Graphic created by Evan Brooks using Wix.


There is a famous quote that goes along the lines of, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” While I agree, I also believe that something like a routine can be helpful, if not outright beneficial to someone. Now, there are many things that, upon further evaluation, should be quit in order to pursue a happier life.

Procrastination on projects, arguments over small things with others and the overall formation of bad habits can all be outcomes of the trap of the definition of insanity. We are prone to do the same thing over and over again, not because they are necessarily good for us, but because we are comfortable with them.

In a broad example, say you are engaging in an activity that either directly or indirectly impacts how you feel in a negative manner. Should you continue it? No — but many of us, myself included, are stuck engaging in unhelpful activities because it is something that we normally include in our day. We are stuck in the definition of insanity, doing the same habit over and over again, yet the very method of madness that consumes us can also be the solution. 

To break a habit, you must replace it with another habit. Say you procrastinate a lot and you have a project you want to work on bit by bit. So you are not stuck with the whole thing a month or so later, create a routine. If you already have a routine, even better: just block out 30 or so minutes of time to focus your energy on the specific project you want to work on each day. You will follow your routine, and once it hits a certain time, you have to sit down and work on the project of your choosing.

This same method of insanity works if you are trying to learn a new language, play an instrument or other things. All of it takes time, energy and above all focus, but when worked into a set routine, it makes the process much easier to abide by.

The definition of insanity can be used to correct bad habits that were originally formed within it. This is nothing new, either; it is possible to take many things that currently work against you and turn them into things that work for you.

We can either stand by, participating in the same activities we subjugate ourselves to, knowing all too well the negative consequences, or we can evolve. We can evolve our way of thinking and our routine to suit a lifestyle we wish to live. It is not the most difficult challenge in the world, but it will take effort all the same.

Reevaluate your schedule and ask if you have a routine. If you do not, make a routine and place in it all the things you would normally do along with a manageable amount of things you wish to do. Next, commit to it. If you have a time you want to wake up at, do it; if you have a bedtime set for yourself, follow through.

The definition of insanity does not have to be insane because we are trapped in a vicious cycle that brings about our own unhappiness. It can be insanely beneficial for us instead, being the definition of our own perfect day. Look to live your perfect day, making your routine reflect what your day would look like if you had the will to pursue it.

Should you choose to schedule out your own perfect day or commit to a routine that works for you, know that it is not about hitting it 100%of the time. If you can follow through with 50%of what you wanted to do, great. Constantly improve, even if that means hitting your goal half a percent more each day. In creating a day or loop of habits that you want to embody, you start to enjoy starting your day more. By laying out things you know you want to accomplish and setting aside time to focus, you can bring yourself one step closer to achieving your goals.

Evan Brooks is a third-year Business Management major with minors in Economics and Civic and Professional Leadership.

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