Saturday, 19 May 2018

Just Do That One Thing

"I doing push-ups Maman!"

For a while now, I have been meaning to write about resolutions, and how to keep them and all the things that can help you do just that.

Funnily enough, this is something that I would not have pictured myself doing. At. All. just a couple of years ago. 

I tell a lie. 

I did not manage to follow through on a single resolution in my entire life until January 2017. I had even created a whole rationalisation about it, involving excuses about how I am not naturally self-disciplined and bla, bla, bla. And yet, somehow, in 2017 I did it. Almost effortlessly. I somehow became a self-discipline aficionada, a habit evangelist, the worst person to whom you could ever tell you mean to pick up a new habit/resolution (unless you are ready to be drowned in advice, pointers and bullet-pointed action plans - if that is the case, then please, do come my way! My friends will thank you for the respite).

So anyway. What turned me into a resolution bully, I hear a chorus of sweet voices wondering?

I'm so glad you asked.

There were books, there were tick charts, considering motivation, pegging new habits to old ones, there were many things. And they all helped, and I am happy to detail them (in fact, I probably will - consider yourself warned - because this is my blog, and I think the whole thing is fascinating). But a couple of weeks back, it suddenly clicked. I suddenly realised what had actually made the change. 

The Heroic Minute. (Scroll down, it's number 206 - I mean, don't scroll down, read, Escriva is the best, but you know, not all of it is directly relevant to this post.)

The resolution I took in January 2017 was to get up at 6am every morning,and to get up straight away. And now, looking back, I can trace all my subsequent successful habit-creation to that one decision. 

I can see why that would be the case on a practical level: I gave myself more time by doing it, and also made it very tangible that I could have more time if I needed (which I did, I now get up at 5:30am). Getting up before the children also did wonders to my attitude towards them, since I wake myself up to do things I want to do, rather than being dragged out of bed (figuratively) kicking and screaming (also figuratively - most of the time) by the noise of my waking children. The still-sleeping children are also a huge help by acting like a kind of time bomb, which makes it very relevant that I DO get up RIGHT NOW because every minute counts. All these obvious built-in motivational factors definitely helped me keep the resolution, and I don't doubt that having succeeded once, I felt empowered to take on more. 

All this is true.

But I think the true reason behind why this was such an effective habit to pick up is this: Escriva describes it as starting the day with a victory over yourself which then sets the right tone for the rest of your waking hours. I personally prefer to think of it as starting the day by punching Satan in the face - and who wouldn't want to do that?
Feel free to ignore my slightly violent tendencies - but in any case try it! Since I'm backed by a saint on this one, I feel confident this will have tremendous impact on your life, so go set a time and tomorrow, get up, straight away. Start your day mastering yourself, I guarantee you won't regret it.

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