Building New Routines & Breaking Old Habits
A few months ago - I made one of the biggest and most important changes to my life:
I quit smoking.
With the obvious health benefits aside - the thing I am really interested in is how this means I am capable of changing any habit I want - or building new ones.
Swapping bad habits for good ones - choosing what to keep and knowing what I don't need. A bit like a spring clean - for the mind, body and soul.
It's like when, about once a year, I'll go round the house and ask myself:
"Do I use it, want it or will I miss it?"
A process that I now know is very similar to the KonMari technique.
Basically - if it doesn't stand up to my interrogation - out it goes.
And the thing is - with quitting smoking - I find that I am much more aware. More conscious and mindful of my choices and decisions, and listening more carefully for answers.
At the moment, I'm learning how to apply that to routines, habits and the everyday autopilot we all find ourselves in at some point.
The most important part: how I start my day.
I've kept a journal for nearly fifteen years - it's a place for rants, rambles, overviews, progress 'reports' and general musings. Where I go, it goes - and it's served me very well indeed.
Recently - I've been making a point of starting my day with my journal - something known as 'Morning Pages' - a technique used by many creatives.
It involves no emailing, texting, Youtube, pets, family - no interruptions basically - first thing in the morning - and just writing whatever comes to mind for about 1-3 pages (A5 in my case).
I don't read or watch the news and I don't have a TV, so that keeps a lot of the 'noise' out - but notifications, social media and 'to-do's can sometimes creep in far too early in my day if left unguarded…
And that's what I'm really doing: guarding my 'zone' - my start to my day.
The magic is that it is the point in the day that we are closest to our subconscious - the part of us that is all-knowing, all-seeing and that will bring us to our 'higher' selves.
Instinct, intuition and deeper, driving desires are given time and space to be heard, understood and acted upon.
If I do read or listen to anything - it's normally something that will inspire me, 'lift' my thoughts and, ideally, set my mind on fire… It feels like it 'raises my frequency' - bringing my thoughts to a higher level and tuning in to what I'm really here for...
Instead of getting bogged down with to-do lists, or distracted by amazing content online - I'm finding it easier to focus (without reaching for a smoke every half hour!) and to get into a 'state of flow' - which is what a lot of my work is actually about...
If you don't already - try it, stick with it for a month or so and see how it feels. If you already do something along these lines - I'd love to know how that's been going!
I'll leave you with a snapshot from a book I've been reading, titled 'The Way of Nowhere':