How I Discovered How to Read Every Day

Discovering habits

Before reading about habits I was not aware how impactful they are.

The first time I read in detail about habits was in 2015 when I read The Power of Habit. Back then, I had a fairly chaotic morning routine. I would snooze the alarm clock every day until I had to rush for work. This usually meant leaving home without having breakfast at home. Reading about habits made me think about changing my mornings as I had always struggled to get out of bed.

Then in December of the same year, I read The Miracle Morning.  This is one of the classic books for morning fanatics. While interesting, I was not able to change my life and start waking up at 5am.

For the past five years, I have tried building on top of some of the concepts from both books. One of the main changes in my life was starting to track some of my habits. It’s very powerful to me being able to visualize some trends over five years. Two of the ones I was struggling the most was reading more books.

Mastering habits

I recently read Tiny Habits, which gave me a new light on how to create new habits. BJ Fogg’s main takeaway is to tackle a very small challenge and celebrate accomplishing it. Apparently, this drives behavioral change through positive emotions.

Thanks to Tiny Habits, I started reading a page of a book as soon as I had my morning tea ready. It turned out that within days I was reading 15-20 minutes every day and I have settled on 30-minute sessions. This new habit was probably complemented by others I had been working on for years, but it was nice finally achieving a long-term goal.

I’m at a point now where I’m systematically having a great morning routine of 90 minutes that includes reading, meditation, and journaling (all clichés of the morning routine crowd). My next challenge is to understand if all activities are contributing to a better day and if it’s possible to shift some of the habits to other parts of the day.

While it has been great adding some new habits to my life, I recently came across this quote by Nathaniel Emmons: “Habit is either the best of servants or the worst of masters“. It’s a good reminder that we should see habits as an aid in our lives instead of letting them rule our lives.

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