Tweaking the Zen Habits Approach

If you’ve read my previous post, you know I’m applying the Zen Habits approach to my morning routine. As a quick recap, my morning routine didn’t exist and I wanted to change that. The hardest part of my routine was starting it since I already knew what I needed to do during my routine. So, with my Zen Habits book by Leo Babauta in hand, I begun the very slow process of building up to the morning routine I wanted to implement. The baby step I was working on was to be on my feet by 5am.

Since my last post, I’ve only failed to be on my feet by 5am once, meaning I had to pay my friend $80 per our accountability terms. That sucked, and has so far been enough to keep me going strong. Though I noticed something that happened halfway through my first week of doing this teeny tiny first step – the follow-through on the rest of my routine wasn’t guaranteed. At all. In fact, it crumbled the more I kept at it.

Some days were great – I’d be on my feet downstairs by 5am and after sending the accountability selfie (totally a thing) to my friend, I’d immediately feed my cats and then myself since I was already downstairs. But a growing number of days lately has had me rushing back upstairs to hide in bed, sometimes not leaving myself enough time to eat or even shower before having to leave for work. Definitely not the point of starting my day at 5am with this small step.

Even though I’ve been doing good at this small step, it’s not bringing me much satisfaction if it’s harming other aspects of my life/routine. I’m trying to build a solid foundation but I feel like I’m cheating by doing it then forgetting why I’m doing it in the first place.

Right now I’ve worked up through chapter 23 in Zen Habits and I feel one of my issues is that I’m forgetting what I’ve already done in the previous day’s mission/exercise. I also read ahead at one point, which threw me off. So in lieu of a traditional Habit Sprint, I thought I’d take the time to do over the missions from the past 10 days (11 including today’s) that I haven’t been keeping in mind. Here they are: Continue reading

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When your social life is killing your self-improvement

Joshua Earle

I’d like to think that I’m a good friend. I help my friends out with their issues, problems, predicaments, what have you, and I try to put them first whenever possible. But when I have pressing issues, problems, and predicaments of my own, I’ve noticed I start to help others a whole lot more than I should. I’m talking about filling up my schedule with things I’ve suggested doing for others rather than focusing on myself.

I’m either avoiding my own issues by helping others and convincing myself it’s not wrong of me to be doing that “because look at all the good I’m doing!” or I’m trying to stop feeling helpless by helping others when I can’t figure out how to help myself.

I’m using my social life to kill my self-improvement.

I don’t just try to help people with their problems, either. I make their problems my problems. That’s a big no-no.

Here are 5 ways to tell if you’re using your social life to kill your self-improvement (and what you should do about it)

1. You find yourself asking why you agreed to go to social obligations you really don’t want to go to or be a part of.

Continue reading