For the past three years, a group of friends and I have gotten together around the start of the new year to set goals for the upcoming 12 months. The planning covers all domains of life: personal, work, faith, health, marriage, family, etc.
Every year, I get a little bit better at setting realistic goals, that are measurable and exciting. But, each year, I always have a ‘keystone’ goal, the one thing necessary for all other goals: Routine.
When we hear routine, we often think it’s a bad thing, as in: “My life has become routine,” implying that it’s boring.
However, I have learned that without routine, we fall into idleness. And as St. Benedict tells us, “Idleness is the enemy of the soul.”
We tell ourselves that in our free time, we’ll pick up the Bible, or learn a new skill, etc. In reality, it doesn’t happen. The real result is time wasted.
We’re afraid that routine will lead to a dull life. That if we get up a little earlier, or stay off our phone at night, that it won’t be as exciting as sleeping in or reading through a pointless article.
Wasting time is really easy (sometimes too easy). But, hitting goals is difficult. Routine is the key to unlock growth in any area of life. Routine is how we make progress, meet goals, and grow as a person.
The alternative? Sitting in idle.