I've long been fascinated by the power of routine to help us to achieve extraordinary results, whether that's for career growth, financial freedom or wellbeing goals.
I like the idea that small consistent habits compound to great effect. I've seen it myself through dietary improvements to improve digestion and learning in small chunks to develop new skills.
The idea that we focus on the process rather than outcome and consistency over perfection, makes anything seem possible. We just need a little patience, as the results may not always be apparent straight away.
Being married to a health and fitness coach, a habit of getting up at 6am to workout has long been a part of my day. I stick to it at least 4 days out for 7, aiming for a strong healthy body, not an overnight 6 pack!! To set me up, I leave gym kit out the night before and our weights live outside the back door - I've made it easy, although it doesn't always feel that way on a winter morning in Yorkshire, but you get the idea!
Recently, I have been re-reading Atomic habits which explains some of the ideas in more detail. It has helped me to look again at my day and ways that I can track and stack habits and optimise my to do list.
I've realised that, for me, habits such as breathing better, reacting slowly and calmly, making time for connecting with others and being more carbon literate could do with improvement.
And so, I've chosen 5 things a week where I want to be 1% better, and from there looked at routines and tasks to support this. Some of my areas to optimise include:
- Calm mummy
- Carbon literacy
- Friendships and connections
- Green investments
From here, small additional weekly tasks have included:
- Get a new mattress (done)
- Connect with a friend each day (text, phone, coffee etc) - mixed results, need to look at the best time of day for me do this.
- Look at my pension and transfer it to greener options (still to do)
And some habits I'm trying to add to my routine are:
- When I get to my desk, I will watch my breath for a minute.
- I will eead 1 page of The Carbon Almanac (or other books currently reading) when I get to my desk in the morning and when I get into bed at night.
Results have been mixed but I've found strength in coming back, reviewing the results and checking in what I'm trying to achieve. This awareness has helped me to choose how the routines and tasks I prioritise can support where I want to get to.
Most of the time we improve slowly; we get rich, fit or more knowledgable one step at a time.
And so I will keep trying to be 1% better as a mother, wife, coach, colleague, Earth Dweller etc in small steps. I will do my best to be average every day and extraordinary over time. And I will do it for my daughter, for my self and for the people and the world around me.
Atomic Habits, James Clear