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Routines

Routines are hot right now. Especially superheroic morning routines that involve pre–5-a.m. wake-up calls, smoothies with leafy greens, and cold showers (for some reason). I'm not going to say a whole lot about morning routines, but I am going to talk about an underrated routine that I guarantee you do but might not have thought about, and about how you can use the routines you already have to change your life.

My morning routine 100% involves studying obscure sonatas.

Routine is Special

So okay, everyone knows about morning routines: ten minutes of vigorous exercise, ten minutes of meditation, ten minutes of reading, ten minutes in an ice bath, ten minutes to drink a gallon of lukewarm water infused with lime leaves and goji berries.

Or ten minutes to stumble out of bed, shower, dress, pack your bag and snatch a granola bar while hoping there's enough credit on your Starbucks card to grab an Americano on the way to the office.

Whatever works for you. The real power in a routine is that it happens the same every day. That's powerful because it means you can use your routine to change your life.

Suppose you want to read more. Maybe you're tired of your Pocket queue being a write-only archive of good intentions, or you want to stop just pretending you've read Emotional Intelligence. The way to achieve something big and vague like "reading more" is to make a habit of it: do a little bit each day.

Lucky you, you already have a container for your new habit: your morning routine. Think about how your morning routine looks, and then see how you can wedge your new habit in there: Can you read while you're eating your goji berries? Can you read on the subway? Can you listen to an audiobook while you drive? Can you leave a few minutes early and read at Starbucks while you drink your Americano?

This works for other habits, too: could you do some yoga while your tea is steeping? Practice German vocabulary while you brush your teeth? There are possibilities.

It might be that you have to wake up a little earlier to accommodate your new habit. (Yuck!) That, of course, draws your attention to your bedtime routine, which is equally valuable as a container for new habits. For example, I recently added cleaning the kitchen to my bedtime routine, which brings me tremendous pleasure the following morning at the cost of only about twenty minutes.
 

The neglected routine


What do you do when you get home? I guarantee you do something. Maybe you hang up your keys, take your shoes off and line them up neatly, and unpack and put away the things you acquired while you were out?

Do you drop your keys somewhere (where?!), kick off your shoes and drop your jacket on top of them along with whatever you brought home before sticking your head in the fridge? (If you do that, you might be sixteen years old.)

The getting-home routine doesn't get much attention, but it holds as much power as the others. How could you make your life easier by paying attention to this routine? What if you use the act of closing the door behind you as a reminder to take a mindful breath and leave day's troubles outside? What if you had a place to hang your keys and you used it, every time? What if you take a minute to text someone you love every time you get home?

What if you empty the contents of your handbag into a beautiful dish and then wrap your handbag in another bag and gently put it away on a shelf, first thanking it for its service today? (Then you're Marie Kondo, and why the hell are you reading this newsletter?)

You don't have to start messing with your routines today. Just notice them. What do you do every day? Then think, what would you like to do more of? Less of? Do you want to give your routines more time, or less time? They're yours: use them for what is important to you. Use them to be more yourself.

What's New

Yesterday was my second practicum lab at Adler. We learned more about coaching presence (which is basically paying attention and being welcoming and open) and about creating awareness (which is helping clients figure stuff out on their own, or pointing things out that we've noticed). It was a full day of learning, and I can't wait to apply it.

I still have a couple of spaces for clients. (LOL, I have lots of spaces! But I follow someone on LinkedIn who always says she has "three slots available" and it sounds so fancy and exclusive!) I'm still charging my unbelievable pay-what-you-can, rate even though I'm so much smarter and better than I was a couple of months ago, so act now! Or tell a friend! I can work with clients all over the world, and I'm particularly interested in working with researchers, software developers and engineers, musicians and creative entrepreneurs.

Fun and Interesting

  • You've got your new year's resolutions and you've got your daily to-do list, and how the hell are they related? Setting goals of various proportions is basically my hobby, but if you're new to it, Ink+Volt has a great post about joining the dots with monthly goal-setting: How to Set Monthly Goals You'll Actually Achieve (Ink+Volt)
  • If you have any Medium credits left this month, this is an interesting hypothesis about the epidemic of loneliness. Zat Rana proposes that we feel disconnected because we travel in so many different subcultures (work, home, clubs, extended family) and present a different version of ourselves in each one, "leading to a number of fragmented selves that don’t integrate". His conclusion is one of my favourites: that to be our most fulfilled self, we have to know ourselves and "become who we already are": Why We Are Feeling Lonelier Than Ever (Medium)
  • I have trouble coming up with a "fun, light" thing to post here because it turns out I'm not really into fun, and I don't think y'all wanted to join the k-pop video-of-the-month club. Anyways, here's a Buzzfeed post about what we can do about the Amazon being on fire: 11 Ways You Can Help Save the Amazon Rainforest (Buzzfeed)
  • Actually, I take it back about k-pop videos. Forget the driving beat and the synchronized choreography, look at the architecture! I think this is in Ukraine? It's amazing, anyway. BOSS by NCT U (YouTube)

Thank you for reading this far!

If you like what you read, hit reply and let me know, or hit forward and let someone else know. If you have questions or comments, hit reply and let me know. If you have seen something interesting out there, hit reply and let me know. Are you seeing a trend here? If so... hit reply and let me know! I look forward to hearing from you. ❤️

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