10 Ways To Move Your Life Out Of Auto Pilot

10 Ways To Move Your Life Out Of Auto Pilot
Are there times in your life when maybe you feel bored, stuck in a rut, miserable, stressed etc. etc. ?

Maybe you just feel a sense of ‘there’s more to life’…

I’m sure many of you will recognise that feeling of setting off on a journey and arriving at your destination, with no recollection of the actual journey itself i.e. You travelled the route that you’re used to travelling on ‘auto pilot’ and you weren’t ‘consciously aware of steering your car in the direction it needed to go?

When we first learn to drive a car, we have to be very focussed on all our individual actions. We think about pressing in the clutch to change gear, of how to brake when we come to a junction and what we need to do when we want to turn a corner etc. and yet after a while, all those actions that seemed so hard and we had to be conscious of, become ‘automatic’ and we no longer think about our actions.. we just ‘do it’!

Some of us follow a similar pattern in many aspects of our lives and it would be simply exhausting wouldn’t it if we had to put that same level of concentration into all our daily routines and activities? However, sometimes, we drift into ‘automatic pilot’ in our whole life don’t we? We have fixed routines and patterns that we have fallen into and which continue on a daily basis. In other words, we’re living our lives in ‘auto pilot’ without being consciously aware of our actions and routines.

What do I mean by that?

Do you get ready for work without thinking about it, then travel to work without noticing the journey, rush through the day at work, travel home, slump infront of the television, without even being aware maybe, of what programme is playing and then finally drag yourself off to bed….

Do you sometimes think there’s more to life and yet continue to watch that ‘box set’? ” I’ll just watch the next episode… and maybe the next one …..” and before we know it, the whole evening has drifted by without us doing anything about ‘our life’?

Do you go into a meeting at work and always sit on the same side of the meeting table.. or even try to get the same chair?

Do you always travel the same route to work or to take the children to school?

When we establish these ‘routines’ in our lives, on the one hand it can be helpful as it can help us to become ‘efficient’ and cut down time on some of the mundane daily tasks and yet other times, it puts us into a state of virtual ‘hypnosis’, where we’re so ‘fixed in routine’ that we forget there are things that we could do differently and which would enhance our daily lives.

If you ever feel that ‘there is more’… then it’s definitely time to ‘wake up and smell the roses’ and instead of walking straight past the roses in our garden, pause for a moment and notice their beauty. There is so much more to life if we just take a moment to notice and pay attention. It’s easy to take our partners, family and friends for granted when we are busy living our ‘busy’ lives and spending much of our waking time in ‘auto focus’ isn’t it? Maybe it’s just a case of ‘zooming in’ with a different lens…..

Is it time to start re-focussing and re-prioritising how we spend our waking hours and move away from the ‘auto focus’ that we may have drifted into and pay conscious attention to the beauty and people in our lives?

How much more to our lives there can be when we take time to really listen to our partners, family, friends and colleagues and ask them some questions about their lives, ambitions and dreams. Take time out to have a great conversation….

What are you missing out on if you’re living your life in auto pilot? Here’s a few simple suggestions which may help shift you into living more consciously:

