things. So this trip is my strong reason to get out of my comfort zone and change some of my routines.

Do you have a strong reason to change of your habits or routines? If not, I highly recommend you do.


Tanya Scott said...

This is why is decided to go to Portugal...to get out of my regular routines, and give me an incentive to improve my health and my physical experiences! I have discovered all kinds of things since I have been biking...not only my neighborhood and really interesting external experiences that one doesn't get in riding in a car, but all kinds of internal dialogues and ponderings. Its been really good, and I am SOOOO looking forward to June!

SaraB said...

In my family we've always had a "rule": When you go someplace, you have to return a different way. I've followed this "rule" all of my life and it's definitely an ingrained habit now. As a result, I am always exploring and learning about my surroundings, and those are two things that I enjoy most in life!