Build Habit Blocks

A few days ago, I recommended starting a new habit “stupid small” and building from there. The beautiful thing about routines is that they can be built up, changed and adjusted similar to building a tower of blocks. My current weekday morning routine runs like this: 1. wake up early, 2. do a morning meditation, 3. work out , 4. prep lunch, get ready for work and take my kids to daycare on my way to work. I see this as a four block morning routine that I’ve built and can adjust as needed.

Photo by Evelyn

My routine didn’t start with four blocks, it started with simply wanting to get up early enough to workout before taking the kids to daycare in the morning. So, similar to what I discussed earlier this week, I would put my workout clothes in the bathroom the night before so that the cue was there for me first thing in the morning. Even when I was exhausted, I would at least put on my workout gear and head downstairs to workout. I had a reminder that would go off at a specific time and my goal was to be downstairs when that reminder went off. These were my first two habit blocks: 1. wake up early, 2. go workout.

Once I had that workout block pretty well established and it was no longer a struggle for me to head downstairs to train, I realized that I wanted to do some meditation before I worked out in order to help me have a grounded start to my day. Cue block number three!

The nice thing about building up your routine as smaller habit blocks is that when life happens and you need to adjust or change things, it becomes easier to do that. For example, there was a period of time when I moved my workout block to the afternoon. I would go to the gym or hit the trail after leaving the office. It worked fine for me but soon enough, I found myself needing to stay late for a meeting or needing to run an errand after work and my training habit became harder to maintain. I decided to move my training back to the morning and it was easier to build that block again because I had done it before. When you’ve built up your routine in blocks, it’s easier to handle set-backs. You built it once, you can do it again!

I love thinking of my routines as being built of habit blocks. I can build them into the size and shapes that fit with my busy life. One habit becomes the cue for the next and soon you’ve built a routine made out of a daisy-chain of positive habits. Using one habit as the cue for the next is a great way to build the routines that you want on your day. One positive habit becomes the motivation for the next positive habit, like and engine pushing you forward.

Check out my video on this topic here: Link

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