I did a YouTube video last week talking about my process in between writing projects, well specifically, novels. It made me think about the different routines that we have for different phases in our lives that we get through and how varying those routines can be depending on which phase of the creative process we are in. I have a routine for when I’m writing, albeit a routine that could use some fine tuning. I have a routine for when I’m taking a creative break from things altogether. I have a routine for if I’m just conducting research for a particular project. Interestingly enough, as organized as it may seem to have all your bases covered no matter what stage of creativity you are in it can be counterproductive. Or maybe it’s just me that is starting to feel like having a different routine for everything is just a way to not have a concrete routine overall.
I’m currently reading (or rather listening to on audiobooks) Atomic Habits by James Clear and he talks a lot about creating systems that help you to achieve your overall goals but not relying so heavily in the goals. I haven’t gotten that far yet but so far his theory is that if you use the same system to achieve things then you can start to rely in your system that you set up and not necessarily the goals because inevitably following your system is going to get you to the goal anyway, just maybe not at the speed in which you have set up in your goals. What I understand so far is that creating habits that you can stick to and do instinctively without really thinking about them is more valuable then having these bullet points for goals that oftentimes seem unattainable and out of reach.
Now he wasn’t saying that you shouldn’t have goals at all anymore, but rather that you should have formed habits and ways of getting to those goals. For instance, I have a book that I’ve been trying to republish since last year and for one reason or another it is proving to be a longer process than I initially thought. But is that because my goals are off or because my habits in getting those goals accomplished are off? I should have a proven system that is going to allow me to produce more of what I need to do in order to get those goals tackled. I can have all the goals I want to have and they can be lofty or they can be relaxed but without the methods and a system put in place to actively get to that goal, then the habits have to be consistent.
What are your systems or habits for achieving what you want out of life? Are you practicing those habits consistently? Take some time to think about whether you are setting goals just to set goals or if you are actually taking steps and forming habits that will help you fully achieve those goals. Having goals to strive for are great. Having routines to get through your different creative phases is wonderful. But having habits formed and being consistent in keeping up those habits is what will get us to the point where we can say we accomplished those goals.
Until next time… #BeMindful #BeProductive #BeConsistent