January 17, 2011

Breaking the Habit

Day 17: 20.1 miles/1:12

“The scenic route can be a pleasant change of pace on a focused journey — as long as it doesn’t take you off course for long!”

For me there is nothing better than a little change of pace.  Doing the same thing, the same way, every day pains me.  In contrast, there are others who relish the control, security, and organization that come with a nice steady, reliable routine.  While both approaches can and do work, there is something to be said for managing chaos with some control and process; and, there are obvious benefits associated with changing up the routine a little bit.

While I was riding and celebrating this accomplishment, I started to reflect on some of my writings as it relates to focus and commitment.  While it is important to have an intense commitment to your goals, there is an aspect to this commitment that needs to allow for freedom and flexibility.  Your focus and your commitment are what keep you on track.  However, this does not mean you need to establish some unrelenting, self-centered routine to get there.  Part of the journey is celebration.  An aspect of celebration is discovering new and unique ways to accomplish what you desire to accomplish.

Finding on new bike route on my 100 Pedals journey is a great example.  I could keep cranking out rides on the same courses every single day for 100 consecutive days.  It would help me maintain my routine and still enable me to celebrate my daily accomplishments while finding success in overcoming adversity; but, there would be something missing.  What I would miss out on is the adventure of new paths, different roads, a unique view, or simply a change of pace.  Changing things up while staying on task allows me the opportunity to discover and experience new perspectives along the way.  These new perspectives provide added energy, joy, and accomplishment to my commitment.

This is the same for your commitment.  A little change of pace can only help you.  A break from the routine or the receptiveness to explore other paths offers a fresh perspective.  This could involve having conversations with people or groups you normally don’t connect with, trying something different on the menu or trying a different restaurant, reading book that has nothing to do with business, or listening to a presentation from someone you would normally make no time for. You know what your commitment is.  Nothing will take you away from that when you maintain focus and surround yourself with those that will support you and hold you accountable.  However, allowing yourself to wander and explore other avenues on your journey will help break up the routine and give you other things to look at and enjoy.

Take time to find a way to enjoy a break from the routine of your commitment.  Discover new paths, new courses, and new opportunities to accomplish your mission without getting stuck in a routine that confines you.  The scenic route offers so much more than a beautiful view – it provides the energy and inspiration you need to feel good about your focus and your intent.

About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.