- On Sundays, I will allot 2 hours of my afternoon to read in a cafe with good lighting that makes me happy and keeps me alert. I try not to switch around locations.
- Every morning, as soon as I wake up and before I reach for my phone, I run a motto through my head: it usually rotates from these three:
- By the grace of God I am worthy.
- Thank you God for this day.
- God, help me to give my day to you.
- I read at least a chapter of the Bible every day. Currently I am working through Isaiah. Usually I will read Psalm 95 and dedicate a prayer to God before, so that I can prepare to give my heart and attention wholly to the reading.
- I go in for a video call with my family once a week. Objective: To hear what my mom and my sister has been up to and to actively engage in listening to the people most important to me.
- I drip coffee every morning. Grinding coffee and hand-pouring coffee is a therapeutic experience on its own. Having the consistent and dependable reward of drinking better than average coffee always leaves me coming back the next day ready to go into the routine regardless of how snoozy I am.
- Before my foot injury, I would wake up at 6 or 6:15 (depending on the day) to run a route of 4 miles at Central Park (north – south from my place to the south entrance cleanly amounts to that much). It was one of the most rewarding and helpful routines I’ve developed in my adulthood. Unfortunately, due to my present state, I satisfy myself with long walks back home from my work place (about 4 miles), and I always work to stretch out my body for about 15 minutes either in the morning or before I head to sleep. I’d like to walk more often.
- In the mornings, if I’m extra productive, I try to get to text messages that I haven’t responded to in the previous days.
- Throughout the week, I task myself to read the book I am currently on if I ever find myself still fully alert post-work hours. If I’m less than fully alert (had wine; burgers!, tired out of my mind, or feeling unfocused), I will pick up a lighter book (if I have one by the side and at the ready), read articles and studies I’ve pocketed (my go-to sites are on the website tab), or a short essay.
It’s hard to get into a routine, because the word itself implies that you are blocking off a finite resource, time, of yours for an extended amount of time to invest in a variable reward, and sometimes starting one for the sake of doing it for accomplishment or because it aligns with your value-based identity just isn’t that sexy of a pull.
From my personal experience though, investing in the time to develop these practices has probably contributed to the greatest positive changes and developments in my life.
They keep my character, spiritual, physical & mental life strong.
Getting to a point in which you regularly exercise habits that require little to no cognitive effort to initiate (holla heuristics) is also a great reward in itself (less work for increasingly more rewards!).
They also help me keep my positive, optimistic, and energetic demeanor (which are arguably my most marked characteristics) in a way that’s as close to 100% authentic and sincere.
Anyways, it’s 9, I’d best start my day. Happy Memorial Day. I remember and honor those who gave their lives up for us.
“Don’t just fill up on things that you’ll have forgotten the next day”- Jonathan McReynolds
“What is the value of a fine watch if you don’t keep winding it and it can’t keep time.?