By: Lauren Freier, Regular Contributor
I recently met with a trainer at my gym (to capitalize on my free new member session of course), and during our initial conversation he discussed the importance of making changes and switching things up, explaining “if you stick to the same routine you can’t expect different results. Isn’t that the definition of insanity?” He went on to talk about the two-part consequence that ensues if you do keep repeating the same routine: “you grow bored and uncommitted, and you don’t see noticeable improvements.”
This philosophy resonated so strongly with me that I found myself repeating these words in many other contexts of my life. It is amazing how quickly we can fall into a comfort trap, acting based on habit and familiarity so much so that we lose pieces of ourselves in the process. The danger is in the gradual nature of the change, where newness seems to almost secretly slide into predictability. Before we know it we have hopped on board a life that is not authentically ours. Some of us notice when we’ve only gone a few stops too far, and others are so far outside their zip code that they need to actively search for directions. That’s not to say we shouldn’t be open to possibility and explore different adventures (as we absolutely should), but with so much modern technology providing entertaining distractions at our fingertips, it has become even easier to tune out that inner voice guiding us. The moving dots on our GPS maps may indicate “you are here,” but are you really?
If only we could look up a little more often and take stock in our surroundings, perhaps we would truly be here and better appreciate the present moment along with where we’re headed next. I challenge you to join me in my effort to move toward greater mindfulness, intentionality, and appreciation of the little things. Let’s see where we go (and how we grow) when we commit to paying attention.
Lauren is a passionate writer, Beatles fanatic, celebrity gossip junkie, therapist, and mental health advocate. Her personal and professional experiences in both LA and Chicago have inspired her dedication to emotional wellness, resiliency, and self-acceptance. She holds an MA in Clinical Psychology and is a therapist at InnerVoice Psychotherapy and Consultation, a Chicago-based private practice, as well as a social-emotional health educator at a non-profit organization.
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