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Wake Up Your Senses This Week

My typical routine kicked off at precisely 6:23 this morning. That’s when the alarm always goes off. I had the same peanut butter toast for breakfast. The same cup of coffee. The same drive into work.

Routine curbs the unexpected and makes us feel like we’re in control.

Now think of your daily routine. Your wakeup time. Your daily commute. The people you see, the objects you touch, the recipes you love. Routine provides comfort and certainty. It keeps us on time and gives us a purpose. It curbs the unexpected and makes us feel like we’re in control.

I’ve realized, though, routines also have a way of masking our surroundings— of unintentionally blinding us to what’s outside our typical world. We forget to notice a neighbor’s front door, a colleague’s new haircut, or a child’s eccentric outfit. We miss the blooming flower tree, a new highway sign, or the man that lives on the corner.

Which brings me to this week’s challenge: break the routine. You probably shouldn’t sleep through work or leave for Bermuda (though vacation and a mojito sound nice). Instead, challenge yourself to switch up a small part of the daily grind. Try a different route, a new tea in the morning, or a workout that intimidates you. Pick up groceries from a different market or buy coffee from a new barista. Let these small changes serve as an alarm for your senses.

This challenge— among a list of others— will help you remain present daily. Other ways to stay “in the moment” are detailed in today’s piece I wrote for The Chalkboard Mag.

Oh— and please keep me posted on this week’s challenge! I promise to do it with you.