Tom and I are BFFs. We’re also chronic self improvers. Our days involve constant email back and forths, swapping tips, lists, apps, quotes and articles about how to do life better. 

I moved to Berlin just over a year ago and it became harder for the two of us to spend time hanging out talking about this stuff, or calling each other up on the phone for hours of debate. While we can’t spend our time in close physical proximity anymore, we thought that cultivating habits together for a month at a time could help us put some of these life theories into practice, and grow in a more meaningful way.

So after a Skype chat we decided to focus on a different habit each month for the next year. The hard part was picking the first one. Tom and I are both Christians, and like most Christians we find it pretty hard to pick up the Bible each day and read it. I’d recently downloaded an app called Common Prayer, which is a daily devotional app with a strong social justice slant, courtesy of its authors, Shane Claiborne and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove. It guides you through a short morning service including Bible readings, a bit of text to think about, and a repeated mantra to act as a focus for the day. It was decided: August’s monthly habit was to read the Bible every day, guided by the Common Prayer app.

What did we learn in that first month? I’m not entirely sure. We’re both pretty busy and it was often hard to set aside the time. But because we’d both committed to do this thing together, on the days that I didn’t feel like doing it, the knowledge that Tom would be doing it back in England at the same time made me way more motivated to keep the habit up. We both missed a few days, but there were times when the theme for the day would spark up a conversation between the two of us and really influence our thoughts and actions that day.

This blog was a recent idea to encourage us to share our journey with other people, and also help us to spend time reflecting on what we’re learning by cultivating these habits. Maybe some of you will join us on it, too. This month, September, we’re going to be meditating each day. I’ve decided to increase the amount of meditation I do by a minute each day, so one minute on September 1st, two minutes on September 2nd, etc. 

We hope you enjoy reading about the journey. And if you want to join us, sign up to our newsletter here so we can let you know about each month’s habit.