  1. Notice the simple things around you. As you walk along, seriously – stop and smell the roses instead of just walking past with noticing them. Open your eyes to the plants, flowers, trees fruit and the tiny creatures that inhabit those places… take a closer look. We so often taken the ‘natural world’ around us for granted and yet if we pause and look closely, it’s amazing what we can observe. How lucky we are to have access to the natural and beautiful world… Notice it and be consciously grateful for it and appreciate that not everyone is lucky enough to have access to such simple wonders….
  2. If you share your home with a partner, parent or children, give them a hug and tell them you love them. Teenagers may think you’ve lost the plot, but inside, secretly, they’ll remember and appreciate those moments… Go one step further – tell them why you love them – what they are great at…
  3. When you’re talking to people, keep your mind on what they are saying. We often get ‘distracted’ by things around us or the ‘voice in our head’ rather than focussing on what somebody is really saying. Staying ‘conscious’ and showing that you’re listening will make the other person feel that they are ‘valued’ and you may be surprised what you pick up from that conversation and otherwise may miss, if we’re not really listening. I noticed this myself when I was managing a team.. it was often the ‘subtle’ shift in someone’s body language rather than their words, that would show how they were really feeling about something.. Easy to miss if you’re not focussed on ‘them’…
  4. Take a different journey.. choose a different mode of transport or travel a different route and stay ‘consciously aware’ of where you’re travelling and the places and people you pass by.
  5. If you’re stuck in a traffic jam, take a moment to catch the eye of someone in the car next to you and smile or if you’re walking say ‘good morning’ with a smile to a fellow pedestrian as you walk past – why have we stopped doing that? I recall when I was young that it was automatic to acknowledge someone you walked past with a simple nod, smile and a good morning/afternoon/evening…. It was rare not to receive a smile back and to share that human connection…
  6. Consciously try to leave your mobile phone in your bag or pocket as you walk along… I notice so many people now walking and looking at or talking on their mobile phones, completely unaware of their surroundings or the people they pass or even their child in the pram and therefore possibly missing out on the ‘face to face’ human contact with the ‘real world’. Particularly if you’re pushing a baby/toddler along or walking with a young child, be ‘conscious in the moment’ with your child – talk to them, point out lots of things along your journey – that’s how they learn. Do you really want them to live in a silent world as you ‘chat’ to what is to them a faceless little box?
  7. If you go into a meeting or you have an option to sit at a different desk, do it! You’ll be surprised how different it feels to simply sit in a different space. Our minds have to open up a different neural pathway and you’ll notice people from a ‘new perspective’…
  8. Change your morning routine.  Set the alarm for 5 minutes earlier and start the day with a simple meditation, try a different colour lipstick, change what you have for breakfast.
  9. Instead of drifting into ‘auto pilot’ in the evening, slumped in front of the TV, try doing some research and creating a plan of action for the things you say you’d ‘like to do’ but never quite get around to. If you’ve read any of my Law of Attraction series, you’ll know what a fan I am of creating Vision Boards.. try it and you may feel some magic in your life! If you have a partner or children, create a ‘family vision board’ together. It’s fun and opens our eyes up to what other people close to us are ‘dreaming of’.. You may just be able to help their dreams come true too – how magical is that?
  10. Spend 10 minutes during your evening reviewing your day and finding at least 10 things or people that you could be grateful for… It’s easy to focus and moan about what we don’t have, what we haven’t achieved or about what someone has ‘done wrong’. What you focus on is what you get, therefore if we focus on the ‘lack’ in our lives, that’s what we’ll get more of. Taking a few minutes each day to reflect on what’s good in our life – the people, our home, the simple things that we take for granted and acknowledge and be grateful for these… If you are lucky enough to have running water, electricity etc. then imagine how life would be if you didn’t. When I had my ‘DIY Kitchen disaster’ and was without running water downstairs or a proper cooker, I certainly realised how much I’d taken those ‘simple things’ for granted. I only had to run upstairs for water but for many people around the World, they have to walk miles… Yes, I’m certainly more conscious and appreciative of those simple luxuries..

Being present in the moment with the people we come into contact with, making small shifts to our daily routines and taking time to take some action each day toward our ‘dreams’, no matter how small that action is, will help shift us out of ‘automatic pilot’ where one year rolls into the next.

I was definitely one of those people who rushed through each day for a few years, without taking time to pause for a moment and really notice the beauty around me. Making small changes, becoming more consciously observant and listening to my heart has definitely opened up a whole new perspective on life and a new world to enjoy!

It doesn’t have to be massive changes that we make, it’s often just a simple shift of routine and giving real attention to the people we come into contact with each day, that can make the ‘massive difference’ that we dream of… That Something More may be just a simple change of perspective that’s needed….

Change your lens from auto focus and zoom in on what’s already right under your nose!



  1. May 11, 2017 / 1:14 pm

    It’s true isn’t it? It only takes a little shift to make a big difference. I’m certainly finding that in my own life. Wonderful post Wendy and very inspiring. xo

    • Wendy
      May 11, 2017 / 4:47 pm

      Thanks Miriam and I’m glad you enjoyed it! It’s surprising how often the smallest shift makes the biggest difference in the long run! x

  2. May 11, 2017 / 7:47 am

    What an excellent post! The advice is so well thought out and so well produced. A distilled version would make a fabulous wall hanging X

    • Wendy
      May 11, 2017 / 8:03 am

      Wow – thanks Osyth.. what a great idea.. I may just have to work on that idea! Thankyou!! xx

      • May 11, 2017 / 8:07 am

        You should. I see you are on Pinterest …. I could see much of what you say encapsulated in poster-style snapshots which would be very pinable. X

        • Wendy
          May 11, 2017 / 8:27 am

          Great minds Osyth – I’ll definitely pull one together on Canva – thank you for the inspiration!!

  3. May 10, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    Nice post. Always agree with slowing down and appreciating. I always do an hours meditation in the evening it really sets me up . I watch very little tv ..sometimes zero and it has given me more time..

    • Wendy
      May 10, 2017 / 9:04 pm

      Me too with the TV Bella.. I love spending the extra time doing other things now – it’s definitely created a lot more space to ‘think’ about what I want my life to look like! x

  4. May 10, 2017 / 7:44 pm

    Well if that doesn’t get readers motivated Wendy nothing will! You have lots of great tips and a few good reminders for me. Thank you.xx

    • Wendy
      May 10, 2017 / 9:02 pm

      Thanks Brigid.. I was talking to myself too as I wrote it! xxx

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