Routines are vital to introduce stability into our lives. Nothing is possible without stability. There is no exception. Only when stability has been achieved can progress be made. A routine involves doing the same thing at regular times/intervals (e.g. every day) in order that the rest of the time may be used constructively.
The more often an exercise is practiced, the more of a routine it becomes and the more its survival is secured. For example, rising at 5.30 am is not necessarily an easy thing to do. It takes effort and motivation. However, if this is repeatedly achieved day after day, it becomes part of normal life – part of the routine.
Routines are planned activities and behaviours, designed to allow our lives to run smoother. They help us take care of the more mundane aspects of life, freeing us to make improvements and progress in whatever areas of life we desire.
Patterns, on the other hand, are more elusive in their origins. They are less easy to identify, not only in terms of their occurrence but also the periods of time involved. Patterns, like routines, are defined by their repetition but they are not necessarily products of our conscious mind. Patterns lead us to utter phrases like, ‘This always happens to me’.
They seem out of our control. We proclaim ourselves, once again, to be the victims of fate or whatever convenient excuse we can find to deflect the blame for a situation which seems to crop up in our lives time and time again.
The truth is that we are responsible for our patterns. If we look hard enough within ourselves we can identify our patterns and use all our resources to change them. Because patterns are often so ingrained in our lives it can take a great deal of time and effort to change them. But we can change them.
Routines provide the anchor and allow us more time to sort out our patterns.