I certainly know I do it … do you? What you might ask … sit in a comfort zone with regard to what you do! As you get to grips with a new routine and find the initial change hard and at times uncomfortable, there is a certain degree of accomplishment from achieving this. It bring a change, newness and a different approach to how we do things. But then, comes the question ‘what next’ and we can slump into the comfort zone of a new routine and regress in the way we do things rather than progress. There’s actually a lot of science that explains why it’s so hard to break out of your comfort zone, and why it’s good to challenge this ceiling.
We believe here in Turlon, that whether it you career in project management, look to become accredited (agile, business analyst or program management) or your health, it is important to push the boundaries of your comfort zone. However when you do make this decision to do so, it is something that is not always easy and it takes conviction. So when we say ‘comfort zone’, what do we actually mean … it is when we tend to get comfortable with the familiar and routines.
As much as we try to improve we are limited by the constraints of the familiar and then can lose interest because of lack of variety. So the benefit of challenging comfort zones, does not come from the challenge itself but the knowledge that we can push ourselves further and actually achieve more.
This is not just confined to a health / fitness routine, but can be associated with anything in life. However, when you want to challenge yourself in how we manage our health and fitness, it is not always about routine, it is about continually challenging routine. Here are some key steps in attempting to challenge any comfort zone:
- Push, push, push and push again: Expanding your comfort zone is really about you and what you want. Is it a little scary, of course it is! As your comfort zone is a behavioural space where your activities and behaviours fit a routine and pattern that minimises stress and risk. We all need to push through this mental security. You benefit in obvious ways: regular happiness, low anxiety, and reduced stress
- Do everyday things differently: – Try some different for example take a different route to work. Try a new coffee stop without checking it out and let this be coffee check-in point. Go vegetarian for a week and pull through it. Whether the change you make is large or small, make a change in the way you do things on a day-to-day basis and look easy it is to achieve the change.
- Trust yourself and make snap decisions: – If you are a person who enjoys making snap decisions, then this may not be for you. Making snap decisions get things moving and in all honesty can help kick-start the next phase of your health and fitness program.
- Do it in small steps: – It takes a lot of courage to break out of your comfort zone so don’t be afraid to start slow.
- Be more productive in what you do: – You comfort zone can actually kill your productivity as we tend to do the minimum required to get by. We can lose the drive and ambition to do more and learn new things. So to start the shift into a productive mode where everything you do has some result and outcome. Be brave and commit to the result.
You can’t live outside of your comfort zone all the time. You need to come back from time. In order to gain a level of fitness and health, you actually need to push your boundaries. Once you start stepping out of your comfort zone, it gets easier over time. Outside your comfort zone can be a good place to be, as long as you don’t tip the scales too far and become too aggressive with the action. There are lots of other ways to stretch your personal boundaries. You could learn a new language or skill. Connect with new people, volunteer, visiting new and different places, etc. The list is endless and our advice is to go do it when you can and then bank the improvements.