Habits and Routines Have Changed My Life

I posted here about the book, The Power of Habit. This book changed my life in my early 50’s. It taught me in order to have a habit, I needed a powerful cue. One of my favorites cues in the morning is I can’t look at my phone until I say my morning prayers. That one cue saves me from staying in bed and getting lost on my phone. Then my prayer is a cue for another habit, one following another, through my morning routine. I don’t feel like a robot, I actually feel soothed and encouraged as I run through my habits large and small.

The Power of Habit taught me about “keystone” habits like making my bed. The author, Charles Duhigg said, ” Making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget.” I know when I see my made bed during the day, I do get a surge of well-being and calm.

I posted here about the book, Atomic Habits. This powerful idea of picking something tiny to work on everyday, that compounds through the year has changed me forever. Some of my tiny habits are practicing my Spanish every morning with Duolingo, checking my personal and business budget on Everydollar, the budgeting app, and reading at least one verse of the Book of Mormon everyday.

A magazine I read recommended the app “Streak”. It’s on sale right now, from $4.99 to $3.99. I have been using it for awhile and it is very helpful to track my tiny habits and keeping them going day after day.

Streaking is a new book written by friends of ours, Jeff and Jamie Downs. They say “between a goal and a habit lives a streak to gain mastery in whatever area you want to improve in.” Their three laws? Make your streak

  1. Laughingly simple
  2. No record, no streak.
  3. Create a community

These habits large and teeny tiny, have formed a routine that can take a couple of hours in the morning or condense down into five minutes if need be, so I can continue my streaks. If I had a bad nights sleep, or on my way to the airport, I condense my routine and don’t feel discouraged that I messed up on my habits. I have had so many positive outcomes, the biggest one being that I don’t feel overwhelmed anymore. I know I can chip away at whatever responsibilities I have and everyday makes a difference. Happy New Year!

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