My Road to Routine: Healthy Habits – Round Up

Written by  in category 
March 14, 2017
healthy habits, road

My journey comes to a close, but the road of healthy habits does not end. 

Routine behaviors – healthy habits – are a great way to establish a set of regular practices that carry benefits to your mental and physical health. The goal is to make these a natural part of your schedule – as natural as brushing your teeth in the morning. At that point, these natural activities – your healthy habits – can provide a regular stream of feel-good hormones (endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin) that keep your mood up, and your mind engaged on positive emotions. Sounds pretty useful.

Weekly progress

Have you been following along?  

If you ever want a full report-out of your results, let me know and I’ll compile for you.

Round Up


Exercise proves to be an excellent source of health and motivation. It helps regulate more than you may think, too. Diet, metabolism, sleep, endorphins, all positively affected by exercise. The question is, how to keep up the practice.


I see this being the hardest one to continue. Arguably the most important, but still the hardest. Staying regular with sleep is going to be a challenge. With an irregular work schedule, morning and night, how does one keep regular with sleep? 


Brave New World, done. The ending started to become a bit apparent about 50 pages out, but still a good read. I learned about a Persian poet named Rumi and have started my exploration of his work and his life. Rumi’s Secret: The Life of the Sufi Poet of Love by Brad Gooch is next on the docket, now that I’ve read a short book of Rumi’s poetry. Can I keep up with my reading? Maybe not every day, but I’m sure going to try. If nothing else, the habit is going to stick and reading is going to become a regular part of my routine. 


This is the one that has been the staple of my routine for some time. And I don’t see that changing. While I cultivate pieces for self-publishing, I am considering submitting to a few publications for review/consideration. Who knows, one may even be selected! 

Quiet Time

This will also take a concerted effort to maintain but it is well worth the effort. I’m finding that 15 minutes a day helps keep me centered (as cliché as that sounds), and my stress levels lowered. So why not keep it up? There is nothing to lose.


An incredible 6-week journey. I’ve found success in each area over the weeks (even if not at the same time). Yes, I even consider sleep a success since I am still making progress. Even if I didn’t meet my goal all seven days in a given week, I’ve made big strides. I do feel that my routine is in place, now. And that’s a routine I can keep up. With some effort, of course. 

Healthy HabitRound Up
Exercisehappy face
Sleepneutral face
Readinghappy face
Writinghappy face
Quiet Timehappy face
OVERALLhappy face


Wear me tight
when you need it most;
hold me steady – 
hold me close.

I’ll guide you past
the stormy coast
to calmer waters, with
no waves to boast.

~A. Hanna

This week’s featured poem was inspired by a good friend of mine who is going through hard times but is finding solace in small things (like wearing his Challenge the Storm wristband,  which is so incredibly humbling). When I wrote this, I was envisioning a small vessel on the open water. The captain decides to steer ahead of the storm, trying to outrun it but runs his ship towards a coast. The storm looming closer, he gives control to the winds instead of steering himself. He holds steadfast, and the wind guides him back to safety. It takes a lot to hold firm to your decisions when everything seems like it’s going awry. But sometimes that’s exactly what you need, to be stoic. Send your thoughts on what it means to you here. I would love to hear what you think.

My five healthy habits: recap

Here is a recap of my five healthy habits: on my journey to destroy depression and anxiety, the five healthy habits I decided to focus on are exercise, sleep, reading, writing, and “quiet time”. Nothing novel here, but some things many find excuses not to do. Well, no more excuses. Time to make health a priority.

  1. Exercise: actively work out at least three (3) days a week in the gym. I signed up for a gym membership, and am determined to get my three days in every week.
  2. Sleep: go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. For me: 8 hours (11 pm to 7 am). I’ve not been on to get enough sleep. Time to change that.
  3. Reading: each day, read from a book with actual pages. Archaic. Doesn’t have to be a lot of reading. I’ve found the best time to read is right before bed. I’ll spend 20 minutes reading, then hit the lights.
  4. Writing: this is something I do for me: with paper and pen. This may not be an activity you opt in to, but nonetheless, it is one the health habits I have chosen to add to my routine.
  5. “Quiet time”: simply being in the moment. Electronics off, books closed, distractions eliminated. I may light a candle, listen to the mini-waterfall we have in our “zen room”, or listen to soothing music. 15 minutes of quiet time to remind me to slow down, enjoy the now.

I may not succeed in all five areas each week. What I will do, however, is determine how to continue progressing. If I didn’t meet my goal in one area, my plan will include ways to make sure I succeed the upcoming week. If I was successful in an area, my plan will be to maintain the practices which lead to that success. Each week I will put in my 100%. Even if I slip up one day, it does not mean my entire week is shot. Every tomorrow is a new day to succeed. Every moment is an opportunity to flip your perspective, reset, and recommit.

Join me

If you’re already following along, be sure to log your progress:

If you ever want a full report-out of your results, let me know and I’ll compile for you.

This journey on which I have embarked is not intended to be a mere diary of my own progress. I encourage you to take this opportunity to join me on this journey. If you are beginning your own routine to form healthy habits, write a comment below, or send me an email at Together, we’ll do this.

Alex Hanna

Alex Hanna

By day, Alex works as a technologist. By night, he runs Challenge the Storm. Suffering from depression and anxiety, himself, he dedicates every day to help one single person. Something as small as putting a smile on someone else's face may have a bigger impact than you think.

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