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No. 551 / Power of habit

There was something different about this week. I just found myself saying yes more, feeling awake in the mornings, and on track with where I want to go. I kept thinking about the book I read a few weeks ago The Power of Habit where Duhigg talks about keystones habits—the one habit to rule them all. For me it has been my morning routine. I know this sounds cliche as your morning routine has been a trending topic for quite some time now, but it’s made all the difference. The impact of my morning routine has been significant. I’m writing more, getting ahead of my work before I get into the office, working out, reading, and no longer feeling the Sunday angst like I used to. I’ve been sticking to this routine now for 4 weeks (including weekends). It hasn’t necessarily gotten any easier, but I’ve certainly gotten more used to it. Here it is:

5:00 AM—Wake up, splash my face with cold water, start boiling water (for tea), sit down at the desk, pray/meditate, review my daily plan, write a few blog posts, publish one I like from my saved posts, spend some time on my book and course, get ahead on some past emails.
7:00 AM—Put on my workout clothes and either go for a run or do some home workouts.
7:50 AM—Make a smoothie, drink water, shower, get ready for the day.
8:20 AM—Commute to work. Read/watch an online course or listen to a Podcast on the train.
9:00 AM—Start my workday.

The thing I’ve learned about sticking to this routine is that the key to having a good morning starts the night before. I now start getting ready for bed around 8:30 PM. On a good night I’m in bed by 9:00 PM, but most nights I’m asleep by 10:00 PM. Whereas before I used to spend a few hours watching Netflix, I’m now just too tired and, therefore, haven’t really spent as much time watching TV or scrolling through social media.

The same routine doesn’t work for everyone. We are all on different schedules under different circumstances. But what does work for everyone is spending some time thinking about it, trying a few things, then committing to a certain routine and sticking with it.

What I’m reading, learning, and downloading:

Book I'm reading: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. The first half of the book feels like most other self-help books. But once Csikszentmihalyi gets into his research it becomes clear that there is some real substance here. I’ve almost missed my train stop a number of times because I’ve become so lost in this book’s insightful ideas and intriguing case studies.

Course I’m taking: Malcolm Gladwell Teaches Writing. This has been a real gem over the past few weeks. This course feels like a well-produced Podcast. There are so many ideas and things to think about that it’s taken me hours to get through the first 45 minutes of course due to me having to stop and take notes.

New App I’ve downloaded: Good&Co. My company had us download this app in preparation for our offsite and it’s been a great way to not only understand our own personalities but also gain some insight into the dynamics of our culture. Everyone loves a good personality quiz, right? My adjectives are: methodical, empathetic, creative, scientific, collaborative, and ethical. Pretty accurate I’d say…