Morning routines can be life-changing.
But, they're not always easy.
And really, not all routines are good.
So here's a few tips on how to travel the world, but not stray far from good habits.
Scene 1: How Routines Can Be Evil
I believe some routines will kill you, literally kill you.
Let's take most people's "routines."
Wake up, check phone, shower, drive to work. Same BS, different day. It's Tuesday. Lunch at one of 2 places. Eat. Check phone. Back to work, stop-and-start drive home. Dinner, TV, sleep. But not good sleep. Wake again. Shower. Phone. Wednesday. Repeat.
I get it, man. This sense of familiarity looked attractive at first. It relieved us from thinking. It gave us a structure, and structure feels damn good.
But slowly, day-after-day, week-after-week, year-after-long-miserable-year...it became automatic. You lost your edge. Routine slowly snuffed out your light.
You used to be curious as to what was around the corner, then take 5 minutes to find out.
Routine drained your energy to explore and invent and grow...offering only the following in return; Security, boredom, dullness and as time marches on, an unfulfilled, sad little life.
Love it or hate it, that's the truth.
And mark my words...unless you actively fight the urge to fall into these types of programmed, muscle-memory routines, you'll have little chance to stumble into fulfillment.
But routines, just like any powerful force, have a bright side, too.
How Routines Can Help You Become Better
For me, I like a general routine. But then, the steps in executing that routine to be unique and different.
This type of plan fits the adventures of travel perfectly.
Here's a good example...Let's say that I want to write everyday. I want to make writing a routine. It's NOT necessarily something I feel like doing everyday, but I do it anyway.
I negotiate with myself.
I say "Josh, ok. You agree to write 20 minutes per day, and I'll make sure to take you to some inspiring places to write. Coffee shops. Libraries. Hotel lobbies. Old abandoned hospitals. Ice rinks. Whatever. I'll get you there, you use that environment as inspiration to write. Deal?"
Same goal, different approach. This strategy works for 2 reasons...
First, I have a much better chance at holding myself to my own promise.
I expend effort physically getting to these places and I have a purpose. Writing. It'd be a shame to come all this way and not do the one thing I came for.
But the second is that it get's me uncomfortable. It get's me into a routine, by getting me out of a routine, if that makes any sense.
And being uncomfortable is the fast track to growth. To exposure to new things. New thoughts. New ideas. It makes the quality of my writing improve, in addition to the quantity.
Ok, I hear you telling yourself...
"Yeah Josh, but my goddamned goal isn't writing. It's doing 20 pushups in the morning, idiot."
Or maybe your goal is eating a banana instead of that 2nd bowl of Cocoa Puffs.
Or drinking 5 full glasses of water everyday.
Whatever it is, my advice to you...get into that routine by approaching it differently every time.
If the conditions have to be just right, it's too restrictive.
It will never survive the unpredictable weather of travel.
Tackling your routines...
Master this skill, and you'll be amazed at not only how easily you fall into your routine...but how richer your life becomes because of it.
Trust me. I'm a doctor.
To life, amigos.