Looking over my habit trackers for January, February, and most of March, I can see two areas I could use some focus and growth. One is physical: working out. The other is spiritual: prayer.
Working out needs to be part of my life because I want endurance and strength. And my prayer life ebbs and flows and right now it’s at a low ebb. A low, low ebb.
But here’s the problem that I face: How do I get all the good things, the first things, in every day with consistency? And especially when some workouts are longer than others? I don’t want to skip it and never push myself to do longer workouts, but I also don’t know how it’ll fit in without it taking up my whole morning. I am currently shooting for a two hour-ish morning routine.
For example, yesterday I logged on to my preferred online workout hub, Walk at Home (I’m not an affiliate and I don’t get any sort of compensation from them, I just love these workouts, there’s also quite a few free ones on YouTube), and saw that Monday’s workout was 70 minutes long! How could I do that and fit in all the other things? And, was I committed to working out that long? I was mentally unprepared to commit that much of my morning and energy, so I clicked to a shorter workout. And that’s the way it usually goes.
What if I planned every Monday to be a long workout day–a 5 mile walk which is about an hour and 10 minutes long. I could go to bed Sunday preparing for it in my head. I would make sure my workout clothes are clean and laid out, and set myself up for success on the first day of the week, when I’m usually more productive anyway. Then every Tuesday could be a 4 mile walk, Wednesday would be 3 miles, Thursday 2, and Friday 1 (since that’s my errands day and my “I’m tired of responsibilities day”).
That change could change my prayer life. The decreasing time working out could transfer to increased time praying! On Monday, the long walk day, my prayer time would be 10 minutes. Tuesday I could up it to 15, Wednesday 20, Thursday 25, and Friday 30.
I started realizing that I don’t have to do everything for the same amount of time every day to be consistent. I can still build healthy habits, and grow in weak areas by changing things just a little bit. Give a little here, take a bit there… this could be awesome.
So with all that in mind, I’m committing for the next two weeks to this plan:
Details of my morning routine:
Pushups are part of my annual goals. Each month I increase a full body pushup by one. My goal at the end of the year is twelve military style pushups. So I work on the same number of pushups as the number of the month. I started with just one in January and could barely eek that out. Now in March, I’m up to three. I started in January with five half pushups, and each month add another. So in March I’m doing eight half pushups after I do my three full ones.
My Bible plan is still moving along. I’m using this one. On the days I have more time, I’m also continuing to work through Watching Jesus.
Prayer is a mix of things. Sometimes I pray through the Psalm of the daily Bible reading plan. Sometimes I use my prayer binder. Some days if I can’t focus hardly at all I’ll write prayers out in a notebook.
I’m using this system for Bible memory and have been using it since the boys were in grade school. I really like it and it works well for me.
I’m still working through writing out the book of proverbs one more time for my third son.
And OS&T means read through Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen. I plotted out a schedule (that I’m currently behind on) for reading through it in a year. Hoping this catches me up. And if I’m all caught up, I’ll read another Christian non-fiction book.
I’ll track this and report back in April how it went!