This past year has been all about habits for me. I started out 2019 with one clear goal in mind: I would build at least 12 new habits (1 a month) throughout this year. This is how I built the first one: A Morning Routine.
I started out with waking up early, 6:30am to be precise, and found it to be excruciating at first. My head would hurt, my brain wouldn’t function properly, and I’d desperately need to sleep throughout the day. In fact, I would have to say that it was the hardest habit I have ever developed, but also the most fundamental.
After a couple days I found the headaches and the mental fog to start going away. But that did not mean I was feeling more up to it. In fact, some days I wouldn’t even leave the bed before 9 despite being awake at 6:30.
This is because it is not enough to just say you want to wake up at 6:30am every day, your mind won’t have such a change just to watch TV or YouTube videos for the next 2 and a half hours. You need a reason.
In comes the Morning Routine.
Building a Morning Routine
So, I started habit number 2 in just a few days after starting habit number 1. This one was building a morning routine, and it’s actually pretty simple.
The idea is to take anything you want to do in the day, and push it to the early morning. The logic is that not many people are going to need your attention before a certain time, and that allows you to better focus on what you want to do and be more productive.
My suggestion is to start with one habit, say, working out in the morning, and building up from there. Because working out in the morning takes time, you’ll naturally have to start waking up earlier. Because cardio can sometimes be boring, you’ll probably bring earphones. And you may even find yourself listening to podcasts or audiobooks.
As you can see, one small change can have incremental progress. And that’s the beauty of the morning routine as the first habit, you’ll naturally start building one that works for you. You just have to take that first step of finding a reason to wake up earlier.
My Morning Routine.
So, just to give you a better idea of how one could look, here’s mine:
- Wake up at 6:30am.
- Take my dog out and give her breakfast.
- Go for a walk with my dog.
- Hit the gym.
- Finish it up with coffee and some audiobooks. I’m currently listening to What every Body is Saying, by Joe Navarro.
Yours may end up being a lot different from mine, specially if you don’t have a dog.
You’ll notice these are all things I could have easily ended up doing at 6 or 7 pm at night. But instead I’m now free to spend the afternoon catching up with friends, spending time with family, and any other social activities I had been neglecting.
You’ll also notice that the routine is actually composed of 4 habits: Waking up early, walking my dog early, working out every day and reading more. It sounds like a lot to tackle on in a month. But it was actually all a natural progression from one to the other.
The last 3 habits are what allowed the first one to stick, because I had something to do in the morning that motivated me to wake up. They became my reason to wake up at 6:30am.
Building upon my morning routine.
This is an experiment I decided to undertake after watching Matt D’Avella’s “12 Habits for Life” video. I’ll leave it here for you to watch if you’re interested:
And since right now it’s April, that means I’m on month 4 of my challenge.
So far I’ve:
- Built a morning routine.
- Stopped ordering food.
- Started saving 25% of my paycheck.
- And this month I’m quitting diet coke.
I’ll be continuing on month after month with this challenge and, who knows, maybe I’ll end up writing about here too. Subscribe to the newsletter if you’re interested in learning more about what happens next.
Do you have a habit you’re currently cultivating? If so, make sure to write it in the comments below. Do you like this kind of content? Have a look at How to Choose a Fulfilling Career, it talks about doing what you love and how it helps you succeed.
And as always, see you guys later.