For the past six weeks or so, I have successfully implemented a morning exercise routine. By successfully, I mean I have not faltered from my original goal of completing the routine every single weekday (excluding holidays) since I started.
The obvious benefit has been increased fitness. A secondary benefit has been the sense that I have created a little pocket of time every workday that belongs exclusively to me. As I reflect on this, I sense that this particular time of day is the perfect time to reclaim some of the day for myself; the world is quiet, my mind is not burdened by the events of the day, and I am primed to set a foundation for the course of events that are sure to follow.
Last week, I added a new routine on top of the exercise; I committed to playing the didgeridoo for several minutes post-exercise. This too has been a success, because, through the breathing required, it has enhanced the self-reflective quality of my mornings.
So now, I want to go for the trifecta and add a third routine to my morning ritual – writing. Up until now, I was unsure how I would get this blog going – considering some of my other priorities and responsibilities. But then, today, I stumbled upon a post on LifeHacker explaining a strategy Jerry Seinfeld uses to accomplish his goals.
In short, Seinfeld sets a goal and commits to working on it every day. When he completes some work toward the goal, he marks an X on his calendar. He aims to create a string of Xs, and then after a while the objective is to not break the chain of Xs. It becomes a game of “Don’t Break the Chain.”
So, even if you put 5, 10 or 15 minutes into your goal on a given day, you still get to mark down an X.
After reading this, I figured 10-15 minutes a day of writing couldn’t hurt me. Especially if it has the potential to add a new dimension of self-refelction to my morning routine.
So now, I have committed about 35 minutes of time to 3 morning exercises that certainly have the power to shape the rest of my day. Not only will I enhance my fitness (exercise), my centeredness (didgeridoo), and my reflectiveness (writing); but I will also be carving out a time for myself at the beginning of every day. This alone should bring a revived sense of ownership into my day and into my life.
One caveat is that I am not committing to doing any of these things on weekends, holidays, or days when I am legitimately sick. Those days are for complete relaxation and exploration (this idea is not mine, and comes from the creator of the exercise routine I use. I will post on that at another time).
So, in keeping with the Seinfeld strategy, I will automatically pencil in Xs on those rest days, so as not to “Break the Chain.”
The writing I do in the mornings may or may not be related to this blog, so it doesn’t mean that there will be a new post every day. But the idea is that this exercise will seriously improve my chances of adding regular updates here.