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Why You May Struggle with Routine

Updated: Mar 9

So many people start the new year with the best intentions, and many of those intentions often revolve around a desire to be consistent. However, what most people fail to realize is that consistency is different for everyone. In fact, consistency and structure don't actually serve every single person. Forcing yourself to be routine may actually be hampering your creative flow and alignment if you working against your design because you think you "should". You can fall into the comparison trap when it comes to feeling that you aren't consistent or routine enough, and there are several different places in your energetic chart, the Human Design BodyGraph, that indicate you may find it challenging to emulate your favorite consistency guru. Below are some reasons you may struggle with routine.

why you may struggle with routine

Dependent Design Variable

Let's start by taking a look at the Dependent Design Variable. This is the top left arrow when you are looking at your Human Design BodyGraph.

If your Dependent Design Variable points left, you have an active brain and your brain prefer prefers to digest food and information with structure & consistency. You do best with a routine and a consistent pattern. Try to eat using regular meal times and keep a regular work or study schedule to see how this makes you feel.

If your Dependent Design Variable points right you have a passive brain and your brain prefers to digest food and life in a more flowing and spontaneous way. You do best with flexibility throughout your day. Try to follow your whims and intuition when it comes to meal, work, and study times and see how this makes you feel.

Gate 15, Gate 5, and The Channel of Rhythm

Whenever someone tells me they are struggling with routine, I look to see what they have going on in this part of their chart. Oftentimes, they have the Gate of Extremes and their not-self is telling them that life would be more satisfying, successful, and peaceful if they could only be consistent and have a set routine... the fixed patterns of Gate 5. However, if they have Gate 15, they are likely not going to naturally be a routine person, and many times all it takes is understanding that their energy is designed to work with their own flow to relieve some of the pressure they have been feeling. It can also be helpful for them to be around Gate 5 individuals because together they electromagnetically create the Channel of Rhythm. The Channel of Rhythm determines the flow of the the group and has the potential to determine the course the group takes.

Gate 15: Extremes

You prefer to do your own thing in your own time, and your own way and you also accept other people doing things their own way and bringing diversity. You may find it hard to be routine, unless you also have Gate 5 or another routine oriented part of your design, and likely dislike having to be anywhere at a specific time. You remind us it is okay to be different and have a nonjudgmental acceptance of how diverse we all are. You are deeply connected to nature, people, animals, and plants.

Gate 5: Fixed Patterns

You feel like your life runs more smoothly with set routines and rituals, although they may ebb, flow, and change depending on the season of your life. There is an energy in this Gate that wants to go, but also needs to respond and not react. It is all about correct timing and staying true to your own inner rhythms to stay in flow, vital and healthy. Don’t let others lure you away from your natural rhythm. This can make you physically, mentally and emotionally destabilized.

The Channel of Rhythm (5-15)

You have your own sense of timing and inner rhythm as you follow the patterns and routines that are guided by your Sacral's response. As long as you stay aligned with your personal flow, and follow your Strategy and Authority, what you do feels effortless and natural. This energy even benefits those around you as you bring them into their own rhythm and timing. You magnetize others and draw them into a continuous and flexible flow and, collectively, this social flow provides us many opportunities for bonding. as we flow together and live authentically.

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Gate 9, Gate 52, and The Channel of Concentration

Another set of gates that can cause frustration if you are trying to create consistency and routines when it comes to actually sitting still to actually do the work you have set out to be routine with are the Gates of Focus, Stillness, and the Channel of Concentration. You may be able to focus in short bursts and then need a break or you may be able to sit still, but find yourself unable to actually focus on what you feel you "should" be doing in the moment if it doesn't interest you in the moment. However, if you have the full channel and are into the work you are doing, you can really concentrate and help others do the same!

Gate 9: Focus

You have a strong attention to detail when something is worthwhile and important to you. You have the stamina to formulate and test solutions until one satisfies you and see things through to completion when you are using your Strategy and Authority correctly. Sometimes you may focus on things that are unimportant and are unable able to concentrate on the larger task at hand or, if not aligned, you struggle to focus your energy for long enough to make an impact.

Gate 52: Stillness

You have the capacity sit still and become lost while focusing on something. There can be periods of restlessness as you bounce from one thing to the next while searching for what is worth channeling your concentration towards. You may find you zone out for hours on technology without being aware. Your presence is grounding to others as your ability to be still brings them down to earth. The only way to relieve the pressure of this Gate is to direct it towards something you deeply identify with and desire to focus on.

