If you’re a planner nerd like I am, then you love planning your day, week, month, year and beyond. Once you’ve reached official planner geek status, you also have a set Morning Routine and Evening Routine, that is, the best case scenario for how your day should start and end. The operative word here is “should.”
While plans and routines are great, and even recommended for keeping you on track with your goals and dreams, they shouldn’t hold you in, restrict you or limit you from intentionally veering off-course from time to time, which can actually be a step in the right direction.
Structure is important, and daily routines and habits will determine where we end up long-term, but sometimes we need to allow ourselves the luxury of changing the plan, altering the routine, and coloring outside the lines. When our plans get the better of us, we can get lost in routine and miss hidden opportunities because “I brush my teeth at 6:00 a.m., work out, shower, make a smoothie, pray or meditate for 30 minutes and then and only then can I take 5 minutes to look at the sunrise” (which is long gone by the time you’ve checked everything off your list).
Spontaneous moments make the best memories, and if we miss those, we miss out on the hidden, unrehearsed rhythms and joys that make life worth living. Maybe it’s simply slowing down enough to really see and to observe with curiosity what is around us. This morning, I had one of those moments.
As I was going about my morning routine, I happened to look out the window to see a rare and beautiful bird at the feeder. I simply took a few minutes to sit down to admire the beauty before me, and then all of a sudden, I had the unexpected pleasure of seeing its mate join in. In an unplanned moment, joy and beauty were given time and opportunity to enter into my morning routine, making it less of a routine that I could check off of a list, and more of an experience that I could live and enjoy.
It’s those spontaneous moments that call for a change of plan. The question is, will you answer?