I recently started Habit Nest's "Morning Sidekick Journal", to help me build a better morning routine. I'm generally happy with the routine I've been using for the past year, but I'd like to add meditation, reading, and exercise, and I'd like for this to be consistent – every single day.
This book starts with the premise that it takes 66 days to form a habit. There will be many hurdles along the way, so it's important to know exactly why I'm putting myself through this. The first couple of chapters ask me to fill out some information about myself and my goals.
How will you feel after 30 days of a consistent morning routine?
I'll have more energy and I'll feel more flexible. I'll have a strong and calm sense of presence that I can easily tap into throughout my day.
What sort of ripple effect will my morning routine have on other areas of my life? On other people's lives around me?
I'll be easy-going and in good spirits, and more accountable and receptive. I'll be better prepared for events in my day, and I'll have more energy the evening, when I'm with family. I'm making good progress on challenging work, despite being on "manager time" for the bulk on my day.
What would my life look like if I did not do this?
I am more distracted, and stiff. I'm missing out on countless productive morning hours.
What life goals do I avoid making time for? Do I take action on these goals in my morning routine?
Every morning I'll stretch, read two chapters of a book, meditate, and exercise. After which I should have two hours left for deep work before my first meeting.
What are the top hurdles I'm facing with getting to bed on time, or to master my mornings?
Lack of willpower at the end of the day – or to go with the hot new medical designation: "Revenge bedtime procrastination." My trick is that if I notice myself in a fraught mood, I'll take 3g of melatonin at ten PM. I've also asked my partner to help me out if they notice me languishing.
What kind of person do you want to grow into through this process?
Someone who emanates consistency and calm throughout their day; someone who easily adapts to what is happening around them.
What kind of person do you want to be when you fall off the wagon of your habits?
The kind of person who easily resets from moment to moment, and who doesn't let past decisions or behaviours dictate their present. Someone who uses falling off the wagon as a reminder to tune their inputs: hydrate, exercise, and to refresh.
Side-note: I think there might be some power in cultivating a tactic around "sacrifice". Some sort of ritual that can help me to act on a decision I committed to when I no longer want to act on that decision in the moment.
To sacrifice immediate power, itself, is a strong, demonstrated form of power. To sacrifice first-order thinking to second-order thinking. Instead of watching a youtube video, to instead sacrifice that youtube video. Let someone else watch it instead. To assert that it's okay for me to not watch that video.
Maybe more on this later.