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Consistency is the Hard Part

The one thing I consistently fail to account for when planning trips, especially shorter ones, is the disruption it will cause to my routine. For over a hundred days in a row, I wrote a blog post every day, did a Chinese lesson, worked on SETT, and a few other things for which I hold myself accountable.

I went to Peru for ten days, and although I started off strong, jamming in the blog post and Chinese lessons on my flights and bus ride to the Andes, once I started hiking I stopped doing those things. No real foul there, because breathing and walking had become difficult first priorities. When I got back to civilization, still in Peru, I resumed working hard on SETT, but I stopped doing Chinese lessons. I was practicing Spanish every day, though, so that made it okay. I wrote a monster blog post about Peru and sort of let myself coast on that. After all, it was a lot longer than my average post.

I got back to San Francisco and had only a week before I was going to Mexico. That week was great. I felt bad about being off schedule, so I used that as motivation to get back on. I rated three of those days as As and four as Bs, which is a pretty solid week. Next there are ten days completely missing from my schedule. I remember them, though. I worked on SETT every day while I was in Mexico, at a reduced capacity, as expected. I did a couple Chinese lessons, but was speaking Spanish, and fell behind on blog posts. Maybe I wrote four during those ten days.

Again, I got back and got back on schedule, but this time with less consistency. One day I gave myself an F and didn't even write any notes on the day. A few others I got Ds. There are As and Bs, too, but not as many as there should be.

A tip for introducing new habits

On Imported Blog

After reading up on Pragmatic Thinking and Learning I decided I would implement a habit called Morning Pages. Effectively you commit to writing several pages of writing each and every morning, for me I intended to write a blog post unit each day, and decide which ones were worthy enough of sharing towards the end of the week. I was building up a healthy morning routine and figured one more habit wouldn't be too much to ask of myself.

I failed. Repeatedly. Two months in and I'd managed about five totally random mornings of writing. All of them on weekends. It kept feeling non-essential compared to my other habits and I felt like the pressure of getting to work at a reasonable hour build up as I sat down to try and write. I simply couldn't commit and I couldn't focus on writing.

So, in this sorry state I figured out a great way to introduce new habits that actually immediately worked for me. All new habits are done first. Simple as that, whenever you have a routine or when you're about to knuckle down and be productive always start with your newest habit. It's the one you have the most tenuous hold on and should be prioritised accordingly until it can become an establish part of your routine. I've been writing every morning for about a month and a half now and I've only missed one day(due to extreme tiredness). Also because it's the first thing I do when I wake, I've started to incorporate dreams into creative writing, it's been very rewarding actually. I think this habit is here to stay.

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