How many times have I given myself a hard time for letting a day slide by in an unproductive and (so-called) lazy manner?
How many pseudo-science articles have I desperately consumed about increasing your productivity levels and living life on a higher plane?
I feel like I’ve gotten the gist of it by now. You need a morning routine, never snoozing, good working, sleeping and eating habits, ruthless self-discipline, unfaltering self belief and a crystal clear vision of what you want to achieve.
Now, these are all good things, for sure. They can do wonders for how your days go, and as they repeat they will turn beautifully into life itself. Incredibly, satisfyingly so.
And throughout my life, I have embarked on all these journeys to become a more disciplined person. Through new exercise regimes, new eating habits, a renewed respect for my alarm clock. New working systems, filled with timetables, rewards, apps, reminders, and ideas, ideas, ideas, about how I might change. How I might become a better version of myself. Someone worthy of success and progress.
But, in the end, it always ebbs away. I can keep up a ‘habit’ for weeks, sometimes even months, but the only constant in life is change. And so, at some point, circumstances always demand that you let go of your daily habits, your little rituals, your perceived progress in life. And it can be tough, to realise that you no longer walk those ten kilometers every day, or get in half an hour of writing every morning, or beat procrastination by having laser-sharp focus on your end-goal. And it can get you really down, when you feel like you failed to uphold those things.
But the thing is, keeping your end-goal in mind is actually near-impossible when a family member passes away. Going jogging every other day is tricky to balance when you spend half your time travelling over several consecutive weeks. It’s difficult to keep up the habit of journalling every morning when you’re visiting family and don’t even have your own bedroom. It’s tricky to do yoga and meditate all the time when you’re experiencing heartbreak so severe you always think you are just about to throw up.
Life happens. Things get in the way. The only constant is change.
And that doesn’t make you lazy. It doesn’t mean you will never achieve your goals. It is simply a natural part of the human experience, and we should all spend a little less time beating ourselves up about it, and a little more time accepting the fact and forgiving ourselves for letting our good habits slip away. Then, when life again settles down and you feel ready for another burst of productivity, you can create new habits knowing that you have managed great things before, and will do so again in the future.
And on the flip side of this, give yourself a moment to appreciate just how many bad habits you have kicked throughout your life. How many times you’ve gotten yourself out of a rut where you haven’t exercised, you’ve eaten too much fast food, arrived late all the time, left your clothes on the floor, always texted back to that person you just know isn’t good for you.
But it passes, like everything else, and I think it’s important that we embrace the good changes, and realise that excellent routines and habits leaving us is an inevitable occurrence, and not necessarily a bad thing, because honestly, I don’t know if I would really like for all my days to look exactly the same, no matter how much productivity they are filled with. I think it might actually be pretty boring that way.