I apologize for being scarce around here this month. It’s been a rough month, and if we’re connected anywhere else, you know this. I summed up in my latest newsletter, and if you’re not a subscriber, I strongly suggest you do subscribe!
I read lots of newsletters and mailing lists (probably too many, to be honest — time spent on them is time not used in writing), and I want to mention one of them today: Benjamin Hardy. He recently republished an article on Medium, 8 Things Every Person Should Do Before 8 a.m.
When I read it (and downloaded his checklist), I hoped it was going to be just easy tweaks. Not a challenge. I feel like I have enough challenges in my life, you know?
And some of it seems obvious — get enough sleep, focus on what you want to be doing, move your priorities forward.
I’ve found myself making excuses for why I haven’t even tried. I get up between 6 and 6:30 and spend the time until almost 9 getting kids fed, making sure lunches are made, and seeing them off to school. His routine looks like it would add another couple of hours, and I can guarantee I’m not getting up at 4. And I’m tired, and it hasn’t been a good month, and and and. Lots of excuses.
The thing is, I do want to, as he says, get out of survival mode and live on purpose. Make changes that will help me focus more in the morning and get things done.
Some changes I may not make — I know that exercise in the morning makes me worthless for the rest of the day.
But I’ll start with two, similar to things I already do, and go from there: journaling each morning when I first wake up (instead of waiting until 9 a.m.), and a cold shower (or at least a warm shower with a cold rinse at the end) each day. This is my public commitment to doing this for this week, next week, and the foreseeable future.
Anyone else want to join in?
Hugs on the month. I find a lot of those “you could be doing better” lists are meant for people in good health without families or other dependents, but I’ll take a look. I’ve got a new writing routine I planned to start in October, but life got in the way. Maybe I’ll join you in making sure it happens in December :).
For what it’s worth, he mentions in some of his posts that he and his wife are foster parents to three children, and when he’s focusing on what he wants to improve on in life, he includes how to be a better husband and better parent. Does this mean he’s the one who gets up and gets them ready in the morning? No, but it does say he understands the need for balance.
I read that article, too. Like you, I was hoping for simple tweaks. Taking a cold shower is certainly a tweak, probably not one I’ll be doing. I get outside in the cold, I’m counting that as enough. I’ve never been a journaler. I’m never sure what it is I’m supposed to be writing about.
He talks about that a bit, as does Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way. It’s a thought-dump — just writing whatever’s at the top of your mind, whether that’s working through what happened the day before, what’s on your to-do list for the day, why there’s a knotty problem in your WiP that you haven’t solved yet, where you’d really like to go with your career, or whatever.
I’ve always thought better with a pen in my hand, so I love journaling — when I do it. 😀