“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
I wake up at 5 every morning. If you would have known me a few years ago, you would have known a person who woke up when her children woke up. This caused me to start my day frazzled, unfocused, and behind. After some contemplation and reading, I decided that this practice could not be sustained long term. I committed to waking up before the sun shines because I value time alone to reflect, meditation, exercise, and growth. I began this routine to be more intentional and focused on a day-to-day basis. When I wake up at 5 in the morning, I have at least an hour and a half before my children and partner begin their day. During that time, I exercise at least 30 minutes, write in my journal, read a nonfiction book of some sort, and look at my schedule to plan my day. After all of that, I feel ready for my day, ready to take on the challenges that I face, and more present in the moments that matter.
We all have routines. Some are positive and make our lives more efficient and others are negative and cause problems. It’s important to assess our routines. One way to do this is by writing down what you do with your time. Take a week and write down what you do in a journal or piece of paper, or your phone, note all the things. How much time do you really spend on social media, watching T.V., exercising, writing the next great novel, etc…? After you assess how you spend your time, next determine if this is how you want to spend your precious moments, days, weeks, months, years. If not, what small changes can make you more influential, more present, more effective, more productive?
Thankfully, you have more control over your life than you think. Set your goals, find routines that work, and go for it!
Allison Freed, PhD