Best New Habit

Our character, basically, is a composite of our habits…. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character and produce our effectiveness… or ineffectiveness.

– The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stepen R. Covey

Christmas challenge: Post 2

I remember myself as quite the morning person as a child, and recall early mornings on weekends with my dad, my mother and sister still fast asleep. Unfortunately, crazy and lazy teenage years destroyed this trait a long time ago. Although I am no longer in my teens, getting up in the morning is still a daily struggle. – No matter how early I go to sleep, it seems.

Something that has helped motivate me to get up, though, is my morning routine. This year I have gotten into a great morning habit, and the effect on my mood and productivity has been indescribable. Starting the day “right” sets a lasting tone for the rest of my day.

As mentioned, I recently read the book My Morning Routine, which shares interesting peoples’… well, morning routines. I have always been curious (to a creepy degree, I must admit) about how other people live their lives, and this book offers an exciting window into those sacred morning hours.

Although I struggle to call myself interesting (classic female insecurity?), I will go ahead and share my routine anyways through the My Morning Routine “framework”:

What is your morning routine?

My alarm rings at 06.30, but I usually snooze until 06.57 (thank you, Sleep Cycle, for this specific time). When awake, I use Sleep Cycle to check my pulse and the quality of my sleep. For some reason, it gives me a sense of comfort knowing that I slept well… and listening to my own snoring, which the app records, always cracks me up.

Then, I spend a couple of minutes going through my mail and social media. Although sleep aficionadas disapprove, I find that going through everything primes and prepares my mind for the day. Besides, because I am living abroad, it gives me great joy to check in on friends and family (aka dogs!) at home.

Once up, I make my bed, pull up the curtains, and start preparing my breakfast. I recently started eating entirely plant-based in the morning. Not only does this make me feel super green and cool, I also find that it has a positive effect on my digestion. So, go avocado and spinach. (!)

With my green smoothie in hand, I sit down and commence my Hour of Power. As earlier described, the Hour of Power concept is about focusing on yourself and something you enjoy. To me, this means blogging.

To ensure efficiency, I always set up my blog station (aka laptop, but that doesn’t sound as cool) the night before. I also mentally prepare the topic of the blog post, which I stick to until completion. I aim to have minimum three power hours during the week, which is approximately the time it takes me to complete a blog post. Then, I can relax on weekends with a conscious mind.

And that is basically it. On weekends and when traveling, I usually go with the flow and my mood. Sometimes, this means sleeping until the very last possible minute. Sometimes, it means blogging. Other (but rare!) times, it means getting up early to work out. After a couple of days, though, I begin to miss my routine. Luckily, it is always there waiting for me!

What about you, do you have a morning routine? And if not, have you considered getting one?

Celebrating 2018

Christmas Challenge: Post 1

When I was younger, I used to set New Years resolutions every year. They were pretty much always the same, always very wide… and never achieved. As a result, I have (mostly) abandoned resolutions. Instead, I try to focus on habitualizing concrete goals, professional as well as personal.

Although – or maybe because – I find this method more effective, I tend to forget to evaluate and appreciate progress towards my goals. Thus, I want to spend this Christmas Challenge to reflect on my achievements in 2018 within the following categories:

  1. Habits
  2. Finances
  3. Fitness
  4. Entertainment
  5. Personal development

I hope this challenge inspires you to reflect on and appreciate your past year as well.

Pictures: From London with Love, by Burberry

Christmas Challenge

So it’s not the 19th of November, nor is this a post about my morning routine, as I initially intended. I must admit I feel pretty bad about lying online, for the whole world to see (and lying in general, of course). I hate not keeping my promises, but work got in the way of my normal (aka blogging) morning routine for the past three weeks.

To get back on track with blogging, I have prescribed myself the following Christmas challenge from 1-23 December:

  • Dedicating minimum four hour of powers to blogging per week
  • Publishing two blog posts per week
  • Publishing two instagram posts per week

This week’s hour of powers will be spend on preparing topics etc. for the Christmas challenge.

Let’s do this!