It’s very easy to fall into regular routines and “going through the motions” in life. To some extent, this is good. After all, when we learn something new, and practice it enough times, it becomes second nature. That’s probably why you don’t even have to think about whipping up a pasta dish with a beautiful ragu sauce, because you already spent time learning that recipe some time ago, and now you can cook for everyone without having to think too much about it.

That said, sometimes going through the motions can rob us of our natural autonomy. It might be that you find yourself constantly relying on the same small talk, or setting your goals in the same way, or falling into bad habits that seem to have you bound to a path you’re not happy with.

In this post, then, we’ll discuss some helpful measures you can take to reclaim your autonomy, and while identifying the difference between a healthy routine and a poor one:

Sit Down & Identify Habits You’d Like To Change

It’s very easy to think you need to change, but actually changing is not really that easy when you haven’t listed what the problem is and why you hope to move in a better direction. Just for your clarity of thought, it’s always healthy to sit down and actually identify the habits that are harming you and the resolutions you think would be appropriate. Perhaps you’d like to stop drinking – well, when do you drink? Might you find something better to do after work, like heading to a local amateur sports league or drama group? Often, taking a willing direction towards a positive step can feel much more rewarding than being bound by a bad habit.

Cut Out The Fluff

It’s very easy to bring more and more duties, obligations and habits into our lives, right up to the point where we feel exasperated with them. Sometimes, you may realize that certain habits are making life more confusing. Cut your schedule down to what is most important – taking care of your family, your career, and managing your health. Build up slowly from there. Don’t be afraid to turn down invitations or tell someone that they need to help themselves. When you cut out the fluff, you can think anew and will have less pulling you down. 

Find Help Where You Need It

Sometimes, you need help to kickstart you out of your usual bad habits or unhealthy routines. That might involve attending an intensive outpatient program to help you gain the coping skills you need, to find the treatment you deserve, and to put better plans and habits in place. There’s no shame in seeking support and help, in actual fact it defines you as someone who isn’t afraid to search for a better path forward, even if that means admitting you need assistance with it. No person is an island, so don’t automatically assume you can change everything yourself and enjoy a perfect outcome. Humility could be the best approach you ever took.

With this advice, you’re sure to reclaim your autonomy, even if you find your current routine does little to inspire you.