This post is part of a larger interest, called self-structure, where I look into ways to support personal growth by organizing how I live. While I stay away from going to extremes, it has always been important for me to explore how I can improve, scale my impact, and structure my days. In this post, we look at setting up the evening routine.
Your morning routine starts with the way you sleep. Waking up in a consistent manner won’t happen unless you structure your nights. There is no way we can function on a daily basis, in a hyper-performance environment, without taking care of our sleep. I wanted to believe otherwise — but nop, it is impossible. Some people promise the wonders of 4 hours a night. I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt and find a few months later that it was their worst experience ever. I need a complete 8 hours night of sleep to make sure that I keep my energy high, be a nice person, and make sane decisions.
A few years ago, I gave myself the goal to create a routine that I would stick to. The goal was to give my days a head start and make sure that I’d prioritize my health over work. It took approximately eight months to find what worked for me and start building that habit. It wasn’t a smooth journey but an important one. Since then, I have been casually helping founders and busy professionals to find a morning routine that would work for them.
Typically, somebody would reach out after one of my talks and share how they’ve been trying to get into a routine many times but unsuccessfully. The main reasons were 1/ hoping to get results by making significant sacrifices all at once 2/ lacking a structure they can stick to 3/ making this a social thing by announcing it everywhere.
Create a routine – build it for the long run
I have heard stories of professionals who would suddenly wake up at 4 am, workout for hours, meditate, and read the news. It often leads to a traumatic experience of the morning routine, the body cannot cope with such a sudden transformation.
The biggest challenge is to overcome the weakness of the mind. Fooling oneself is so easy. Creating a structure that doesn’t leave me a choice has been vital. For example, going to the gym every three days often end up being “any other day.” Whereas, doing some daily stretches doesn’t give you a chance to argue with yourself.
Some went on a full commitment by making it a social thing, probably missing the point that social pressure won’t work when it matters the most.
Getting into such a habit is accepting that results won’t be observable quickly. I wouldn’t see any improvement on my day to day without being consistent for at least three months. It’s also about starting things small, sticking to this new change, and increasing the intensity over time. Yep, it’s about committing to a new way of waking up in the morning and exploring this as part of a new journey.