When you go on holiday at the beginning of the year, don't you find that the holidays fly by without you being able to do as much as you had hoped? You are so busy trying to do this and that, that you forget what you were supposed to do. My PhD was in 'decision making about choice'. The choice between alternatives on goods and services is not actually about a choice between alternatives. We weigh the benefits that each alternative offers and chooses the alternative that maximises those benefits in the choice.
This lecture by Prof McFadden at the Nobel Prize is a very good introduction.
In the case of big choices, such as buying a house or hiring an employee, this is how decisions are made. But if we do decision making every day of our lives like this, we would get tired. This is why "routines" are created.
It's easier to choose one of the two meals on an aeroplane than to choose lunch from 100 different menus in a Chinese restaurant. If you keep making choices, you get tired. That's why routines that don't involve making choices can help you save energy. Plus, working in a routine makes you more efficient and more likely to achieve your goals.
On a weekday, I wake up at a certain time, go surfing, take a shower, eat breakfast, read a book or study a bit if I have time, take my kids to school and attend the morning meeting. This is my routine for the first three hours of the morning, and I don't think about what I'm going to do next. If I wanted to do the same thing on holiday, I would probably end up eating breakfast or surfing. I think it's true what Amanda, one of our giftmakers, wrote the other day about her New Year's resolutions. It's better to get into a routine and not overthink about it than to run like hell toward a new year resolution in January and get tired and quit halfway through. My kids, who have been surfing early every day for nearly ten years, are better surfers than I am (although they've been slacking a bit lately). I find myself reading more books a year than I expected.
Some scholar says that "just having a routine makes you happy". This theory is not at the level of the "10 routines for happiness" that you can find in 20 bookstores, but the fact that there is something you do every day makes you happy. I think I read this in an academic journal somewhere, but I can't find the source, so you can just take it with a grain of salt for now. But, doesn't a businessman who complains about being busy look happier than a retired businessman?
At first glance, creating a routine may seem a boring task, but it contributes to your happiness and helps you achieve what you want, so I'm going to update my routine again this year.