Building routines in solitude

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

The past five weeks or so have been hectic, to say the least. Routines are either strengthened in such circumstances or fall apart.

Personally, I’m only now coming into a routine I’m getting happy with. And mostly I’m stealing it from other suggestions, or I choose to fall back on old habits.

Every morning I write my morning pages (MP), a la Julie Cameron. I’ve been doing this on and off since Nov. 2015, and this year I’ve been fairly dedicated to it. In quarantine, it’s been no problem.

The challenge I’ve had is actually waking up and doing the pages first thing. I’ve unconsciously built up a routine of checking my phone first thing in the morning. Well, that had to stop.

In Dalio’s Principles, he says it takes about eighteen months to change a habit. I’d always heard it was twenty-eight days, before reading Dalio. While a little research may enlighten my understanding, I’m going to wait a bit before running down that rabbit hole.

Following my MP, I do a morning meditation. I either use my Insight Timer app, or I’ll use one of the guided meditations I have from the CDM Spiritual Center.

Then I sit down to write. That pretty much makes up my morning, other than coffee and something to eat for breakfast. Coffee actually comes first once I shamble out of bed. The food comes in at about 11 am.

I’ve actually set this out on the calendar app, and try to follow it as closely as I can. The afternoon routine will come in a later post. I’m still tweaking that one.


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