Updated: Jan 12, 2022
If you find yourself doing the same routine day after day, never remembering what you did the day before, having nothing to look forward to, living your life - but never enjoying it or anything in it...you are probably living your life and the relationships in it on autopilot.
The really devastating part about living life on autopilot, especially when it comes to your relationships, is that you don't even know that you're doing it half the time. You're just living your life, wishing for more, but not sure if there is more, what the more is, or how to get it.
While many people live out their entire lives on autopilot (which is truly sad), the way to have a rewarding and successful life is to be fully aware and adaptable. So, how do you do that?
1. Stop and smell the roses (literally!). Take time to notice all the little things around you that you always use to look at when you were a young child. Why was it so intriguing back then? Because they were new and appealing? You were more curious? Now that you’re older and have become more aware of the world, not many things pop out at you quite like they used to.
So how do you do this?
Any mindfulness exercise can be a great way to take in your surroundings. Start by taking a simple walk outside your neighborhood.
What do you notice when you’re outside? Trees, flowers, woods, cars?
How does the air feel? Is it hot out? Maybe it’s cold or chilly. Or maybe it’s just right- the perfect temperature.
Are you in the sun or the shade?
What do you hear? Wind blowing through the trees? Your own footsteps as you walk? Cars driving by?
Notice, is there something in your neighborhood where you’re walking that you’ve never noticed before?
Take a few minutes of your day to stop, take in, and appreciate life around you.
2. Think about your short and long-term goals. Do you still have those? And if so - have you forgotten them? Re-write that list and start working on accomplishing your next goal. Create an action plan that you can follow each day to make smaller steps towards achieving both short term and long term goals. Daily to-do lists and small weekly goals can be a great roadmap to achieving your longer-term goals.
3. Remember your relationship? When was the last time you did something new with your partner? When was the last time you even wanted to? Start thinking about your relationship and stop just "being in it". This could be anything from planning a vacation together, to planning a fun date night, or to just grabbing them a coffee to let them know you’re thinking of them.
4. Take time for yourself. As we’re living life in the desensitized, “go-go-go”, autopilot mode, we often forget to take time out of our days for ourselves. The most important relationship you have in your life is the one with yourself. Give yourself time each week to do something you love doing. Whether it’s setting time in the day to read, treating yourself to your favorite restaurant, or giving yourself a spa day- make it happen! Appreciate yourself and all you do for YOU and the people in your life. You deserve it.
If you are on autopilot, there's a reason why. Your life is out of balance. It's either too stressful, too complicated, too boring, or you have surrendered your life to the "routine".
Action step: Take one day this week and really think about your life. Think about your relationships with yourself and the people around you. How can you shake things up? Make them interesting? How can you get back in balance and fall back in love with your life again?
When you do this, try not to think of external factors. Think of concrete ways you can start bettering yourself that are in your control. If you are falling victim to the external events in your life and letting those be the cause of your unhappiness, then you will find dark times ahead. Happiness comes from within. So, let’s take the steps to make it happen.