A frigate runs into port

On Routines and Habits

This post continues in the same vein as the last one, that is, how to achieve our goals.

One way to do this is by building the right habits and then implementing them into solid daily routines.

Our life on autopilot

Our daily routines and habits ultimately govern our life. Why is that? Let’s face it: We often live on autopilot. It’s hard not to. There is a danger to going through life this way though…

You’re probably familiar with this quote:
(I know my mom is, she keeps reminding me of it, often. Thanks, mom!)

“Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbour he is making for, no wind is the right wind.”
– Lucius Annaeus Seneca

However, the danger is not only having no aim (or the wrong aim). It’s also having the wrong wind blow so hard that it pushes us everywhere but towards our aim!

Back to our autopilot. Seldom do we stop to check our navigational settings. If we’re careless, our automated, daily actions will lead us astray from the path to achieving our desired goals.

On the other hand, do you know what happens when we recalibrate our autopilot, that is, build the right habits and put useful daily routines in place?

It will be like we constantly have just the right wind, propelling us towards our destinations!

Think about your autopilot

Where is your autopilot headed? Think about your current daily actions and try to imagine where they will get you in a month, in a year, in 5 years even!

It is also useful (albeit sometimes sad) to realise that there is no homeostasis when it comes to your personal development. You’re either moving forwards, or you’re falling backwards. Nothing in between.

If you’ve found that your autopilot needs adjustments, then by all means, make them! The sooner, the better (and easier).

A good example: Morning routine

The habits you engage in after you wake up set the tone for the rest of your day. Yet so few people actually tap into the potential of their morning routine…

Even though anyone can benefit from having a purposeful set of morning habits, people who just have to go to work/school are not the primary candidates for optimisation here. It is especially crucial for people that operate on their own schedules.

It doesn’t have to be an overly complicated thing (I’m not much into the “biohacking” stuff):

  1. wake up at XX:YY (exactly N hours after you fell asleep),
  2. do X amount of sun-salutations,
  3. after Y minutes take Z amount of supplement ABC.

What I mean is this:

  • either you stay in bed for 2 more hours after you wake up, reading up on recent news and catching up on social media, or
  • you learn to get up straight away, stretch, and perhaps take a cold shower.

You can probably imagine the dramatically different effect each of these 2 routines would have on your overall productivity…

Parting words?

Go and make the right wind blow in the right direction!

staying the same (from Greek homoios, “similar” and stasis, “standing still”)