Habits on Habits on Habits

Habits on Habits on Habits
Photo by Jan Kahánek / Unsplash

One of the single biggest saviors of my sanity over the past year has been journaling. Every morning, I sit down with a cup of coffee and take a moment to plan for the day, get what's on my mind out on the page, and prepare for the day ahead. And every evening, I take a few minutes to reflect.

I despised journaling when I first started. It felt too Chicken Soup For The Soul to me. Talking about how I'm feeling? Give me a break...

Despite that reflexive disgust I felt, it eventually grew into something I looked forward to. Every day I had a chance to acknowledge what I was feeling, but more importantly why I was feeling it. I could comfortably write a page each day on what I learned, or systematically walk through the true reason why I was feeling the way I felt.

I've been slipping though. Between May and August, I comfortably wrote a page each day. For August, I only wrote 15 pages. September, same thing. And October? Let's just say it's going to need some assistance to pull out of the tailspin it's currently in.

After a bit of reflection, I realized that I wasn't journaling as much because of two main reasons:

  1. I failed to set aside the time each morning. In The Power Of Habit, Charles Duhigg talks about chaining habits together. "After I do X, I will do Y". And I hadn't stuck to that. After I make coffee in the morning, I will sit down and journal. I was going straight to work!
  2. Another habit had also slipped: reading. Because I was reading less, I had fewer ideas to reflect upon, and then I had less to write about (it's also made writing here more difficult – go figure).

Two small issues. Two simple fixes. Both caused by other habits slipping. Those journal pages don't stand a chance.

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