recommitting to my life

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You may or may not know this about me, but I’m a creature of habit. Though I certainly like adventure, new challenges, and even doing the unexpected (like deciding to cut 10″ off my hair in a matter of 15 minutes), when it’s all said and done I love repetition. I love drinking the same tea each morning, eating the same meal at a favorite restaurant, buying the same groceries, and doing the same activities after work each week. There is something peaceful and comforting for me within the walls of a comfy routine.

But the past two weeks put me on such a whirlwind of activity that I found my routine destroyed and my anxiety level on high. I felt overwhelmed and took a much needed two day break from work and other obligations this weekend. As my mind began to clear yesterday on a walk to Navy Pier, I found a bit of uneasiness knowing I’d be returning to work this morning. Since the past two weeks were crazy-busy, I didn’t want to face similar pressures for the next five days. And in general, my enthusiasm for even my beloved routines seemed dull. Deep down, I think I kind of wanted a two week break from life to regroup, relax, and stop “doing.”

But that wasn’t realistic.

Recommitting to My Life

In order to recapture my excitement for the week ahead, I decided to recommit to my life. Recommitting is something I’m familiar with because whenever I find myself eating unhealthily or poorly caring for my body, I sit down and write a letter to myself explaining why I’m recommitting to the fitness and exercise plan I began a few months ago. The process of writing down the intentions helps me refocus and start fresh once more.

When recommitting to my life yesterday, I decided to shake things up in my beloved routines. Some of the changes I’ve decided to implement are:

  • Change over from hot English Breakfast tea to homemade iced tea each morning.
  • Buy the navy Hunter boots I’ve been meaning to purchase for a year.
  • Painted over a painting I’ve had sitting in my bedroom but have hated for the past nine months. (see photos below)
  • Change the accent color of MML – coming later this week.
  • Skip the End of the Week Exfoliation this week and do a double post next weekend instead.
  • Finally drop off the donation pile Erwin and I have sitting in the bedroom at the White Elephant.
  • Bought a nice cork cutting board for veggies instead of using our old plastic ones.
  • Made fish tacos for the first time last night.
  • Rearranged all of the decorations in the living room.

Though the list might seem a bit long, I needed that deviation from my habits to find a fresh take on life. And I can now say that I’m pleasantly optimistic about the week.

So what I think I’ve learned is that routines aren’t bad, they can just become stale over time. By creating these new traditions and changes, I’m able to recommit to my life and feel fully engaged, rather than “going through the motions.” So if you find your self bummed out by your schedule, take a minute and see if you can change a thing or two in your life to add novelty and newness. It might shake you out of your funk too.

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  1. ooops, the painting disappeared! 🙂

    I drink English Breakfast tea as well in the mornings….and your post made me think about habits, interrupting habits and the uneasy feeling that comes after the interruption.

  2. Jill

    I feel like I say this all of the time… but really. This post is so timely. I was in major frazzle-zone this weekend. Feeling unsure about my path in life, finances, my current take on motherhood and some relationships with family. Yucky stuff. I was ready to be done with my blog and done with full time motherhood (going back to work). But I realized, I don’t really want any of that. I just started a quick list of my own to de-funk:
    – move my living room furniture, I have been meaning to do this forever
    – start a presentation that I have been slacking on
    – spray paint something fun
    – toss a bunch of junk (clean drawers, etc)
    – put away some of the kids toys that are bugging me (the loud or messy ones)

    I’m ready to dig in… thanks Jess!

  3. Kristin

    Keep your head up friend! Make those lists, no matter how long, and check things off – it feels great! Everyone craves a little time away, that’s normal, especially when you’ve done a crazy amount in the last two weeks! I always have that ‘burnt out’ feeling after a show, ALWAYS. But I think you’re on the right track – refocus and jump in!

    Best of luck with your recommitting!


  4. Kristin

    Keep your head up friend! Make those lists, no matter how long, and check things off – it feels great! Everyone craves a little time away, that’s normal, especially when you’ve done a crazy amount in the last two weeks! I always have that ‘burnt out’ feeling after a show, ALWAYS. But I think you’re on the right track – refocus and jump in!

    Best of luck with your recommitting!


  5. Abbie

    I’m so glad you posted this! I’ve been feeling the same way. The past two weekends, my husband and I went on a cleaning/purging spree… and then I found myself dreading Monday. I realized that I needed to make changes not just at home… but in my whole life. It’s amazing when you realize that little changes can make a world of difference.

    Congrats on recommitting!

  6. Jessica

    I love this. I too find that changing things up a bit helps reinvigorate your life (although I agree that the same, routine things are comforting). I recently rearranged the furniture in my bedroom, and it lifted my mood a bit and made me feel better about more than just my bedroom for days … I also love the idea of writing a letter to yourself in order to recommit. I’m going to try this.

  7. This is perfect! I have been feeling the same way… I’m going to sit down and write a letter to myself then decide what can be changed and made new!

  8. Jenny

    Great post Jess, so timely for me right now. I am a creature of habit and a routine can quickly turn into a rut if you let it. I’m in a rut, thanks for the suggestions! As always you inspire!

  9. This is such a fantastic idea. Usually when I get in a funk like this, I go buy something. Not a long-term solution…and if the shopping trip goes badly, I feel even worse.

    So smart.

  10. I love that you take on the actual process of recommitting, not just a fleeting thought when it’s on paper, is it?

    I’m in a clothing slump – seriously the same 4 or 5 work outfits on a rotation (if you can even call them “outfits”. It’s seriously drab). And stuck throwing on the comfiest clothes I can (pjs) on the weekends and never trying. On Friday night I wore a new little shiftdress, did my makeup, wore earrings, and felt so pretty and put together. Looking the part is half the battle! Monday morning I kind of slipped back, but maybe if I “recommit” like this it will be easier. So I’m going to lay out a few outfits ahead of time 🙂 Thanks Jess!

  11. Jillian

    Thank you for reminding us that we all need to recommit from time to time and that’s okay. What a great way to bring yourself out of the funk!

  12. i just adore your blog 🙂 lists are great because you can really see and visualize what you’ve accomplished. must have felt great to paint over the old painting! 🙂

  13. Diana Draw

    Okay – the “after” painting is awesome. I love it, it looks like you could’ve paid a lot of $$ for it in a modern gallery. And I hate the flower one too! lol

    So I love the idea of writing oneself a recommitment letter, but I’m wondering: how specific do you get? Do you just say “I am recommitting to these things,” or do you list things and explain how they will impact your life (for motivation)? Personally I am great at list writing, but finishing things and staying motivated are toughies for me. Maybe you have good tips to share into how to psych yourself into being motivated by this letter? For instance, do you post the letter on your idea board so you can see it every day?

  14. Great post, your list is so empowering – I love the idea.
    PS. Also love the new painting (and that cute scarf basket!).

  15. But your routine…is it something you conciously decide to adhere to, or did you just all of a sudden decide to drink english breakfast and just happened to stick with it? Maybe I need to live more intentionally…

  16. Freck

    We may have seen each other Sunday at Navy Pier. I was there, too!

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