Discover Yourself Over 50s Lifestyle

Back to Routine – Does it have to be?

January 30, 2017
Back to Routine



January is almost over and Christmas and the New Year festivities seem so far away.  I was reading my new blogging friend, Denyse Whelan’s blog and she has a weekly link up with a prompt for a post each week.  This week the prompt was ‘Back to Routine’. 

Back to routine, of course we all feel this way with children returning to school and adults returning to work after the holidays.  In Australia, this period is the longest holiday as we enjoy the Summer break usually with sun and the beach.  However, the last week of the holidays is a flurry of activity preparing for ‘back to routine’.

Routine is good as it provides structure to our lives, and I’m one of those people who likes structure. However, routine can also become boring and we can easily fall into a rut, taking the careful path in life and perhaps not reaching our full potential.

Yes I know, breaking out of your comfort zone has become the latest in buzz words.  Being in a comfort zone can be good because it can make us feel safe.  However, sometimes we need to try new things but facing our fear of the unknown or making changes can be daunting to some of us.

What if I Fall

To me, I prefer to have both – my comfort zone and also being able to experience new things.  You can have both and in fact it is healthy to have a combination of both.   Studies in 1908 by psychologists Robert M Yerkes and John D Dodson have shown the we perform better when we are just outside our comfort zone in what is called ‘Optimal Anxiety’.  Not too stressed or anxious but just enough to push ourselves that little bit further to achieve.

You know that feeling when you have succeeded at something that you didn’t actually think you could do?  That is what breaking out of your comfort zone can do for you.

So how do we break the cycle of ‘routine’ or comfort zone and experience more in life?

  • mix things up – make changes to the way you do ‘everyday things’
  • learn something new each day
  • rediscover where you live – be a tourist in your home town
  • plan time away and experience new surroundings and cultures
  • set a goal to do something you have never down before

Remember, having a comfort zone to retreat to when life is overwhelming is good for our mental and spiritual health. 

It is like a balm and we can relax and not have to think too hard.  Having a combination of comfort and challenge makes life interesting and can bring out the best in us.

What can you do when you feel that your routine needs a shake up?

Let’s Keep Sizzling!


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  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl January 30, 2017 at 07:31

    Great list of tips to break out of routine, Sue! As much as I love structure and routine, just picking up one of those tips every few weeks helps prevent things getting monotonous. Routines are great for efficiency but if you’re on autopilot all the time, it’s such a waste of opportunity and the chance to see the little joys around you.

    SSG xxx

  • Reply Vanessa January 30, 2017 at 12:10

    I’m a big fan of being a tourist in my own backyard. Especially as I live by the beach 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 1, 2017 at 11:06

      Not many people think to do this Vanessa but it is fun seeing your ‘backyard’ through tourist eyes. Of course living by the beach is a bonus! have a great week. xx

  • Reply Bronnie - Maid In Australia January 30, 2017 at 14:01

    Well – they do say a change is as good as a holiday! But routine has it’s place too. I actually wish I could live without a routine, but most of the time my family needs one to function smoothly. But we really make the most of it and enjoy it when we can break free of it!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 1, 2017 at 11:08

      Totally agree Bronnie. I need routine to focus and as you say have life run smoothly. Breaking out of routine occasionally just helps us explore different opportunities and experiences. Thanks for dropping by and have a wonderful week. xx

  • Reply Leanne | crestingthehill January 30, 2017 at 16:11

    I’ve been out of routine for six weeks and it’s been wonderful! I’m not really looking forward to setting the alarm clock and getting back into work mode next week, but retirement is still a way off and nobody pays me to sit at home in my yoga pants (unfortunately!)

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 1, 2017 at 11:02

      It will be hard to back into the swing of work, I’m sure Leanne. A bit like going back to school after the summer holidays. I hope you are feeling rested and ready to take on 2017!

