Basically I need to change all aspects of my daily life. All my routines and habits starting with the most basic and broad aspects and moving up to the more specific and goal oriented actions.
My hope, expectations and intentions are that by instilling certain specific and relatively simple actions that they will directly and immediately influence other actions, habits, cycles and routines. For instance getting up earlier in the morning and doing things even if itâ€™s only to prepare for the day by taking a shower, eating breakfast, getting Ruby to school and getting to work on time while including an exercise routine will bring me to be ready for bed earlier and in turn ready to get up early again, so on and so forth. So thatâ€™s where Iâ€™ll begin.
This is for my weekday/workday routine.
Get up early, or at least earlier. Right now I get up about 10 min. before I have to leave the house, if not 10min. after I should have already left the house. This leaves me no time to do anything properly and just gets my entire day/life off to a sometimes stressful and always unhealthy start. Iâ€™m going to start setting my alarm and getting up the first time it goes off.
My plan is to take action at this time in a number of ways. I want to exercise first thing. Then prepare for the day; eat, get lunch ready, etc. I still hope at this point to have plenty of time before anything else needs to happen and so I hope to use this time to study. Helping my daughter, Ruby, get ready in the morning will be mixed in as well so Iâ€™ll have to be flexible but I can make her breakfast and lunch while I make mine. Other than that sheâ€™s pretty self-sufficient.
The core change here is getting out of bed and doing things before I have to leave the house. This means Iâ€™ll have to start getting up around 5am. I may start at 6 and work up to 5, but I really want to start a morning study habit so I want to get that time in there. 5 just sounds so early!
This will lead me to start the day feeling good and already with a sense of accomplishment.
I want to prepare my lunch for work ahead of time and always have healthy snacks and food available. One of my biggest leaks in all aspects of my life is not preparing and leaving myself little time and few options which leads to wasted time along with hasty and often poor choices. Having a prepared lunch and stocked options will be a little thing that will go a long way. It should leave me time to do more like utilizing my free time at work for things like reading, studying, etc.
After work is when I get time with my daughter. Cooking dinner will be a big part of this routine. When I get home we will already have a planned meal and weâ€™ll prepare it together. This is something we often do already and itâ€™s great but doing it everyday will be awesome. Then weâ€™ll do things like work on a project (puzzles, researching something weâ€™ve talked about etc.), do something artsy or creative or go outside and do some kind of physical activity.
When weâ€™re not doing things together, if sheâ€™s with her mom or at a friendâ€™s, I want to always be working on ways to improve myself and my surroundings. This means little things like cleaning regularly, doing laundry etc. Reading, studying and writing and/or doing something active and fun, perfect time to go play basketball. This could also be a good time to sometimes get in more hands before Iâ€™m more tired. Way less, or zero, putzing around online, wasting time etc. I do that enough at work. ;)
Then we go through Rubyâ€™s bedtime routine which ends with reading books and telling stories in her bedroom. After which I should have about 2hrs for playing and studying before bed.
I also need my own bedtime routine. Too often I stay up watching shows or playing games and pretty much end up forcing myself to pass out because I know I have to be up in a few hours. This means shutting down all electronics. Perhaps read a little, something non-stimulating, no studying or anything just casual reading. Lights out and lay in bed before Iâ€™m dead tired and already half asleep. 6-8hrs of sleep and get up the next day hopefully excited and ready, but get up and do it regardless.
Itâ€™s a very simple concept and so far in my life has been much easier said than done. I think simple is what I need and implementing these basic changes on a daily basis will lead to large scale life changes. Like just being healthier and having more time to prepare and be ready for whatever the day brings. Being more prepared, even for just the simple things like getting to work and having meals planned should lead to less stress. Less stress leads to making better decisions and having more time to do the things you want with a clear and focused mind. All of these things lead to being happier.
This is my end goal. Just being healthier, in all ways, and being happier. Being a better roll model and example for my daughter.
Donâ€™t get me wrong. I think Iâ€™m a pretty good dad, but kids learn so much just by what they see. So, do I want Ruby to see me always running late and eating whatever is easy/quick and always sitting in front of the t.v. and computer or do I want her to see me fresh and ready; exercising, chopping vegetables, doing dishes, reading books, going on hikes, and riding bikes? Yes, being on the computer/internet is a big part of my life, our culture and society and as she grows it will be a huge part of her education and social life, but it has itâ€™s time and place and I think that will be a valuable lesson for her to learn.
So Iâ€™m going to make these changes, take these simple steps, to provide some structure to my days and to slowly work on long term goals of self improvement and life-style improvement for me and my family.
It all starts with just getting out of bed.