If you’re paying close attention, you might notice that I am writing this post in the evening instead of the morning. That’s because this morning I had to be up earlier than usual to run my email workshop (yay!) for a team of wedding photographers. It was a lot of fun, but it meant that I had to cut my morning routine slightly short, in order to make sure that I could both meditate and feed myself (the most important parts of my routine) before getting out the door on time.
But I’m here now, prioritizing this, because I know that it will make it more likely that I show up again tomorrow and stick to my habits. I call this practice a “bookmark habit”, because I envision it as “saving my place” in the book of life. Sarah Von Bargen, from whom I first learned this concept, calls these “a ‘lite’ version of your habit that you do when you’re on vacation, busy, or sick, so that you don’t lose the habit of your habit.” (You can see more about her habit philosophies here, and listen to me interview her here.)
Her thinking is that doing your habit today makes it far more likely you’ll do it tomorrow, that you won’t forget or give yourself an “out” or find a loophole. Similarly, James Clear tells us to think about practicing our habits as “casting a vote for the type of person you wish to become”. Which means that showing up to vote is pretty much the most important part of the process. Austin Kleon reminds us that our only job as artists (and humans!) is to not break the chain.
They’re all saying the same thing, which is this: Show up. Cast your vote. Do it anyways. Even if it’s small, even if it’s just keeping your place, even (especially!) if you’re tired, even if it’s not your best work. Doing it today will make it more likely you’ll do it tomorrow, which means you’ll be even closer to the goals and dreams you have for yourself. So hi! I’m here. I’m writing. I might be going to watch Stranger Things 3 now, but at least I know I’ve cast my vote for the day.