Are you a creature of habit or do you prefer a life of spontaneity?
For the past seven days, I’ve willed myself out of bed at 6:30AM, made myself a cuppa (Aussie slang for a cup of tea or coffee), and cozied up on the bean bag chair in my makeshift office to write… and write… and write. By noon, I’m beaming with a sense of accomplishment as I look on at my shrinking to-do list.
Instead of 6:30AM, today (Saturday) I finally dragged my bones out of bed somewhere between 11:30AM and noon. Oops.
I woke up feeling groggy, sluggish, achy, and cranky. My brain refused to click over into ‘On’ mode until almost 1:00PM, and even now (nearly three hours later), I’m having trouble stringing together coherent sentences. Luckily, I have all of you as accountability partners, pushing me to put pen to page… even if it’s little more than chicken scratch.
As a struggling self-starter, getting into this early morning practice hasn’t been easy. Here, I’m reminded of the cliche that nothing worthwhile ever is. I can’t even begin to imagine how much worse it would/could have been were I a Chronic Snooze Buttoner!
Today is proof of a simple yet profound fact: bad habits are easy to form and hard to live with, but good habits are hard to form and easy to live with.
Take napping, for example. If you’ve ever spent a prolonged period of time with me, you’ll understand why my friends have broken naps down into two categories: Regular Naps and Reimer Naps.
If left to my own devices, I will gladly extend my twenty-minute snooze for another two, maybe three, hours. Even my cat Maggie (pictured above) can’t cat nap properly: when that ball of fur decides it’s nap time, she cannot be stirred. I guess it’s proof that animals really are a reflection of their owners.
Do I feel good after naps (read: sleeps) like these? Yes and no, but mostly no.
Whether it’s Reimer Napping, binge drinking, or pigging out on junk food… more often than not, our moral compass knows we are not where we ought to be. And yet, the cycle continues because it is infinitely easier to do nothing than it is to do something.
- Giving your day-to-day structure and purpose;
- A sense of ownership over your life (this is a big one for me, since I’ve given up so many of the controls and securities I once had in favour of the frightening freedom that comes with entrepreneurship);
- An environment conducive to building good/better habits;
- Improved efficiency and motivation;
- Reducing the need to rely on willpower or motivation in order to make things happen;
- Promoting a “practice makes perfect” philosophy; and
- Reducing build-up of my arch nemesis: stress.
Tell me: what are your life-hacks to stick to a routine?