Before my accident last week, I had a faithful morning routine and had been writing daily since late October. This came after months of not writing, at least not regularly and it was almost like I had hit rock bottom as far as self-motivation goes. Maybe I can blame it on the pandemic. The rock bottom part was triggered by an incident that will go unnamed to protect my people but it was heartwrenching. During this same time I was working on a jigsaw puzzle and listening to the audiobook Atomic Habits by James Clear. It was almost as if God knew what I needed by sending me this book which I had never intended to read.
But as the puzzle pieces of my Italian landscape came together, so did the idea of starting small with putting new habits in place. The first thing I took away from Atomic Habits was to start each new habit with the tiniest of practices – 2 minutes on the treadmill, 2 minutes meditating, 2 minutes writing. The other idea was to stack habits so that it becomes a routine and this is how I worked up to my new two hour routine.
Since I am a morning person and work best with no one around me, I changed my wakeup time to 5:00 a.m. That made all the difference in keeping the comittment to myself to do this every day. Within a couple of weeks, I was in my daily rhythm working out (listening to an audiobook), making tea or coffee to bring to my office in the loft, sitting for meditation, reading books about writing and then finally doing the writing. It wasn’t easy to do at first but over time, I began to look forward to every part of the routine. I’ve listened to several wonderful memoirs and non-fiction books during my morning exercise, read many books about writing and have written well over 100,000 words since I started. The website 750words.com was pivitol in maintaining my daily writing practice.
So now what? Time to put in place a new routine. I will no longer be able to do key parts of the morning routine and my office will be dark for the next nine weeks or so as I’m unable to climb the spiral stairs that lead to it. I have been giving myself a break (haha) this week and am going with the flow. If I don’t write as much, so be it. I’m starting to think about what my new routine will be and I will have a little more freedom as far as time of day as I’m unable to work right now.
Do you have a routine that works for you?