Woman under neon sign laughing

I am addicted to watching motivational videos.

They are my obsession and they have been for a long time. To clarify, I do not follow any cults, I avoid posting cheesy motivational quotes on my Instagram page and I don’t believe that you can grow a six pack through positive thinking alone.

Motivational videos just really help me to get things done.

I listen to all of the best speakers without prejudice,  from Anthony Robins to Eric Thomas, Les Brown to Zig Ziggler. With a special mention for Lisa Nichols and Mel Robbins (the female speakers are often the best – those who know, KNOW).

I am telling you this because I have spent many hours listening to these speakers talk about the benefits of routine:

Anthony Robbins starts every morning with an ‘adrenal support cocktail,’ a ‘priming’ meditation exercise, and a workout involving a ‘torture machine’. Zig Ziggler said: “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.” Eric Thomas actually has a video called ‘Your power is in your routine’.

Routine, routine, routine – but that doesn’t leave much space for spontaneity does it?

Don’t get me wrong, since starting a business and having children I have seen the benefits of scheduling and routine first hand. I have taken their advice and have made life changes with amazing results. So converted am I, that winging it, being spontaneous or just ‘going with the flow’, sound like key ingredients in a recipe for failure.

But I could be wrong.

Woman jumps for joy

FOMO is so 2017, but by remaining rigid in a routine could you be missing out?

Routine, routine, routine – but that doesn’t leave much space for spontaneity does it?

After a sneaky peek on Facebook, I recently noticed that a friend of mine has been travelling all over the world. She has been going from country to country (seemingly randomly), sunning herself on various beaches and experiencing local delicacies – it looks pretty darn great. So, despite the numerous successes I have had from my long and short term routines, I have to ask myself: Is my lack of spontaneity giving me FOMO?

Are you missing out?

While you make a note on your list to eat more spinach and update that spreadsheet, your school buddy is sunning herself in Thailand on her second last minute ‘impulse trip’ this year. But, who is really getting it right?

Research has shown that when you experience new things, time appears to slow down. Neuroscientist David Eagleman said in an interview that the newer the experience, the more detailed a memory and the longer the moment seems to last: “This explains why we think that time speeds up when we grow older.” In a nutshell, the more familiar things become, the more quickly time seems to pass.


Noone wants to miss out on life, but it’s the mundane stuff that underpins your life successes – trust me, I have proof. As usual it’s about balance. Too rigid it’s boring, too spontaneous and you lack the structure to achieve your bigger longterm goals. The key is to be spontaneous when the right opportunities come up. Saying yes when it feels right or if it’s a great opportunity will make you more happy by keeping you fresh and flexible. Just don’t go overboard.

Ironically, we have put together a pre-planned list on when to be spontaneous:

Woman laughs and covers ears excitedly

When it feels right

Go with your gut – if it feels right to be spontaneous and do something fun, it probably is. If it always feels right to drop or ignore your routine and do something else,  maybe the problem is in the routine itself. Consider taking a closer look at your routine and try to work more of what you love into it, rather than trying to escape from it.

When updating your routine activities

If you have decided to update your routine, try doing something spontaneous to break away from your old habits and kick start a fresh new schedule. A last minute holiday or amazing purchase can be the ideal way to get yourself in the right mindset for change.

With small things

Baby steps, people. If you want to shake things up a little then why not take yourself on a shopping trip rather than a trip to the Maldives…just yet. Be impulsive but work in some of your goals too. Want to get fit? Then shop for sports wear and use vouchers – instead of heading straight for MAC or Zara like you always do. Buy the trainers but wear them to the gym so you get to tick both boxes.

When you plan it?

It may sound a little counter intuitive, but planning to be spontaneous is sometimes a better way to go, at least to begin with. Start a list of the things that you have always wanted to do, but have been too stuck in your monotonous routine to actually get started. Have you always wanted to do a fun run for charity but have never had the time to train for it? Wanted to start your own business selling artwork online? Or have you been pining after a short holiday out of the city? Add something to your routine that will allow you to do that thing when the mood arises. If a spontaneous holiday is on your list, pack a bag and spend 10 minutes every morning checking out special offers or holiday vouchers for activity day trips and last minute weekends away. When that perfect deal comes up you will be ready to jump on the opportunity.


One of the reasons that so many of us find ourselves never stepping outside of our comfort zones is simply because our routines are supporting our bigger life goals – it can be difficult to break away from our routines if we see them doing us some good. That said, being spontaneous could be a rare pleasure that keeps you fresh, flexible and happy.

What do you think? To be or not to be spontaneous?