More effective than resolutions - the power of 30 minutes

There was a time when I made resolutions each January.  The list revealed the gap between the life I was living and the life I wanted to lead.  Like most, I'd forgotten the list by mid-Feburary.  Apparently, just making a list didn't result in the life I wanted.

Why?

Because there was no plan.

To create real and lasting change in our lives, we have to change what we do with our time.

Many years ago, I helped Kimberly-the-Behavioral-Analyst by participating in her research project. For three weeks, I logged what I did every 30 minutes of every day. I thought I was helping Kim, but it turned out Kim profoundly helped me. I noticed something...  Most every day is exactly the same when we look at it based on the types of activities. The days didn't feel the same because the conversations were so different, but I learned that what I did (what we do) on a daily basis is shockingly homogeneous.

Most of us drive to work at the same time each day. Answer e-mail at the same time. Eat at the same times (and often the same types of food). Brush our teeth at the same times. Watch TV...yada, yada. If we want to create real and lasting change, we have to change what we do with the 30 minute blocks.

One of the most accessible blocks, is the first 30 minutes of the morning. By changing what we do with the 30 minutes, we can daily build the life we want.

There was a time when I was discouraged by my day job because I wanted to be a writer. I felt as if all the hours I spent working were keeping me from achieving my dream.  Know what? I was wrong. I started getting up an hour earlier flipping the activity in the block of time from sleep to writing.  I began to finish chapters. I started submitting articles.  Over time, those single blocks each week added up. Now, I'm an actual writer and I'm still in my day job which currently produces its own opportunities for writing. (Positive change rarely stays in a box. It creates exponential effect.)

As I've gotten better at writing, I've also gotten faster, and a few years ago, I changed my rhythm to write for the first few hours of each Saturday. My 30 minutes of every weekday morning is now spent practicing yoga and meditation.

The start of a new year is an excellent time to decide what kind of life we want, but if we want it to stick, we have to get beyond the list and make it part of our daily rhythm.
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall