Serenity, Regularity, Absence of Vanity, Sincerity, Simplicity, Veracity, Equanimity, Fixity, Non-Irritability, Adaptability, Humility, Tenacity, Integrity, Nobility, Magnanimity, Charity, Generosity and Purity
Not a bad list when you think about it . . . Anyway, for our first week we chose “Regularity”. Actually it was me that chose it, maybe reflecting on my instinctive personality and the way that I often go through a day bouncing from one idea to the next. I like that about myself, but sometimes life can seem a little frenetic and not particularly grounding.
So this week we decided to do 20 minutes of housework straight after breakfast. We aren’t messy people but our house doesn’t always feel tidy and welcoming. We tend to do our cleaning in chunks, when we feel like it. That activity sometimes feels exhausting and there isn’t often much enthusiasm for the next time. So the idea is to knock off our cleaning requirements in small, regular, bite-sized chunks.
There is a reason, by the way, in how we chose to express our new regular activity. And that has to do with habit forming.
I have been listening to an audio version of Atomic Habits by James Clear. He talks about a past research project which dealt with improving people’s health outcomes through fitness.
The first group averaged 30-40% success at exercising at least once per week, much the same as the second group which suggested that the additional motivation had little effect. The third group significantly out-performed the others with close to 90% undertaking a regular weekly exercise routine.
So creating a tangible intention is an important factor in habit forming. After breakfast, at our home, 20 minutes. And its worked . . .
Maintaining regular healthy habits (and also importantly reducing unhealthy ones) has many reported benefits. Coping better with stress, improved focus, more energy to name just a few. I like what Tony Robbins has to say:
In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.