Personal Musings

The Domino Effect

For every action…

The Domino Effect states that when you make a change to one behavior it will activate a chain reaction and cause a shift in related behaviors as well.

James Clear, How to Create a Chain Reaction of Good Habits

This week I have been experiencing The Domino Effect. The chain reaction started simple enough for me — with writing. I began writing and publishing a new blog post every day. I made mention I would be doing this in Rain or Shine.

Writing and publishing a new blog post every day for thirty straight days is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. An excuse for why I wasn’t doing this or hadn’t done this was always at the ready. And, that’s exactly what it was: an excuse. This time is different. I made a solemn vow with myself to make no more excuses.

And, so far so good. I’m seven days in and I’ve written and published a new blog post every day. My reason for wanting to do this was straightforward. I wanted to:

  • Hold myself accountable
  • Create consistency and solidify a routine I enjoy
  • Look closer at my inner thoughts on a daily basis and gain a clearer picture of what I experience and believe

An interesting thing happens as you start to gain momentum. When you sit down at the keyboard and don’t allow yourself any excuses, it gets a little easier each day.

In turn, my personal Domino Effect has taken shape to look like this:

Write daily →
Read daily →
Meditate →
Calmer, more involved parenting →

Watching my habits compound is like watching a stone skip across the surface of a pond. By carving out time to write, I find I’m happier and more at peace. When I’m more at peace, I can sit still to read. When I am able to sit still, I find myself gravitating toward meditation. By sitting with my thoughts and watching them pass before me like a cloud in the sky, I find I notice the intimate details of the world around me better. In turn, I become a calmer parent. As a calmer parent, I’m a more involved parent. Hence, birdwatching with my daughter. We love crows.

None of the above actions are new to me. What’s changed is the consistency of the action. It was once sporadic. Now it’s automatic. I set up one domino only to inadvertently set up another without realizing it. It’s spilling over into other areas of my life as well, and for the better.

Have you changed any of your habits lately? If so, did you notice a domino effect in response?

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash