Habits are like sperm – for every habit that successfully becomes a part of my daily routine, there are hundreds of others that never make it. A smarter man than myself might be able to explain just why that is. I shan’t waste my time.
All I know is that there is one habit I am eternally grateful to for having stuck with me this year. It’s called Morning Pages and I don’t mean to be dramatic when I say that I don’t know where I would be without it.
From “The Artist’s Way”:
Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning.
There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages– they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only.Julia Cameron – The Artist’s Way
Here’s how it plays out for me:
To get started, I’ll usually write a sentence about how I feel that morning. Next, I’ll find myself analysing why I feel that way. Now that I’m getting warmed up, I’ll often notice myself thinking about something unrelated, so I’ll write that down. And basically, I follow – with my pen – whichever train of thought grabs me the most until I have completed three pages, which generally takes me about 40 minutes.
And at the end of it, I feel a kind of runner’s high. As though my mind has been dipped in a cold stream and had the dirt and grime washed away. I have never not felt better after doing my Morning Pages.
If you’ve never done anything like this, try it. Here is a link to Tim Ferriss’s article on the topic, which is where I discovered this practice.