We all have routines. Actually, we are creatures of habit and routine. We find security in routines because it is predictable. We drive to work the same way, men start shaving at the same spot and in the same way, and usually at the same time. You have a routine where and how you brush your teeth. It is amazing how many things in our lives are already entrenched routines. But that’s alright. It keeps us productive and helps us stay organized.
There is a rhythm to your life that enables you to operate at your fullest potential. You know it when you hit your groove. Everything starts coming together. I recently got off track in my exercise routine and have not been able to find my way back. When I stopped my routine, I lost my rhythm. It throws everything off. It is like I fall into neutral and cease to be productive. I function to my highest ability when I have routines because they help me find my rhythm.
This is especially important when you hit a low or non-productive season in your life. Like the surfer who is sitting on his board waiting for the right wave to come. He may appear to be uninvolved but in reality, he is positioned to catch the next opportunity. He can’t create the next wave, he just anticipates and prepared for it. Life happens whether you are ready for it or not. Routines keep you in line and provide an attitude that is positive and disciplined.
In other words, routines keep you positioned for what is in front of you. There are times in your life when you hit an idle spot in your journey, a time of waiting, a time of resting or pruning. Too often we don’t understand the seasons of our life and during those times, we become distracted, discouraged or confused. These times hold the greatest dangers for us because during those times we can get off track or take a wrong direction.
I have seen people get discouraged because it seemed that nothing was moving forward in their life. I have been guilty of that. I start thinking things like, “Maybe I am finished with my job here and I need to start looking for new opportunity elsewhere”. “It seems like nothing is happening in my life”. In the natural we have seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter. Your life is the same way. Routine keeps you in the game even when you feel like the game is not going on. It insulates you against discouragement and uncertainty.
Routines keep you in a productive mode.
It keeps you engaged.
It keeps you at a moment’s notice ready to take advantage of the next opportunity.
It settles you when you don’t see much progress because it gives you a sense of productivity and accomplishment.
It keeps a watermark in front of you as you go through your day.
It fights off discouragement. It gives you a track record so that you can see that you are doing something even when it feels like nothing is going on.
When a golfer’s swing gets out of whack, and sooner or later it will, he always goes back to his routine. That helps him see if he has picked up a bad habit. He has checkpoints in his swing that he can measure his results against. A person with no routines in his life will soon get off-track and not know it. He can’t see what he is doing wrong; he just knows that he can’t stay out of the woods.
I encourage you to develop a routine for your life. Set a routine in what time you get up in the morning, and what time you go to bed at night. Set a routine in your prayer and meditation time, or making your bed or jogging in the morning. Set routines for how you keep your possessions; how you keep your desk or sock drawer; how you keep your house clean or what do you do with your day of rest? Create routines when you celebrate holidays or have special events. It isn’t a rut; it is doing things on purpose and with intention. These things keep disarray from spreading into the opportunities that come your way. Most people miss opportunities because their life is too cluttered and they can’t see them.
We all have dreams and goals for our lives. But I promise you that those things don’t just happen. You need to ask yourself this question. “When it comes to my dreams and plans, what kind of structure do I need to help me get there? What kind of routines do I need to move me forward to my future?