Of course, the strength of routines is also a weakness: habits aren’t decided from present-moment awareness. This of course, side-steps the but-I-don’t-feel-like. . . . (exercising, writing, meditating, eating vegetables etc.) pitfall of resisting what we know generally supports our body, mind, and spirit. But it also side-steps considerations of how things may have changed and what our or others' present-moment needs really are. And, of course, the ease of perpetuating habits is as true of those that are not good for us as it is for those that are beneficial.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions but I do think of this time between the Winter Solstice and the New Year as a good time to consider what new or modified practices I want to set up for myself given my personal priorities, the needs of those around me, and my desire to contribute- to be of use- to my community and the world. Oh, I’m not really anticipating Big Changes, but I am planning on finishing my two partially-written books (one fiction, one non-fiction) in 2013.
Sometimes taking a break from our usual routine is a great way to bring fresh eyes to whether or not how we are living- individually and collectively- reflects and cultivates what is most important to us. So let's use this time before-the-beginning to contemplate whether or not our daily routines and practices are really serving our priorities and purpose, to shake things up a little, to break with habitual ways of seeing and being so we can move mindfully into the new year.