Habits or Routines

Part Three of this series about the Iceberg of Success is about discussing habits.

A Habit works by generating an impulse to do a behavior with little or no conscious thought. Habits are simply how the brain learns to do things without deliberation. We can put these impulses to good use but only certain behaviors can become habits.

Building a habit is relatively simple: Just harness the impulse. For new habits to take hold, provide a clear trigger, make the behavior easy to do, and ensure it occurs frequently. 

However, if the behavior requires a high degree of intentionality, effort, or deliberation, it is not a habit (I will touch on what this is called in a moment). All sorts of tasks aren’t habits—and never will be. By definition, doing things that are high effort are not considered a habit.

Unfortunately, this means behaviors that require hard work and deliberate practice aren’t good candidates for habit-formation.  So if these behaviors aren’t habits, what are they? They are called routines. A routine is a series of behaviors we practice regularly. Routines don’t care if you feel an urge or not; they just need to get done. When you detect you can’t succeed at making a habit, you can begin by looking for how to establish a routine instead.

We all know that creating a daily routine is essential, but getting to implement it is the hard part.  If you look into most successful peoples’ lives, you will realize that they follow a fixed schedule, which has helped them to build productivity habits over time.

Creating a system that works and following it every day is an excellent way of reaching your desired goal. A successful routine gives you a laser-like focus from the second you get up to the time you go to sleep. Read on for tips on how to establish a daily routine.

Make a list of your daily/weekly tasks

The first step is to look into what you need to do every day, and what you only need to do once or twice a week. Do not worry about organizing the list at this point. Simply focus on jotting down the list. If you cannot remember everything, carry your notebook every day for a week, and write down all the tasks you do.

Include the tasks that work well for you and those that you should add in your routine. While at it, these questions will help to refresh your memory.


  • What foods should I purchase at the store?

  • What day(s) should I meal prep?

  • What is the family calendar look like for each day

  • What are my calories for the day and how many meals am I going to eat?

  • What is my exercise schedule this week?


  • What do I need to do before work?

  • What activities are happening today?

  • What meetings do I need to attend?

  • Which meals am i cooking vs what are already prepared?

  • Walk Dog?

Make a list, and remember that no task is too small. It is okay to include simple things like brushing your teeth.

Develop a schedule

Assess your energy levels. What time of the day do you perform tasks best? Most people have high energy levels in the morning. As such, you should schedule the activities that require the most work at this time.

What your morning should look like

Waking up marks the start of the day, and your attitude determines how the rest of the day will be. Even if you are not a morning person, you should find a way of enjoying the first hours of your day.

Try waking up after the first alarm. Setting several alarms is a way of communicating to the universe that you are not looking forward to the day, and you would like to put it off for later.

When you wake up passionately and with excitement about the opportunities that the day offers, you will be off to a great start.

Some tasks must be completed in the morning, such as taking your kids to school and preparing for work. Once you are done carrying out the routine duties, you can move to activities that require high levels of critical thinking and troubleshooting. For instance, if you are an accountant, reserve the mornings for your bookkeeping tasks.

Have an evening ritual

In the evening, you should put an end to your income earning activities and focus on yourself and your family. You should get your mind away from the stress and responsibilities of the day.

Evenings are best left for planning and preparing for the next day. Use this time to do things like packing lunches, de-cluttering the house, laying out clothes, and cooking.