Good Habits. Bad Habits.

Our lives change when our habits change. It’s time to start good habits that will take the place of, and push out, the bad habits out of my life. At least, that’s what Best Lent Ever suggests, today.

Each day, Best Lent Ever offers some guidance and reflection, but this “habit” concept was a bit of a departure from many of his thoughts and lessons. This Lent, thanks to my son, I’ve truly made prayer a part of my daily routine. He and I pray the Rosary (a decade) every night at bedtime and we dedicate the 6 or 7 minutes of prayer to someone or some thing. We’ve only missed a few nights (I worked late, he had a sleepover, etc). It’s been enlightening. It’s a good habit that has pushed out some “bad” habits.

Over the years I’ve blogged alot about time, time management, and lamented about how short life is, but also how long it is and how much time we actually have when we think about it.

Currently, and for much of the past four years, I’ve let bad habits (and bad thoughts) take up too much time in my brain and life. As these “bad” things take up more and more time and space, they’ve pushed the “good” out.

Let me be clear, the “bad” habits aren’t things like smoking or drugs, but they are things like sloth, procrastination, self-pity, laziness, and more things like that. Every time I make time to watch my favorite show, and then another favorite show, or hit the snooze bar once, twice, or four times, and each time I don’t exercise or work on my writing ideas, I let more “bad” into my life and I don’t let “good” take over.

I’m sitting here and imagining my day and what it would look like if I had sprung outta bed at 5:00 a.m. when my alarm first went off, instead of 5:36 a.m. after three snoozes and strong contemplating re-setting my alarm for 6:20 a.m. (which would give me just enough time to take my dog on a short walk so she could pee and poop). At 5:00 a.m., I would’ve been back from a vigorous walk and drinking coffee by 5:25 a.m. I would’ve been sitting at my computer by 5:30 a.m. with a full hour ahead of my to write, check my Facebook, organize my personal email, and much more.

I would’ve been attacking and owning the say, versus scrambling a bit, beating myself up for hitting the snooze three times, and sitting down to write at 6:05 a.m. and realizing I only have about 25-minutes.

Today, when I see a “bad” taking over (it’s like eating a cheeseburger and fries …it makes me feel sooooo good when I’m eating it but I feel like crap a half-hour later), I’m going to find and do more good.

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Developing a Rock Solid Morning Routine

Yesterday I wrote about morning routines. Most of yesterday I thought about my morning routine. Thinking things like, “if I dominate mornings, I’m going to make a better life for myself.” I think dumb stuff like that. But is it “dumb?” What is a morning routine? Is it a win because I make a plan and stick to it? Is it a win because I actually accomplish something in the span of time where I usually get poor quality sleep and listen to a boring audio book to distract me from the fact I know I should be up and tackling my morning routine?

I ask questions on this blog without having true answers. I ask questions and some people answer me on Twitter and in the comments. I ask questions to get myself and you thinking. I know the answers. You know the answers. The blogosphere, the self-help section of bookstores, your Pastor, and motivation Tweeters have the answers. The ancient Greek philosophers had the answers. Then Buddha, and Jesus, and Mohammed had the answers. Philosophers of the Renaissance had the answers. Tony Robbins has the answers.

And yet . . . we all still ask questions. “We all” isn’t fair. Let’s say “many of us”.

Many of us still ask questions and seek advice, wisdom, and direction. But we know the answers.

I know a morning routine would be all of the above. A jump start to my day. A smart thing to do. Will ease my mind with prayerful meditation. Will start my day with a small win (I’m using the word “win” as, I guess, something checked-off the to-do list or the mini-bucket-list …like …tomorrow morning I’m going to swing my kettle bell for 10 minutes, and then when I do, I’ll call it a “win”). I’ll feel good that when I make a decision and commit to doing something, lo and behold, I do it. I’m a doer. I’m an achiever.

I admit.  I hit the snooze bar but was up and at ’em at 5:05 and out walking the dog by 5:15. It’s now 6:14 a.m. and I’m finishing this blog entry and next up . . . breakfast. Win.

And finally. I’m not kidding. “Morning routine” is going to be my new obsession. This is a work in progress, but here’s my goal.

  • 4:45 a.m. … wake, walk the dog, pray the Rosary, meditate, and/or reflect
  • 5:15 a.m. … make coffee, boot up the computer
  • 5:25 a.m. …write for 20-minutes (personal)
  • 5:55 a.m. … read (1) article on writing; read (1) article on sales
  • 6:15 a.m. … make quick breakfast & 2nd cuppa coffee
  • 6:30 a.m. … shower and get ready for the day
  • 6:55 a.m. … wake kids, make them breakfast, empty dishwasher
  • 7:15 a.m. … clean-up kitchen, brush teeth, get things together for commute
  • 7:25 a.m. … leave for work; listen to something inspiring or educational on commute
  • 7:55 a.m. … arrive at work, read (1) article on sales

“It takes the failures to get you to the successes.”  –Darren Hardy

 

Oh, and here’s something really good from Darren Hardy worth your 8-minutes. Tomorrow, I’m gonna talk Podcasts.