I have been on a major non-fiction kick lately when it comes to books.
So far, I’ve read 24 books this year. Thirteen of those books have been non-fiction. Typically I read mostly fiction with a little bit of non-fiction sprinkled in, but this year it’s been the exact opposite.
Over the weekend I finished a book called Happier Now: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Embrace Everyday Moments (Even the Difficult Ones) by Nataly Kogan.
It was an easy read, and while it didn’t contain any new life changing tidbits (I mean what self-help book really does?), there was definitely certain parts that really spoke to me. One of those parts was the author’s suggestion of starting a Daily Anchors habit. Lets start with a little background first.
The author immigrated to the US from Russia as a young girl. She was very successful both professionally and personally, but still found her self stressed, unhappy, and uptight a lot of the time.
Over time her problems escalated and she started seeing a therapist who encouraged her to develop a “daily anchors” habit.
The author committed to doing 3 things every day:
- meditating for 20 minutes
- go to yoga and pay attention to the nonphysical teachings of the class OR read a few pages from her large pile of books about spirituality, kindness, meaning, and self-compassion
- continuing her gratitude practice including having one positive and kind interaction with another person each day.
Every morning she would write her 3 daily anchors at the top of her to do list. They were her non-negitionables of everyday. She admits it took her several months of being discipled to complete her daily anchors for them to feel natural.
The author goes on to say that the anchors “helped her to learn to be more or less ok even when things were more or less not ok”. They gave her the stability of knowing that each day, no matter what happened, she was going to do at least 3 things that made her feel happy, relaxed, or calm.What made this tactic really speak to me is that I unknowingly started doing this exact same thing about a month or so ago. I decided to start doing it just to give myself some structure (anyone who works from home, or works for themselves, or works freelance can probably echo my thoughts that structure is huge for productivity).
The idea actually came to me after listening to a podcast from The Minimalists (I definitely recommend their podcast! I am by no means a minimalist, but I get sooo much from their podcast every week).
This particular episode was about habits. The Minimalists both said they complete their non-negotiable habits – basically AKA: their daily anchors – right away in the morning before they even look at any other work, business, or e-mail things.
I liked what they were saying, so I started re-organizing my daily to-do list in my bullet journal. Instead of having one big long to-do list, each day was separated into 3 categories: habits, tasks, and events.
My habits are my daily anchors, my non-negotiables that I need to do every day, no matter what. My tasks are essentially “to-do” list items, and my events are any meetings or TV hosting work I have that day, or just birthdays and important dates I need to remember.
Organizing my day like this has been a complete game changer for me. Taking the time to write my daily anchors in my journal everyday has made me so much more motivated to do them, and they really have given me the structure I was looking for.
My daily anchors are:
- Spend time with God and reading His word
- Spend quality time with my dogs
- Read from a book
All three of those things make me happy and are good for my growth as a person. I always intended to do them every day, but I was falling short most days. Once I started looking at them as non-negotiables it was incredible how motivated I was to do them each day.
Since I’ve made the change – about 1.5 months ago – I haven’t missed a single day of any of my 3 daily anchors.