Setting Good Habits and Developing a Routine

Hey! It’s the last Tuesday in January. Can you believe it? It has just flown by. How are doing on your resolutions, by the way? Have you hit them hard or has it started to fizzle out? I myself have quite a list of goals to achieve and it’s made me realize that I need to work on consistency. I tend to get started and do really well and then crash and burn only to give up on the idea altogether. As much as I hate the word, I do really need to discipline myself in order to achieve success. Ever since Sam injured his back, I have watched him maintain a stretch routine which has been developed over time. It definitely got boring for him and I know he didn’t feel like doing it at times, but he still kept it up. I have been inspired by watching him take care of himself with just the little easy things because that has brought him success. It has been a hard 4 months but I’m happy to report that he is back to work. Now it’s even more important for him to keep that routine going because he could potentially injure his back further and undo all of that work. He’s still on the road to recovery.

A goal I have this year is to establish a solid routine. If I have one that’s working for me, then everything else falls into place. I feel a significant difference when I have a routine vs. go-with-the-flow-Joe. At times when there isn’t a flow, my whole day is chaotic and I do not have it under control. I start “dropping” things like forgetting to plan out dinners for the week. I find myself asking “How in the world do I get everything done?” And wishing there were more hours in the day. I end up making excuses as to why I didn’t do it. But let’s just face it, I didn’t want to discipline myself. When I have a good flow to my morning, I feel accomplished and that I can take on the world. My mindset shifts and I’m ready for anything. I created structure and this in turn changes my attitude and makes me more poised for the day ahead. Now, things do pop up unexpectedly from time to time but that’s life.

Many a time have I given up on developing a routine. But then I get frustrated with myself and it becomes a vicious cycle. I’ve tried different techniques but nothing has worked. I started looking into what others have done and tried their strategies. One concept that stuck out to me is to find something that gets me excited to start my day on the right foot. I’ve always enjoyed waking up early because I like the quiet and stillness before the day gets away from me. Does that mean I’m a morning person? No. I’m notorious for hitting the snooze button and will keep hitting it easily for an hour. The other day I set my alarm for 5 am and kept hitting the snooze button, and kept hitting it, and kept hitting it, until 7 am. That’s bad! As I type this, I think “Gosh, just get up already.” But you know how that goes when your snuggled in your warm bed and you just had a good dream. But I started with one day at a time and didn’t put pressure on myself.

My goal for this year is to wake up consistently at 5 am. By the end of January, I want to wake up at 6:30 and gradually work toward my goal. Since starting my new routine, I have noticed that I like to have at least 2 hours to my morning and this allows me to get ready without feeling rushed and to also get things done when I would feel too tired in the evening after work. When I wake up, I make myself some coffee and sit down for about 20 minutes to do my devotions. After that I’ll do a little tidying up, put the dishes away, make my bed and just straighten things out. This is when I’m more awake. On Monday, Wednesday, Friday, I go straight to the gym and I’m usually done around 8:30(ish). I’m typically scheduled to work at noon so this gives me plenty of time to get ready for the day, get some things done around the house and relax before I head to work. This is generally when I will clean, make dinner for that night, make my lunch, and then sit down and read for a little bit.

They say it takes 21 days for a habit to stick. Since doing this, I’ve started with little baby steps and those have surprisingly made a huge impact to my day. Instead of looking at all of my goals and let myself get overwhelmed, I took one thing to change and worked on it. Once I knew I was comfortable with that new habit, I added another one. You know that story about the Tortoise and the Hare? As a refresher, Hare was super quick starting out and even took longs breaks. Because he did not pace himself, he lost the race. Tortoise, however, was very slow in the beginning but because he didn’t wear himself out, he was the winner. So, slow and steady wins the race and you will achieve your goal!

What is it you are wanting to achieve for 2020?

Love,

The Leal’s

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