Harnessing the Power of Routines
Your future is hidden in your daily routine…
James Allen said, “We are anxious to change our circumstances, but we are unwilling to change ourselves.” Put it another way, we are anxious to succeed, but we are unwilling to create the habits that cause success. As I continue in my quest for self mastery and personal effectiveness, I continue to study and try and apply the said laws of success. The more I interrogate and practice the more I realise the power of routines.
The Law of Habit states that the more frequently you perform a task the easier is becomes to perform that task the next time, and consequently, the more difficult it becomes not to perform the task. If you go the same way to work everyday, you would find it difficult to go in a different direction, simply because we are creatures of habit, and we protect the habits that we have, good or bad.
Over 90 percent of the tasks that we complete are rooted in habit: the way we put on our shirt, brush our teeth, skip flossing at night, all are rooted in habit. Our habits are a very powerful tool, and when used to our benefit can be life altering. Morning and evening routines lay the foundation to success habits
In order to make progress you need to tap into the power of your subconscious mind, the source of your habits. The subconscious mind is the “work horse” of the mind because it controls your habits; it manages the “habits” that accounts for your life. If you have good habits programmed into your subconscious mind, then you will do good things, and you will succeed. And, if you have bad habits programmed into your subconscious mind, then you will act accordingly. Your daily routines program habits into your subconscious mind.
If you can learn how to have a good day, then you can have a good life, you just have to duplicate that day through the tool of your routine habits. Your habits are a servant, and they will enslave you or free you. You choose by using your will power what they do. When you consciously follow a routine over and over again, it eventually becomes a habit. Your desires are turned over to the force of habit, and you become the slave of the habit.
You don’t need a miracle, and you don’t need to be lucky. You need the right set of habits. If you have the habits of a rich person then you will become rich, if you have the habits of a thin person then you will become thin, if you have the habits of a successful person, then you will become successful, it’s all about the habits that you have.
It’s therefore important that you discover the habits that cause you to succeed in a given area. Once you find what those habits are it’s just a matter of forming a routine to repeat that activity over and over until it becomes a habit. If you can get the habits right, the results will come automatically. A habit of investing large sums of money will eventually make you rich; a habit of eating the right foods and exercising will eventually give you the body of your dreams.
How do you create new habits? By performing the task over and over again at the same time, in generally the same way, in other words; ROUTINE! When you do this you will have a new habit, which will take control over the old habit. It won’t be easy at first, but once the habit becomes set, it will be as difficult to break the new habit as it was to break the old habit.
Here is how you can kickstart your habit change by creating new routines
NB; THIS IS NOT CAST IN STONE, do what works for you as long as it’s a routine that fuels your effectiveness.
Review your life plan. Use your life plan to create your daily routine. Look at your most important goals. Are there any habits or behaviors you need to instill in yourself to achieve those goals? Make those behaviors or habits part of your morning and evening routines.
Maybe your goal is like mine to finish writing my book projects this year. Make writing for 30 minutes uninterrupted the thing you do every morning. If your goal is to learn French, make studying a French grammar book part of your evening routine. If losing weight is your goal, make exercise the first thing you do in the morning.
While the tasks you decide to include in your morning and evening routines will vary depending on your goals, every evening, review the day’s work and plan your day for tomorrow. In the morning, review your schedule and your long and short term goals. I promise that if you do these two things, you’ll find yourself more focused and will accomplish more during the day.
Make your routine firm. Evening and morning routines lose all their power if they are kept vague. You cannot say, “I’ll get up whenever and do such and such a thing for a while or so, and go to bed when I start feeling tired and read for a bit.” Your routine must be firmly set in place. Wake up at the same time every day. Set a fixed time that your evening routine will begin, and go to bed at the same time each night during the week. Know exactly what activities you’re going to do during your routines, what order you will do them, and how much time you will spend on each thing.
Adapt your routine as your life changes. While your current routines must be firm, they will probably change as you pass through different seasons of your life. While reading a book before bed remained a constant, the morning routines of Theodore Roosevelt changed through the different seasons of his life. When he was overworked and stressed as a state legislator, he hired a prize fighter to come to his room in the morning for a half hour of sparring to make sure he got in a bout of exercise each day and to blow off some steam. While serving as governor of New York, he also tackled the task of writing a biography of Oliver Cromwell, and the first thing he did each morning was to carry a stack of notes into his study and dictate the book for an hour or more to a stenographer.
When it comes to your morning and evening routines, be flexible and adapt, but try to keep a steady routine going in your life like. Remember, morning and evening routines lay the groundwork for your success.