Rhythm is Gonna Get You
Note to Self
I’ve always been more rhythm than habit. More go with the flow than ‘set aside some time and do that thing regularly’.
For as long as I can remember I have been resolutely:
Habits are for monks
Maybe calling it ‘rhythm’ is a roundabout way of confessing that I am a little bit lazy. It is probably a sign that I associate ‘habit’ with discipline, which I instinctively rail against.
So, here’s where I go a little bit Gloria Estefan … in the end, the ‘rhythm is gonna get you’.
Where’s it ‘gonna get you?’
Precisely nowhere, that’s where.
We’ve got stuff to do and it is not getting done. I’m not saying nothing is being done. Every week there is another Feasts + Fables newsletter … on time, correct day, all sections complete. So, stuff is definitely getting done.
But some important things are not being done.
Not being done at all.
Here’s the thing; it is not as though it is somehow impossible for me to create habits. Over the past couple of months — the time we set aside for ‘wintering’ (laying low, recharging the batteries, actually working on health, fitness, and wellbeing) — habits have formed. Like taking advantage of the black-out curtains to stay in bed for an hour longer than is really necessary. Having snacks in the house … which, no surprises, get eaten. The wine; yes, the wine. The same failing — it is in the eye-line so it is way too easy to slip into a ‘bottle a night’ habit (we do share it so it’s not as bad as it sounds). Only reading at night, in bed; turning the light off an hour later than I should. The TV is there; we reach a certain point in the evening and switch it on … no plan, nothing earmarked; just watching bad TV.
We first make our habits, then our habits make us
(John Dryden English Poet 1631–1700)
Things are going to change around here.
The rhythm thing, it’s a hard habit to break. But we are determined to create some structure. Repeatedly. Habitually.
What happens though if it turns out I’m not really a ‘habit’ sort of person. To those who have guided me to James Clear and his ‘Atomic Habits’; to the brilliant Mike Coulter who has been the finest of advocates for BJ Fogg and his ‘Tiny Habits’ there would have to be heartfelt apologies if I’m not feeling it.
Maybe I just need to get started.
That extra hour in bed — I’ll use it for reading. Then I’ll get up, throw on the sports gear … and get straight outdoors; I’ll be jogging before I even notice (okay, here’s the thing, as I write this I have been running twice this week already and it is only Tuesday). On those ‘no-wine’ evenings, maybe I’ll pick up a book instead of the remote control; or pop in the earphones and listen to that podcast … it might even turn out to be content for the newsletter and that’s got to be a bonus. No wine = no snacks … snacks and wine always go together so it seems most likely that the opposite set-up works just as well. Oh, and no wine makes it easier to get going in the morning.
Tiny Habits … I think I’m getting it now