Build routines around your life, not the other way around

The struggle around routines, motivation, and clarity on the direction one wants to take in life are real. But mindlessly mocking others isn’t going to help, even if your gurus have you convinced that success leaves clues.

The proven way to accomplish any achievement is to understand oneself truly. Nothing more. Nothing less. Having a more profound sense of what you value is a fundamental step to every other significant milestone you will set out to achieve.

And if you’re wondering what knowing yourself is like, here’s what it looks like for me (and several other “well-to-do” folks I know):

  1. Wake up when I am feeling rested instead of 4,5, or even 6 am as I used to. (I usually get up between those hours, but never to an alarm clock.)
  2. Choosing to write or read or some creative activity before physical training. And on days, I switch things around just because I feel like doing so.
  3. Focusing like a roman on the work that matters the most — even if you have a day job. Contrary to what most people think, one doesn’t have to be an entrepreneur to enjoy your life and do meaningful work.
  4. Spending time studying for intellectual growth or satiating curiosity instead of binging on Netflix. Or heck, doing both, simply because they feel like doing so.
  5. Making time for family and friends every single day. In some form or the other. It could be a structured activity or unstructured; it doesn’t matter. What matters is that one is putting in the effort to be with a loved one.

I could go on, but that’s not the point. The big idea here isn’t to compare someone else’s routine with your own. We’ve been doing that for the past decade and have gotten nowhere!

Instead, we must spend time evaluating our priorities and values and building a structure that supports all of that instead of mocking a routine that worked for a social media “influencer.” Because you don’t have anything in common with them, no matter how much they inspire you.

A great starting point is to evaluate what 3-5 areas (not more) are the most important to you? And then assess why they’re so vital to you, followed by what you must do daily, weekly, or monthly to make significant progress in these areas.

Working on this exercise will help you identify the action points you must make time for every day if you want to progress. Now, build a routine that enables you to execute your action points. And then do the work.

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