I love having strong habits. At the same time, I find myself breaking those habits all the time. I used to feel bad about it. Not anymore.
When falling off the bandwagon, I usually try to “fake it until I make it”. Just going through the motions without really being present, just to keep the streak going. It doesn’t work.
Then, I discovered that it’s okay to break my habits. I am human. Life can get in the way. Nothing is set in stone.
I have learned to confidently break my habits, because I know that I can get back into the flow very fast, thanks to having a solid foundation. It also feels more refreshing than rigidly trying to “fake it until I make it”.
I now do this more consciously and it works.
1. Set a solid foundation by building strong habits and keeping them going as long as possible.
2. Accept that you are human and that life can get in the way.
3. Confidently break your habits.
4. Get back up and simply continue where you left off.
Paying invoices manually is a waste of time. Instead, I apply the principle “eliminate or automate” to get rid of as many invoice payments as possible.
Whenever I get an invoice, I do a quick check:
- Can I add a credit card?
- Do they offer a direct debit option? (When in doubt, I ask customer service.)
Here in Switzerland, for direct debit, you need to fill out a paper form and send it in. Then you never have to make this payment again.
It’s a simple habit, and it pays good dividends in terms of saved time and peace of mind. I apply this for both private and business.
It’s an essential habit for the 21st century. A principle I have to learn and re-learn:
No matter what challenge you have, anything. Google is your friend!
Have a problem with your computer? Google it and find a solution.
Don’t know how to disable the answering machine? Google the manual and get it done.
Annoyed by a tedious workflow? Google it and find a better one.
Need to repair something? Google it and find a walkthrough video.
Suffering from pain under your shoulder blade? Google it and find out what you can do about it. (Been there, done that.)
Never hesitate or ruminate. Challenge? Google. It needs to be a reflex. And too often, it isn’t.
I’m a big fan of morning routines, because they help me get a good start into the day. However, they are never static. As my life progresses and evolves, so do my mornings.
Here is the current version:
- I get up at 06:45
- I read the daily teaching in The Daily Stoic book (German version)
- I do a 1–3 minutes breathing exercise (using the Wim Hof app or Oak)
- I do 4–8 minutes of high intensity interval training (using this video, I also like the 7 Minute Workout)
- I write my daily journal using this Self Reflection app
- I read or work, until my 13-hour fast is completed (I use Zero to track my daily fasting)
- I start a podcast episode or audiobook, and do the following sequence: eating breakfast, cleaning the kitchen, brushing teeth, shaving. All very slowly and deliberately, as I usually love the audio I am listening to.
- Now it’s between 09:00–11:00 and I feel quite nourished on many levels
I gave up my office, so unfortunately I’m not walking to work anymore. I used to love it. Instead, I sold my gasoline scooter, and am now doing it the Mr. Money Mustache way, using a bicycle.
I have also been thinking about incorporating a more formal writing practice as proposed by Seth Godin, but have not been ready to make this commitment yet.
What are your best morning habits? Let me know on Twitter.