What A Juice Cleanse Can Teach Us About Routines, Habits and Staleness

Routines are comfortable. Whether it’s what we eat for breakfast, or how we deal with challenging work situations, we form unconscious habits that become engrained and difficult to change.

But when we get too comfortable in our habits, life turns stale.

Which is why a few times each year, I attempt to set free the emotional, mental and physical toxins and give my body the gift of a juice cleanse. Yessiree. Nothing but 288 ounces of liquid fruits and veggies for 3 days. It’s not fun, but surprisingly it’s not tortuous either. I approach the cleanse as a mini vacation from solid food. The extra energy, glowing skin and peaceful sleep make the mysterious metallic taste in my mouth and frequent bathroom visits worth it.

But like our bodies, our jobs and careers can also become stale.

If you find yourself in need of a shake-up:

  •  Press the Reset Button. Take some time off. It might be a week vacation, an afternoon away from the computer, or a few hours with a book. Regroup and reengerize.
  • Get out of the Cozy Corner. Embark on a new challenge. Stretch your brain and body to a place it hasn’t been before.
  • Commit and Stick. Excuses to stay in the cozy corner come in many sizes: “I’ll do it another time.” “That takes too much effort.” “The timing isn’t right.” When you apply discipline and see the results of your effort, voila … positive momentum for the next change.
  • Enlist a Friend. It’s much easier to crawl out of the cozy corner when a friend is there with you. One of the best parts of this juice cleanse was having my friend Bonnie do it with me. Her hilarious texts and Facebook status updates kept me going. As we virtually high-fived over the phone the morning after the cleanse, we agreed – next time we’ll up the ante to 5 days!
  • Grin and Bear It. The watermelon juice made me gag at every sip but I knew the antioxidants were an important part of the program.
    Peeled Chicago Juice Cleanse
    Juice Cleanse Spring 2012 – FINISHED!

    I held my breath and chugged. Sometimes you just have to recite Heather Nelson’s mantra: “I can do anything for 5 minutes/2 hours/2 days/a week/longer.”

  • Create An Exit Plan. You don’t have to stay where you are forever. The assignment or project or job (or green juice) may be awful and, yes, you might just have to grin and bear it for a while. But you can still give yourself alternatives and a clear time frame to get out.

Every so often, it’s good to turn our routines upside down. I’m convinced it’s one of the most important ways we grow, learn and evolve.

How do you shake it up?

Marta Steele is a Partner at PeopleResults. You can reach her on Twitter @MartaSteele or through email at msteele@www.people-results.com.