Ride the Momentum

The start of my career in 2010 was also the beginning of my coffee life. I opted for black coffee right out of the gate, never was a big milk person, but it took a few months before I went completely clean and sugar free. After heading to the same job, in the same seat, at the same time every day, I realized that these small habits would add up and my craving for sugar needed a nip in the bud.

The other day, while relaxing and reading, I caught myself in a familiar, cross-legged, figure 4 position. This move used to give me major discomfort, I could barely hold for more than a few minutes even though I was always a flexible guy. As time’s gone by, I’ve consciously improved the cross through a few minutes here and there, usually while chatting or sitting down to read. My surprise recently was how comfortable, almost necessary, this leg cross has become.

My current journaling notebook is only just beginning, less than 10% completed after a few weeks. My previous journal, the exact same book from Muji, lasted almost 2 years. I wasn’t writing every day, and my handwriting is quite small, but some of the entries while traveling span a few pages. Nearly 2/3 of the way through that first book, I made the decision to begin writing in cursive. When I was a kid, none of my notes were ever in cursive. I’d developed a clear print handwriting that is extremely neat when I slow down and looks like chicken scratch when I don’t. Something about journaling in a fluid, script handwriting, letting the mind flow onto the paper like an old writer, caught my attention and I had to make it happen. At first, the letters were inconsistent, cross-outs were frequent, and the entire process was lengthy. Nearly a year in, I no longer think about my penmanship and the pages of my new book have a classic, romantic feel that block letters can’t provide. I still take notes in print, when pressed for time, but I’m getting there.

I do so many tasks on a regular basis, acts not needing activation energy because there’s so much momentum in the routines I’ve already created. These seem to be the best locations to learn a new trick or make a change, on the coattails of a well-formed habit, little by little.