I love to read about other people’s routines. One thing I’ve learned: everyone is different. In the book Daily Rituals, we learn about the routines of famous artists. They’re all different. While it’s wise to use routines, the way we use them will look different depending on our circumstances and temperaments.
Still, it helps to be intentional about the routines that work for us. Out of the three core habits I mention in How to Grow, two of them are best practiced daily: reading or listening to Scripture, and praying. The trick is to build a routine that incorporates both of these into our lives on a regular basis.
Here’s what I do — although, as I’ve hinted above, my way may be completely different from the way that you do it. I wish I could say that I kept up this routine perfectly, but I don’t. But, generally speaking, it’s the way that I try to begin my day.
- I wake up at 6 a.m. Usually I wake up by myself, but I’ve also set an alarm to wake me up.
- I resist the urge to check social media, emails, and the news.
- I pour myself a glass of water and sit on the couch, preferably outside if the weather is good.
- I breathe for two minutes using the Breathe app on my Apple Watch. It sounds strange, but it forces me to slow my mind down.
- I read the next passage in my Bible. I pick up where I left off the day before and read for about 10 minutes or so. I finish whenever I feel like it. This year, I’m not following a strict reading plan.
- I read a devotional. Right now I’m using Tim Keller’s God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life.
- I journal for about 10 minutes, reflecting on the past day as well as what’s on my mind. My journaling sometimes turns into written prayers about what I’m thinking about.
- I pray using an app that helps me remember to pray for a list of items in different categories called PrayerMate.
- I then go over some verses I’m trying to memorize using another app called Scripture Typer.
- I read a chapter of a book. Right now I’m reading Tim Ferris’s Tribe of Mentors.
- I review the goals that I’ve set for the year.
That’s it. Then I’m ready to begin my day and to connect with others in my family. The whole process takes about 40 minutes.
I’m not recommending that anyone else follow what I’m doing. I’m just sharing what works for me, hoping that it may stimulate you to think about what could work for you.
We operate best when we use routines. As the book Daily Rituals says:
The more of the details of our daily life we can hand over to the effortless custody of automatism, the more our higher powers of mind will be set free for their own proper work. There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision, and for whom the lighting of every cigar, the drinking of every cup, the time of rising and going to bed every day, and the beginning of every bit of work, are subjects of express volitional deliberation.
What’s your routine for building what you need in your life, including Scripture and prayer? I’d love to hear. Leave a comment, or message me.