Ralph Waldo Emerson was right when he said “We are what repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act but a habit.” You do not have to be great to start but you have to start to be great. A journey of a thousand mile, begins with a single step. One of the ways have been able to keep grounded during trying times such as getting laid off or losing my mum is the power of routines. It has worked for me thus far and I think it can work for anyone. Here is my typical daily routine.
- Wake up
- Meditate and Pray.
- Write down my goal/schedule for the day.
- Bath and Brush Teeth
- Calm Morning Wake-Up
- Fill out the Five-Minute Gratitude Journal
- Longform writing on a topic I have been musing about e.g Social Media Pandemic, Self-Discipline.
- Listen to inspirational Youtube Content
- Start Work
- Take a one-hour break at 1 PM (Calm Guided Meditation for 15 Minutes) and nap for 40 minutes.
- Return to work till 5
- Afterwork, Read as part of my commitment to my Book/Magazine Challenges (100 Book Challenge, 50 Audiobook Challenge, and Magazine Reading Challenge)
- Read for IT Certification Exam (CISSP, CCSP, CCSK, AWS, Azure et al)
- Watch Great Courses, Masterclass, Knowable, and other life long learning tools am subscribed to
- Shower before Sleep, Floss Teeth, and Repeat.
Following through on the above routine daily is not really easy, but I know it is one way to achieve the goals I have set for myself. I have and need to trust the process, be patient, execute diligently, tune out the noise and get things done daily. I get distracted once in a while by going through internet rabbit holes like youtube binge-watching, Wikipedia search. Having these routines and sticking to them daily keeps me grounded, and it makes me not get too distracted cos I got goals to achieve and a vision to execute.
To be able to execute this daily routine, I had to cut out a lot of activities such as
- Leaving social media (Not on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), but I have an account on Linkedin, only install Whatsapp once or twice a week to reply to messages or make some quick calls, I only watch highlights of my favorite sporting teams (Toronto Raptors and Manchester United).
- Not watching 90 minutes of Manchester United games has not been easy, but I would rather work hard now and watch the games live than waste my time and get unnecessarily anxious about things I can not control.
- DIsable Notifications from my phone and delete many apps from my phone; with that, I have less urge to pick up my phone.
Many of us cannot achieve our goals because of three things: We have not Decide what it is we want, we have not committed to following through, and we don’t execute. To achieve any goal, you need to decide, commit and execute.
“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” George S. Patton
In his book, Million Dollar Habits: 10 Simple Steps to Getting Everything You Want, Author and speaker Robert Ringer, writes about the power of daily routines and habits:
- Remember, life is nothing more than the sum total of many successful years;
- a successful year is nothing more than the sum total of many successful months;
- a successful month is nothing more than the sum total of many successful weeks;
- a successful week is nothing more than the sum total of many successful days.
- That’s why practicing successful habits day in and day out is the most certain way to win over the long term
Setting up a daily routine allows you to have structure, achieve your goals with daily execution, and reduce procrastination. One of the hallmarks of highly successful people is that they have a daily routine and regimen they stick to day in day out. A daily routine allows you to build momentum, form and break habits, and prioritize the important things in your life. Successful people are directed and work out of their daily agenda and schedule, while unsuccessful people let circumstances and events direct their lives.
To follow through on having a daily routine, try the following:
Win your day with a Morning Routine
Having a well structured morning routine allows you to win the day. It might be writing in a daily planner or a gratitude journal, exercising, eating well or scheduling your day ahead.
Stay away from your phone when you wake up
Try not to make picking your phone the first thing you do in the morning as it directs the tone of your day. According to brain coach, Jim Kwik:
First of all, there are these four primary brain wave states, beta is what you and I are in right now, we are awake, delta is when you are fast asleep. In between those two states, theta and alpha, are extremely important brainwave states for learning.
So theta is the state right in and out of sleep. Theta is the state that we call creativity. When you are at your most creative, usually it’s coming because you’re in this theta state of state, and you know this, when you’re in and out as sleep, or you are close to like you’re so deep, your mind goes and you come up with ideas.
Above theta though, is the state called alpha. (Right below beta where you are most aware and awake). Alpha is a state of learning, accelerated learning, it’s the state of relaxed awareness. This is the state we go into when we meditate, because your critical mind is set aside, and you just absorb information unconsciously.
Schedule your Day
You are more likely to following through on your daily agenda by planning your day ahead.
Organize your workspace
Try to make your environment clear of clutter as it gives you the ability to focus on a given task effecting.
Leadership expert, John C. Maxwell, in his book, Put Your Dream to the Test, writes:
“I once read that psychologists estimate that up to 90 percent of people’s behavior is habitual—90 percent! Most of the things you do are governed by routine. Think about how you started your days this week. You probably showered, dressed, ate, and drove to work using the same pattern you do every day. If you’re like most people, you didn’t expend any energy thinking about how you would do these things; you just did them. You start your workday, clean your house, shop for groceries, and read the newspaper pretty much the same way. You have a routine, a set of habits. Your habits impact every aspect of your life, from health to wealth to relationships.”
All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.