Tuesday, 23 September 2014


Lately I've been coming across loads of interesting articles and books about habits.  Because of all the reading I do, I tend to have a head stuffed full of 'good' ideas for things I want to try out.  Unfortunately, I'm a bit of a serial procrastinator, probably because there is always one more book to read before actually getting on with something.

It seems that mastering the art of habits might be the answer. One book which has had a massive impact on me over the past few months is The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.  It is not the first book I have ever read which extolls the virtues of getting up early but it is the first one which describes a really good system for making it work and using the extra time productively.  I first read this book in July and started getting up early then with great results.  I love the hour or so to myself with my coffee before everyone else gets up, and I managed to continue with it even through the summer holidays.  One of the elements of the Miracle Morning system is exercise and at first incorporating this into my morning routine went well.  I used the 30 day challenge app, set myself some exercises to do and kept on track with them pretty much every day.  However, the app started to ramp up the reps and suddenly I found my resistance to exercise growing to the point where I would find any excuse to skip that part of my morning routine.  The exercises were taking too long, and becoming too uncomfortable.

One of the best things about the Miracle Morning is the Facebook community who regularly post about their experiences with the system and also recommend apps and books that they have found useful.  One such recommendation was Mini-Habits by Stephen Guise.

I'm about halfway through this book and I think it has broken the deadlock of my exercise resistance. I've ditched the 30 day challenge app and now set myself the target of doing a plank for 30 seconds. Guise started his whole mini-habit idea through getting himself to do 1 press-up (I'd be overjoyed if I could do one press-up!).  The result for the last couple of days is that I am doing my full exercise routine every morning at a manageable level.  Now that I don't think I have to do plank for 3 minutes and 50 squats my subconscious is not fighting against doing any exercise at all.  A 30 second plank and 10 squats is more beneficial everyday than a half hour routine I have to force myself to do so only manage once or twice a week when I'm feeling 'motivated'.

I'm sticking with just the exercise mini habit for now but I'm sure that there will be potential for adding in more mini-habits to my routine.  Guise also recommends a mini-habit of reading two pages a day but that is one habit I don't have any trouble with!

Another blog I like which focuses on habits is The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I haven't read her book yet but it is on my list.

I also like the work of James Clear. He commits to publishing a blog post every Monday and Thursday, a routine which has seen his blog become successful because it is reliable.

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