Last week, I hit a gigantic roadblock on my remakeability journey. What was it, you ask?
My childhood home.
See, my sister got married. I traveled home a week early and stayed through the event. I got lots of wedding stuff done, spent time with my family, and had quite a bit of fun.
But I hardly did a morsel of work, learning, writing, or reading.
Beware of Old Habit Seniority
What’s funny is that I did not find myself thinking, “I have to work!” at all. There was no inner battle of willpower determining how I spent my time. Instead, I slipped effortlessly, unconsciously, back into my way of being at home. I stayed up late. I ate all the things everyone else was eating even though I knew they would make me sick. I watched TV. I dropped almost all my newly-formed and in-progress habits. All without making a single conscious decision.
Such is the power of these ingrained habits, these old patterns of being. The way we’ve been for years and years silently pulls seniority over tender new habits, right under our very noses. How can we fight them when we don’t even realize they’re there?
Find Your Anchors
When you change your environment drastically — go on vacation, have a crazy week, have house guests, go through a major life event — it’s amazing how quickly your carefully constructed routine can crumble before your eyes.
There were two habits I kept up with while I was home: my morning mindfulness practice and my nightly posting for Project 365 x 2. I’ve been practicing these the longest of my new habits, and they are tied to things I do every day: getting up and going to bed. Thankfully, those are also times when it’s easy to be alone.
This pair of practices was my anchor at my parents’ house. They let me feel like I hadn’t been completely subsumed by the madness around me, like I maintained some skeletal version of the goals I’d set for myself in another place and time. They let me enjoy my week at home without feeling like I was sacrificing what I’d been working toward.
Think about it: what regular practices keep you anchored?
When things get crazy, you have to make compromises. That’s okay. Me? I let go of everything but my two daily habits. They were enough to make me feel like I had one hand on the steering wheel, at least.
What will it take for you to feel in control?
Think about that before the disruption arrives. Before you go on vacation, before the guests arrive. What pieces of your routine will you cling to to help you stay centered? How will you incorporate them into your disrupted life?
Make these few things non-negotiable. Make sure they happen. You deserve them.
And what’s cool is that when your life returns to normal, you’ll feel like you succeeded. You kept those couple of threads from breaking. Their continued presence will make getting back into your regular routine a little easier.
I’d love to know: What habits or pieces of routine do you carry with you no matter where you are or what you’re in the middle of?