Speaking of routines, I actually started a new "routine journey" on January 1 of this year (2015) - from an idea that started to "form" back in December of last year (2014).
For whatever reason - last December - I was thinking about how long it would take to walk from the East Coast to the West Coast.
Again - for whatever reason, I checked things out - and found that the "average" mileage was around 2800 miles - depending on where you started and ended the journey.
I measured my steps - and found out my steps average around 21 inches.
I then timed myself, and found that I take about 106 steps a minute when walking.
So - I then figured out that if I could walk for a TOTAL of 8 hours a day - I could cover 16.86 miles a day - and that it would take me about 166 days to walk across America.
I thought that was interesting.
Then - I thought about the fact that each step of the journey would SEEM inconsequential at a given hour on a GIVEN day to the OVERALL TASK of walking across America - but that faithfully taking steps of approximately 21 inches at a time - I could walk across America in 166 days - which meant I could walk across AND BACK in one year.
Now - I'm not thinking about doing it - it was just something that came to mind.
Butttttttttttttttttt - it occurred to me that the same principle holds true in other areas of my life.
I once heard a story from Jim Rohn about the difference small decisions make over time.
He said if someone decided to eat 1 candy bar a day and another person decided to eat 1 apple a day - and they began on Jan 1 - on January 2nd - there wouldn't be much difference.
But on Jan 1st of the next year, "person A" would have eaten 365 candy bars - and "person B" would have eaten 365 apples.
At that point - there WOULD be a difference - weight wise and health wise.
Then - around December 15th of last year (2014) - I was sitting in my living room staring at the same Christmas tree that I had stared at 1 year earlier (2013) and a thought occurred to me - what would this moment look and feel like if I had taken SMALL consistent actions for ALL OF 2014?
I then got a notepad, and wrote down what I would have LIKED to have done all year.
I then evaluated the actions - prioritized them - eliminated some - and came up with what the year would have looked like if I had done the things I wrote down.
Then - I decided to figure out a way to "take small steps EVERY DAY" starting on Jan 1 2015.
An the idea of writing the tasks down on 3x5 cards struck me.
I then made cards for EACH DAY of 2015 - and I have now been "working the system" for 98 days (since Jan 1, 2015).
I also went to Staples and bought a wall map, and created a set of "check boxes across the bottom representing my "daily walk" - which I mark off as the journey is continuing.
I have learned a few things - even in the short time I've been doing this.
1.) I've realized how much wasted time was occurring in my life from UNDISCIPLINED "rabbit trails" in my life in the past - and I didn't even know it.
I know it because as I "work the cards" each day - I find myself THINKING ABOUT "rabbit trails" - like checking email TOO MUCH - wanting to read just ONE news story - wanting to check into the next "shiny" object from a marketing email - but finding that it leads to another and another and another - and pretty soon I've wasted an hour or two.
2.) I can now see the results of 98 days - and realize that - if I work the system - then come Dec 31st of 2015 - just 267 days from today (April 8 2015) - there will be a whole new life to both look back on without regret - as well as a new discipline of life that will gain momentum for 2016!
3.) I don't use a clock - meaning I don't have the activities scheduled by a set time - because if anything unexpected occurs - and if I had everything scheduled with "do this at 9 am - this at 9:45 am - this at 10:30 etc" - I feel like I failed.
I just "get through the cards" - one step (card) at a time - and at the end of the day - if I executed the task on each card - it doesn't matter if I did it at 10 o'clock or 2 o'clock - hope that makes sense.
I DO have a timer - because some tasks have a set time frame - like a work session is 1.5 hours - but it DOESN'T have to be done at a certain time - just during the day.
It's like walking across America.
If I had to stop and get a rock out of my shoe - or help someone change a tire - I would just need to take care of the unexpected - and then finish the walk for that day.
It wouldn't matter whether I took a "step" at a certain time - just that I took the step.
4.) When I finish a card - I FORGET about it.
I don't waste time thinking about the task ANYMORE - I move on to the next card.
This works especially well for my "work" sessions.
I found it was too easy to want to do just "one more thing" - but that is futile - as there is ALWAYS just "one more thing" you could do in my business.
5.) I DON'T think about "Can I make it for the whole year".
I ONLY think about doing the NEXT CARD - because if I do the next card - like taking a step of approximately 21 inches at a time - the year will take care of itself.
If I thought too much about walking across America - it could discourage me because I would appear to be making SO LITTLE PROGRESS one step at a time.
But - if I just concentrated on ONE STEP AT A TIME - the journey would take care of itself.
6.) I purposely didn't OVER commit with TOO MANY TASKS - I trimmed them down to WHAT WOULD BE NON-NEGOTIABLE for sitting in my living room this coming Christmas - and FEELING the discipline of actually having done something for ONE FULL YEAR - and not feeling like I have so many years of my life in the past - and then saying - "NEXT YEAR".
I WON'T have to do that!!!
Just thought I'd take a moment to share.
A PDF of the simple system I use is at: