To be more accurate, today is my 110th day of gratitude list exercise. In a post dated 20th April 2016, 28 days of Gratitude list, I told you about the first 4 weeks of my habit to put down, every day, an ink and paper gratitude list. In a previous entry, dated 23th March, Good Advices and Consequences, I summarised the results of what at the time was for me a new morning routine I had just established. What can I say after the 110th day of practice? How do I feel?
I feel that to stay on track I must follow my good habits every single day. Each good/positive habit has the power to reinforce the others and each day that I stay on track, my positive mindset gets stronger. On the other hand, each time I skip a positive action, it triggers the chance to skip another one and the more days I stray from the path, the more a negative mindset finds food to grow bigger. There’s no third way to go. But I can tweak my habits and my routine as much as I want, the crucial point is to never give up.
Currently, my daily routine is this:
- 06.30 the alarm goes off
- 06.45 I am out of bed
- 07.00 – 07.30 yoga
- 07.30 shower –> I still have the last jet of cold water, but I can’t let it flow on my head because of my recurrent sinusitis
- 08.00 breakfast –> Yes, I still love porridge
- 08.30 meditation and gratitude list
- 09.00 – 12.00 work –> on a post, on a new chapter on a new illustration
- 12.00 lunch
- 13.00 – 16.00 work
- 16.00 stop any work activity to read, follow a Skillshare lesson or take a stroll, by foot or bicycle
- 17.00 stop everything and just relax
Maybe you won’t believe it, but the last 2 steps are of the most importance. I must stop every work activity at 16.00 and I must stop everything else at 17.00. I need to know, during my working hours, that at that time (and also at 12.00) I will have a break. I must trust myself on this because is the only way to avoid distractions while working. I also had to diminish my morning workout because it took too much time and it prevented me to be at my desk at 08.30. Plus, I had no prize in the afternoon to wait and to work for.
To summarise, In my personal experience and humble opinion, I think that:
- to establish a good habit you have to stay true to it at least 30 days.
- each good habit enforces other positive choices/habits and feeds an overall positive mindset.
- once you have established a routine or a set of good habits that makes you feel good you will stay true to them because you’ll miss feeling good. Trust me on this. Even if something succeeds to drag you down in a negative mindset or to negative habits, the need to feel good again will help you come back to your good habits. Routine can work for the good as much as it works for the bad.
- you need to forgive yourself. It’s not easy to stay on track, so forgive yourself when you fall. I am not telling you to start pity yourself and keep on doing it without a positive action. Just don’t waste your time blaming yourself and start again. It will be not as hard as day one.
And you? What is your experience? Do you struggle to keep a positive attitude or is it now a part of you? I’d like to hear your experience in the comments. In the meanwhile, thank you for your precious time and have a terrific week.