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Me and My Habits

It's 5AM! My alarm goes off and I'm jerked out of my dream. Before I tell you what happens next, let me ask you a question; are you a morning or a night  person? We've been all too familiar with this theory for a long time. And people easily place themselves, 'oh I'm a night person, oh I'm a morning person. My energy levels are up in the morning' and that's how the notion goes. But is there any such thing? We will find out.

A while ago, I would have quickly answered you, 'Oh I'm so nocturnal'. I could stay up all night, literally. And I have! Going to bed at 1AM was very normal. Occasionally 3AM. Now when it came to the morning, I would be in my worst shape. Getting out of bed became my biggest battles. Does that sound familiar? But I've got to tell you, that has changed. So what happened? I'll tell you in a bit.

Let me give you a brief overview of my life - simply because I don't mind as long as you care to listen; even if you don't I'll still proceed. I had believed that I was a night person, and that couldn't change. I had to accept that is was in my DNA. No one could convince me otherwise. But guess what I found out, it wasn't working! And this is why; I was trying to make everything fit into my few evening hours. Talk of being over-ambitious. I'll go ahead and list for you what they were:

  1. Learning a new programming language; in my profession it cannot be over-emphasized.
  2. I was working on a demanding personal project. This always happening.
  3. I take reading seriously. I was supposed to read at least a book a month.
  4. I almost border a fitness freak, though I don't look like it. So exercising to me is very important.
  5. I've been a guitar student, and without daily practice, you might as well declare myself otherwise.
  6. The next one is not even debatable; I'm a husband and father. I have to create quality time for my family or I'll become a stranger to them.
  7. Finally, this one overrides everything else I'm a Christian, and daily prayer and reading the bible is my top most priority.
Others include writing, watching something and so on.

I bet there are many people with barely a quarter such a list yet they are busy making it. Yes, life is very fair I know.

Any who, I was trying to do all these, and I was insisting that they fit in one evening; after work! And you're laughing at me right now. After a lot of frustrations, I realized something had to give.

So fast forward, this is what happens today. As I reach out to my phone, in my sleepiness I do not snooze. I hit 'dismiss'. Then depending on how my body takes the 'rudeness' of the alarm, I linger for a minute or two, or I simply shoot out of the bed. Looking back, to me that is an outright miracle! So for the next 40 minutes, I will do my workouts. Then for the next 45 minutes, I'm doing my bible reading and prayer (after the shower of course). Before I leave the house 2 hours later since waking up, I have accomplished two very important things on my list. And I'm feeling great. The rest, can now share the evening hours on different days; while taking care of family time. One needs to be realistic. I also make sure I don't stay up very late.

Whoa, I have transformed into a morning person! And I'm loving it. So how did I do it? One thing I realized, is that there no such thing as being a morning or a night person; it's all in the mind. Reason is, you can train your body in a specific way. By doing something repeatedly, the body is designed to adapt. It's called forming a habit. It's not magic. This is 100% out of experience.

The thing is, we tend to have our comfort zones, and we're not willing to make a change. And something we're trying tackle, becomes so hard to even start. A monster staring us in the eye, and you can't do anything about it. If we only decided to change our view of some things, we would be very surprised to learn that it's not as hard as it looked after all. So I encourage you to take that step, just go ahead and do it, you will be very surprised. The alternative of course is to stay in the same position, bound by apathy - have you realized how time flies? If nothing changes, one thing is bound to happen to you: regret. It's the worst thing. Luckily, you can do something about it beginning today.

PS: I read an article about habit formation, which I found to be very helpful. You might want to read it here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonselk/2013/04/15/habit-formation-the-21-day-myth/

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