My newly established morning routine includes a short meditation, gymnastics training, reading and writing. I’ve committed to doing those four things daily as often as possible.
So far, it’s going very well, I believe because of two things. “Setting myself up to win”. And consistency.
Setting myself up to win
This concept, I’m fairly sure, I first heard from Tony Robbins years ago. Tony was talking to people about their requirements for a successful life. Many had to achieve phenomenally ambitious goals, but one guy’s philosophy was “everyday above ground is a great day”.
It might seem oversimplified, but I think it’s a powerful perspective to have. Like, wow, I woke up. I’m still alive… that’s pretty awesome. Now let’s do something beautiful with this day.
What I’ve taken from that story and applied to help establishing my morning routine, is to make things easy.
I could have said, for example. Meditate for one hour. Read 50 pages. Write a new blog post. Exercise for an hour. And maybe one day of the year, if I’m very lucky, I would actually have complied with that. Most likely the other 364 days I would have done nothing. Compliance is way too difficult.
Instead to ‘do’ my routine, I need to do any length of meditation, even if it’s just a minute. Read for any length of time, even if it’s just a paragraph. Write anything, even if just a few lines in my journal about what I’d like to eat that day. And do at least one workout from GymnasticBodies, which can mean as little as 5 minutes.
So in theory, I could do all four things in about 10 minutes. In practice, I’ve averaged about 15 minutes of meditation, 20 minutes of reading, 15 minutes of writing, and 30 minutes of exercise.
Still modest numbers, but consistently doing that is really adding up.
Consistency feels like it has naturally followed from making my routine items easy to do. It’s in stark contrast to inconsistently doing those same things last year. Writing every few months, because I felt I needed to put together a full blog post. Postponing reading, because I ‘needed’ to sit down and put in an hour, and so on.
The benefits of consistency remind me of compound interest. Saving regularly, even in small amounts, and gaining modest interest, can compound to significant returns over time.
It’s still early days. Only a month into 2017. I’ll attempt to remember to write a follow up post towards the end of the year to see if I’ve managed to instill these behaviours as habits and stay consistent.