Good morning, everybody! Welcome to The Work Of Becoming podcast! I keep saying good morning because I’m recording this podcast in the morning, but it’s not necessarily morning for you. So, good afternoon, good evening, good hello, whenever you are listening to this.
Today, I’m gonna talk to you about a really important concept, which is understanding the purpose of each one of your habits, and as always, I’m gonna tell a little story.
So, as part of Alliance Coaching, we have our clients pick a core four set of habits that they want to do, and these habits are very strategic. They are chosen in a meeting with your coach where your coach guides you into picking ones that are gonna help you become your future self, and as part of my core four, I had set the habit of waking up every single day before 7:00 AM.
The first month of this quarter, I was really great about that habit. I was consistently waking up before 7:00 AM. I was doing it almost every day. I was on a solid sleep schedule. It was really amazing. In August, I kind of had a hiccup because I got really sick for a week and then I took a week and a half to really get back into the swing of things, but then I was, once again, getting up pretty close, if not directly before 7:00, right at 7:00.
This month, I have been sleeping in a little bit more, and I started to feel some type of guilt about that, and I started to think to myself, “Oh, I need to get back to my core four. I need to get back to this habit.” But then I paused for a moment because every single habit that we want to create in our lives has a purpose, and if we’re not needing a particular habit, before we get all down on ourselves about that, we need to ask ourselves, “Am I still getting the result or the purpose that I created this habit for?”
So, for me, the reason that I wanted to get up before 7:00 AM was because that gave me ample time in the morning to get ready slowly, to eat a decent breakfast, potentially to workout, and then to get started with my day. I knew that having a regular sleep schedule was also really, really probably the number one thing that keeps my mental health in check other than mental health medication. The two things that help me the most are mental health medication and having a regular sleep schedule.
I bring that up because when I started thinking about it, in the past two to three weeks, I have been consistently waking up before 8:30. I would say generally 9:00 at the latest, I’m out of bed, and I am one of the people who — I’m obviously lucky enough to get started with work whenever I want to. And so, I have been starting work a little bit later in the day.
And so, when I thought about it, I realized A) I still am having the slow morning that I created the habit for, B) I’m still on a regular sleep schedule, and C) the reason that I am sleeping in is because I’m staying up a little later in the evening mostly to spend time with my partner and also to meditate for a good chunk of time before going to bed because that’s something I’ve been into lately.
All three of those reasons I really, really like. And so, am I gonna change my four core habit? Maybe. I have set the deadline for myself of I’m gonna keep these core four habits through Q3, which is July, August, and September. So, I’m not gonna change my I-want-to-get-up-before-7:00AM habit. Instead, I am just going to intentionally let it be what it is and continue violating it as long as it feels good for me until the end of the month.
And so, the reason I bring this up for you today is because I think a lot of people get caught up in, “I need to do this habit because I made a commitment to myself,” and there is a time and place for exercising self-trust and fulfilling your commitments and all of that, but that is not every single time. And so, if there is a habit that you have dropped but you’re doing something else that is maybe getting you the result you want or if there’s a habit you’re just struggling with, I want you to ask yourself, “What is the big purpose here? Why did I start this habit in the first place? Am I getting what I want from it?” And if you’re not, then you can double down on either doing that habit or doing that habit in a slightly different way so that you are fulfilling that purpose. But what I don’t want you to do, what I want to caution you against in this episode is I want to caution you against fulfilling your habit challenge or doing that thing for 30 days or continuing to guilt yourself about not getting it done simply because it is a “habit” that you’re “supposed to be doing.” We can create shoulds and supposed-tos for ourselves in our heads very easily, and they don’t always serve us.
So, if you have a little suite of habits that you’re trying to adopt, that you’re working on right now, that you have been doing, I want you to really think about the deeper purpose of each and every one of those. Why do they matter to you? What is the actual result you want from them in your life beyond just checking off a box every single day?
That’s what I’ve got for you today. I will see you in the next episode!