  • Reply Denyse Whelan Blogs January 30, 2017 at 16:15

    Thanks for the shout out! That is a really interesting piece of research ‘optimal anxiety’ and i will check this out more. Yes, I believe a certain amount of stress keeps us active, alert and on our toes but too much is paralysing. Your post is most helpful for your readers!
    Thank you for linking up for Life This Week 5/52. Next week’s prompt is “How Much Money is Enough”.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 1, 2017 at 11:01

      My pleasure Denyse! Yes I hadn’t heard of ‘optimal anxiety’ before but I’ve always heard that being nervous before a performance is good because it keeps us alert and we don’t get complacent. Great to link up with you each week. xx

  • Reply Jan Wild January 30, 2017 at 18:40

    The trick is to know where optimal anxiety lies and to have tools to move through the anxiety into action. Not always easy. Great post Sue.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 1, 2017 at 11:00

      Thanks Jan. I hadn’t heard about optimal anxiety but as you say need to know where that point is. Have a wonderful week Jan. xx

  • Reply Jo Tracey January 30, 2017 at 20:29

    I need routine as business as usual, and complete freedom when not working. It’s that simple and that complex. Have a great week.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 1, 2017 at 10:59

      Right on Jo! You have a fabulous week as well. Thanks for stopping by xx

  • Reply AJ Sefton January 30, 2017 at 22:09

    Sometimes the routine is the comfort zone. I need to change that – thanks.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 1, 2017 at 10:59

      That is right AJ and being in a comfort zone isn’t all bad. We just need to challenge ourselves sometimes to mix things up.

  • Reply Roxanne Jones January 31, 2017 at 07:30

    It’s always a push-pull with me. I’ll crave a change of pace or place and go on vacation, then am delightfully relieved to come home and get back into my comfortable routine (for a while, until the urge for mixing it up returns). I guess that’s good, right?

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 1, 2017 at 10:58

      I’m the same Roxanne and I do think that routine has a place in our lives. I need routine for stability and focus but I also need to break out sometimes to mix life up a bit! Sounds like you have the right balance.

  • Reply Jennifer Dunham January 31, 2017 at 22:54

    This is such a great reminder! It is always hard to step outside of your comfort zone, but it can be so rewarding when you finally try something new or change up the daily routine you have had.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 1, 2017 at 10:57

      So true Jennifer. It takes courage sometimes to try something new but the feeling when we try it is amazing. Have a great week and thanks for stopping by. x

  • Reply Donna DeGuglielmo February 2, 2017 at 02:08

    Loving You blog I am sizzling towards 60 and Beyond also it’s just fabulous to see other is here and I love your post thank you for all the ideas blessings Donna Maria

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 2, 2017 at 11:37

      Oh thank you so much Donna I’m so pleased you are enjoying my blog. You keep Sizzling and enjoying life! Have a fabulous week. xx

  • Reply 5 Quotes to help you take a Break from Routine - Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond February 3, 2017 at 01:02

    […] it time to take a Break from Routine ? In my post Back to Routine – Does it have to be? I wrote about how being in our comfort zone is good sometimes but breaking out of routine can also […]

  • Reply Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle February 3, 2017 at 20:42

    Good subject Sue. Nice that we don’t have to be outside the comfort zone all the time and as you say mix it up. I love to challenge myself, both physically and mentally. It may be to study or play a computer game, I am always wanting to win and outsmart the computer LOL.


    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 4, 2017 at 05:51

      I bet you beat the computer too Kathleen! Yes I like to challenge myself but I also like to come back to my routine and comfort zone. I like a happy balance I think. Have a great weekend.

  • Reply Charlotte February 3, 2017 at 23:12

    I need to set myself a new goal at the moment! Especially fitness-wise I have let things slip and this has reminded me that it’s probably because my old routine is boring! Time to mix things up a little!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 4, 2017 at 05:52

      Exercise can become boring so mixing it up is a good idea Charlotte. Also, you have a lot going on in our life at the moment so don’t beat yourself up too much – be kind to you!

  • Reply Michelle February 6, 2017 at 10:29

    I totally agree that we should all act like tourists in our own hometown (regardless of how long we’ve lived there)! Great ideas, thanks for the inspiration! (And for hosting the blog hop as well!)

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 7, 2017 at 08:11

      Great to have you link up with us Michelle. Have a great day!

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