It started with a desire to create a better habit.
I was frustrated that I wasn’t using my planner effectively, missing tasks, and feeling overwhelmed. No system is effective if it’s ignored!
So, I began to photograph my morning coffee and my planner at the breakfast table. To provide accountability I decided to post it to Instagram.
I first wrote about it in this popular post Why I photograph my morning cup of coffee.
Over the years, it’s evolved into my morning ritual (and is the genesis of this project).
Ritual or Habit
According to Miriam Webster, some definitions:
- ritual: (3) done in accordance with social custom or normal protocol.
- habit: (3) manner of conducting oneself; (7a) a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance; (7b) an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary
So it’s my habit to post my photo to instagram, but I’ve created a ritual surrounding the entire process of my morning routine.
My morning ritual
I stumble downstairs to take care of the cats and any fosters in my care making sure they are fed and if necessary medicated. I start with Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. It’s definitely easier to toss a tea bag in water than to figure out my aeropress. As the water heats, I gather together my planner and notebook and quickly tidy the dining table. I sit and check to see if I need to update any tasks. When the tea is ready, I add it to the scene. The picture is then quickly taken and the editing fun begins as I sip my tea and determine it’s still too hot. The tools often change but the result is I blur what I want, I correct white balance, and I like to apply lens blur over the tea mug because I find the circles fun in the morning. Then I post it to instagram, and put my phone or tablet away. It’s time for tea.
- Charles Duhigg: The Power of Habit
- James Clear: The 5 Triggers That Make New Habits Stick, How to Be Motivated Every Day: Lessons Learned from Twyla Tharp.
- Cal Newport: On Rooted Productivity
- lifehacker: Why You Need a Morning Ritual, not Just Morning Routine