Finding Impact No.25💥

On morning routines, designing your habits, marketing tools, imagination and free software.

Hey Friends

The kids have gone back to school this week. After a brief holiday in August, it feels like Back to School for me too. And so I've been making lists of goals and activities for the ‘new term’. But in the absence of a school bell and a teacher, how do I find the motivation to do all the things I want to do, like exercising, reading, meditating, etc.?

I have to get motivated, right?


Motivation is for dummies. Habits and routines is how we achieve our goals and get stuff done.

So when I was trying to find the motivation to start running again, I saw this tweet:

So all I needed was to start a consistent workout schedule and bam! Everything else would fall into place, right?

Wait! But...don't you need motivation to get going in the first place?

Apparently not, said Twitter.

So now my morning routine looks like this:

  • 5.15am alarm, brush teeth

  • 5.25am make tea and read a poem (currently Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet)

  • 5.30am open up Roam and start creating (what I'm doing as I write this)

  • 6.30am bring tea to Rebecca, wake up kids

  • 6.35am prepare kids’ breakfast

  • 7am meditate

  • 7.30am see kids off to school, start Jo Wicks' workout with Rebecca

  • 8am shower and breakfast

  • 8.30am start work

Endurance, self control, motivation - throw them out the window. Instead, build habits and routines. And even better, “habit stacking”, as you'll see from my routine above.

Now it's your turn. Do you have a cool morning routine that gets you fired up in the morning? Hit reply, I'd love to know.

Now onto the content…

On designing your habits

I recently took Tiago Forte's Design your Habit's course.

It went through the steps needed to design a new habit using this template:

  • Choosing an anchor habit as a trigger for the desired habit

  • Choosing a reward for completing the new habit

  • Choosing an appropriate reminder for the habit

  • Actually doing the habit a few times to convince yourself you can do it

  • Breaking the habit down so you can notch up some small wins

  • Identifying the likely failure points and designing those out

  • Make doing the habit easy by removing bottlenecks and distractions

  • Choosing a habit tracking approach or tool

  • Choosing an accountability system

I highly recommend the course. I used this when I first started meditating back in June. I did 21 consecutive days and got so much out of it.

For me, meditation is an investment into myself. It's equipping me with the tools to bounce back from life's setbacks and savour the present moment.

On marketing

Marketing for Engineers is a treasure trove of resources for solving practical marketing tasks, such as:

  • finding beta testers

  • growing your first user base

  • advertising a project without a budget

  • scaling marketing activities for building constant revenue streams.

On money

When growing up, I remember my Dad getting a promotion or a new job. Shortly after a new and bigger car would arrive in our drive. Yet, it felt like we never had enough money. At a young age, I figured that however much money you had, it was never enough. I recently discovered this was called The Diderot Effect after French philosopher Denis Diderot, who described it in his essay Regrets for my Old Dressing Gown. It says that whatever you end up buying, you'll always want something else to go with it. Here's a nice Twitter thread. Be warned!

On imagination

The job of poetry is to suggest concrete images to the imagination. I came across this poem by Frances Cornford that does just that. I'm including it here to give you an image of the landscape we rolled through in our motorhome this summer.

The stacks, like blunt impassive temples, rise
Across flat fields against the autumnal skies,
The hairy-hooved horses plough the land,
Or as in prayer and meditation stand
Upholding square, primeval, dung-stained carts,
With an unending patience in their hearts.

On free software

Free startup tools from Eric Ries, the author of the Lean Startup, to help startup entrepreneurs:

  • Captable: for every startup to safeguard their equity from day one.

  • Fast409A: a valuation tool to help you safely grant stock options to your employees.

  • Runway: A free, visual tool to help you understand, manage and extend your cash runway.

Thank you for reading this. I have a little offer for you: I'm offering 5 people free coaching to help them develop an online presence. Like it or not, a Google search will accompany any CV. If you want an advantage in your career, you have to create your online presence. Have you googled yourself lately? Don't leave it up to chance! You need a personal website where you share your best thinking. It's your unique corner of the web where only you can occupy. I've been learning nothing else for the last 12 months and I'm ready to share it with others. Let me know if you're interested!

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Thanks so much! Now, I'd love to hear how you are! What's your morning routine like? What articles have you found inspiring? Books you've read? Stuff from this newsletter you found interesting? Let me know.

Best wishes,