The Channel of Concentration (52-9)

You have the energy to still your body and use energy in a focused way. What it is that you will be concentrating on, what pattern you are assessing and perfecting in detail, will depend on what your sacral is responding to. You may be dedicated to one vocation for much or your lifetime or have many different careers you focus on at different seasons of your life. You may find your get restless and depressed if there is nothing to respond to and concentrate this energy toward. You also have the capacity to share this energy of sitting still and concentrating with others when there is a need to dive deeper into projects or processes.

The Centers

Wherever you have an undefined center in your BodyGraph, you are going to be less consistent and less grounded. That is not a bad thing, it is simply something to be aware of and learn to embrace your openness. Particularly, if you have an undefined Heart Center, you may find you struggle with having the willpower to follow through with commitments and promises you have made. Even those with a defined Heart Center can struggle if they have entered into a commitment incorrectly, although they have something to prove and may be able to will their way through. However, the Heart Center is a motor center and a muscle and willpower can only take you so far before you need to rest. It may also be that something you entered into correctly has run it's course.

Here is a quick run down of some other ways your definition (even where defined) may be shaking up your consistency and routine... even if you are typically a consistent person:

  • Your Sacral may no longer be responding if what you were doing consistently is no longer light you up.

  • You may not have access to the pulse of your Root Center at the moment.

  • You may not have boundaries around your undefined Head Center and find yourself distracted with inspirations.

  • Your undefined Ajna could be taking in new information to tweak a process that use to be consistent.

  • You may be in the low end of an emotional wave if you have a defined Solar Plexus.

  • Your Spleen could be letting you know in the moment that it is not correct for you.

You could also be a Manifestor in between the energetic urges of initiating, a Projector who has had recognition run dry for a commitment (the invitation may have run its course), a Generator or Manifesting Generator experiencing the Generator Pause.

Third Lines

Any gate that has a ".3" after it (1.3, 33.3, 54.3) is a place where you may experience a lot of trial and error. This means, a lot of hands on experiences and experiments that could very well impact what consistency may look like in these areas of your life. This also applies to you in a broader sense if you are a third line profile or a sixth line profile in your first 30 years of life (pre-Saturn Return).

Strategy and Authority

All of the above are just the mechanics of your energy. Being routine and consistent is not better than being inconsistent. Our world is built on the idea that it is best to be strategic, focused, consistent, scheduled, etc., but that is not how everyone actually thrives. As you can see, even within your Design you may have some inconsistencies and contradictions. What is consistent for you may not be what routine looks like for someone else. And you may fine you cycle through times of routine and times of flow.

I will use my own Design as an example of what seems like contradictions in my ability to maintain consistency and routine. I am Quad Right, which means all four of my arrows point right. With that configuration, there is nothing strategic, focused, or routine in that part of my Design. It is very much a flow and more feminine way of operating.

However, I also have Gate 5 activated which does mean that I do best when there is a certain amount of routine in my life. I find that my routine is more about the bookends of my day. How I start and end the day are routine and then I flow through the day by responding to what presents itself. The flow of my week can also be more routine. For example, it feels nourishing to me when the days I typically clean certain parts of the house and the types of meals I make and serve for dinner have a fixed rhythm to them. My defined Heart means once I do fully commit to something I have the willpower to follow through, so long as I enter into those commitments/routines correctly.

When I am in an emotional low, much of what I "planned" to do doesn't get done. I have to be aware of when my undefined Head Center is getting over-inspired and distracted. I have a 3rd line body as a 1/3 Profile, so I am always experimenting to experience what does and does not work for me, which means things get changed up. Also, I know when I have the energy to sit of focus with my Gate 9, I can knock out a lot of work in a little amount of time.... but I won't sit still for too long working on the same thing (unless it is just me and my son with the Channel of Concentration hanging out at the house). Mostly though, I trust that everything that needs to get done will get done as long as I am listening to what my body is telling me it needs and waiting to respond.

why you may struggle with routine

As always, the most important thing you can do to get yourself into alignment is follow your Strategy and honor your Authority. As you can see, there are many nuances to your Human Design and the biggest take away I have for you is that the most impactful thing you can do to get into alignment is to learn about your OWN energetics and how to support yourself instead of trying to copy someone else's playbook for success. Over time you can learn how to set boundaries, borrow other people's' defined energy, and even work with the transits, but the first step is to really learn to understand and embody your Strategy and Authority to start you down the right track.

Jen Allen | Human Design Consultant

1/3 Emotional Manifesting Generator

Channel of Inspiration

Channel of Openness

Channel of Surrender

Channel of Mating

Hope Motivation + Possibility View

Quad Right



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