Due to a study by Maxwell Maltz in the 1960s, we loosely understand that it takes, on average, 21 days to form a good habit. Recent studies have proven that the 21 days is nowhere near long enough to do so, but instead propose that it takes at least 66 days to create a good, habitual routine. Either way, 21 or 66 days, I'm not here to debate the science or give my input about it. I'm here to explain what type of power daily routines have on our lives. If you want to read more about the habit science, I'll leave another link for you to read at the end.
It's true, creating a daily routine helps people to better organize their lives. Routines help to increase time management, reduce stress, and increases efficiency and success. Think about how those things may all correlate. I figured if it's going to take me three weeks to three months to form positive habits, the first habits I want to focus on are the ones that make up my daily routine. I want the things that I need to do in my life to become second nature. I don't want to have to remember or force myself to do these things, kind of like brushing my teeth or eating. Here's what I've come up with and have been practicing for the past week or so:
1. Wake up & Drink Water
2. Pray, Read, & Meditate
I do this in steps. I don't pray, read and meditate all at once, but I think they are all necessary to complete as I am getting my day started. I like to pray when I first wake up to tell God, "thank you," for getting me throughout the night and asking for guidance throughout my day. Then, I also pray with a friend of mine around 6:30 every morning, but I'll get to that.
As far as reading and meditation, I put on my 25 at 25 list that I want to read ten books this year. I spend a lot of time reading poem books, quick meditation apps, and most recently, I use an app called Fabulous. Fabulous is an app that helps one to build great habits. So far, it has been encouraging, inspiring, thought provoking and rewarding. I love the personalized letters that I receive when I complete a goal or begin working on a new challenge. Sometimes, I listen to the letters while I stretch, do yoga, or just relax. Praying, reading and meditating are all great ways to clear and ease your mind. They calm my nerves and help me to create positive energy. I refuse to go through my day with a negative mentality. An open mind allows for me to be more productive and resourceful.
3. Work Out / Exercise + Yoga / Stretching
it's worth it. Exercising first thing in the morning gets my blood moving and gets me pumped for my day. I get this burst of energy that carries me throughout the rest of the day. Also, it is super encouraging to see how much physical progress I make. I'm working towards a target weight goal that I want to maintain. Great habits and a daily routine will definitely allow me to do so.
After my work out, I take another 10-20 minutes to stretch and cool off, and I work on yoga poses. This is sometimes when I use my apps and listen to my devotionals and/or praise and worship music. That's why I say that I pray, read and meditate at different times in the morning.
5. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Usually, I don't eat breakfast at all, but it is something I've been trying to do consistently. I have every day now for about three weeks. We've been told all our lives that breakfast is by far the most important meal of the day and I'm starting to understand, or appreciate, why. By kickstarting your metabolism, breakfast allows you to burn more calories during the day. For people like me who can't seem to lose weight while in the US, burning calories when I can is important. It has been suggested that breakfast also helps you to focus at work and school. Remember everybody; HEALTHY BREAKFAST, not a chocolate chip muffin.
6. Write / Research
Finally, I take a little bit of time during my day to write or to research. I use my cute "plans" notebook for writing my ideas and my awesome travel journal for keeping up with my travels away from home. I take this time to focus on me, my goals and my life. I love what I do, but I also have to plan for what comes next and that's an important part of my day.
Meditation, Mindfulness and Positivity Apps:
Fabulous, Headspace, Eternal Sunshine, and The Yoga Collective
Also, here's that sciencey link you were worried about!
*Undergoes Experience* captures the life of a twenty-something in Atlanta and abroad, trying to make things happen. More life, more love, more adventure and more opportunity to ultimately yield more experience. Thank you for journeying with me.