How to Start and Stick to a Morning Routine
What is their Morning Routine?
You can pretty much determine how a person's morning went just by watching them enter their workplace.
- There is the frantic, already disheveled one, whose tie is crooked, hair is messy and is wearing two different colored socks!
- There is Miss Calm, Cool and Collected. Not a hair out of place. Her clothing is neat, coordinated and not a wrinkle.
- Here comes another one, racing in with a story about all the crazy things that have already happened to them that morning. You can see where this is going.
- And, there is the one co-worker, already seated at his desk, coffee cup in hand, hard at work.
Do you see yourself in any of these? Do you see who you want to be like any of these?
How important is a Morning Routine?
We are all familiar with the expression, "I got up on the wrong side of the bed." It basically means that if my morning starts off badly, it generally sets the tone for the rest of the day. In this article we will talk about the various things you can do to make sure you get up on the right side of the bed everyday. You will learn how to design a morning routine that works for you and you will learn how to stick to it and make it a habit.
Having and sticking to a morning routine will get you on track and increase your likelihood of having a healthy, productive day!
The way you spend the first part of your day can and will impact the way the rest of your day will go. That should be motivation enough to make sure you spend it well.
"Those that get up at five am rule the world."~Robin Sharma
It is true that many successful CEOs start their days very early. Most follow a daily routine and get more done before the average person has even awoken.
A Morning Routine is not just for Morning!
While rising early is often associated with establishing a morning routine, I do want to emphasize here that this article is focussing on establishing and following a morning routine, regardless of the actual time of day
Do you have an Established Morning Routine?
Everyone already has a Morning Routine.
Even if you do not have the morning routine that you would like, you DO have a morning routine. It may vary a bit but most of us follow basically the same rituals day in and day out.
- Get up, stretch
- Go to the bathroom, wash up, brush teeth.
- Start the coffee
- Feed the pets
Most of us have our own way and order of doing things upon awakening. The trick is learning to add the additional things that we want to accomplish in the morning.
How to decide what you need for your Morning Routine
Things that have to be done
Things that should be done
Things to make my day more successful
Wash face, brush teeth, shower
recite a mantra
make and drink coffee
start cooking dinner
feed cats, clean litter box
Even American Psycho's need their Morning Routine
How do You establish a Morning Routine?
The first step is to make a list. Write down what you would like to accomplish with/from your morning routine. If you are looking for motivators, write that down. Maybe you want to start exercising or you want to establish a schedule to get through at-home work before you leave for an outside job. If you have children who need to be included in the routine, don't forget to account for them!
Your first draft list should look something like this:
- Exercise for half an hour.
- Write for at least 15 minutes.
- Eat breakfast
- call mom
....Checking it twice.
I recommend that you put them in order by convenience. Add those things that you have to do, like showering, ironing and caring for others. Try to figure out how much time you will need to dedicate to those chores. If they vary daily, choose the longest time it will take. It's much better to have extra time at the end of the routine than not enough. Be generous in your calculations. Don't forget to allow for unexpected things that could affect your schedule. Next, figure out how much time you will need to get to work/school/daycare.
Making a list....
Everybody's list will be different but this is just a starting point. In the next step, add the things that you should be doing and would like to be doing. For some, it will be as mundane as eating breakfast. For others, it could be catching up on last season's Game of Thrones. Once you have compiled the list, you will then need to priortize. Which things are most important to me? What can I absolutely not shorten or skip? When I have established that, I can begin to put them in order.
"The mantra becomes one's staff of life and carries one through every ordeal. Each repitition has a new meaning carrying you nearer and nearer to G-d."
In the Jewish religion, one of the first prayers taught is the "Modeh Ani." It is recited every morning upon awakening and thanks G-d for the gift of a new day of life.
Some people recite a mantra every morning when they awaken. Others like to mentally run through their day and all the wonderful things that will be happening. Some people will listen to an inspiring song or poem. What ever it is you do, adding inspiration and motivation to your morning routine is a great way to wake up and get your day going.
The Advantages of having a Morning Routine
A morning mantra, prayer or affirmation is a great way to start to your day. It reroutes your thoughts, offers you direction and starts your day in a positive mode. Switch the "to-do" list that you have running in your head with something inspirational or motivational. Get in the habit of saying it upon awakening. Say it again before/during your crazy morning commute and once again as you begin your workday. You can say it as often as you choose and you will learn to incorporate it into your morning routine.
How to Write or Choose a Mantra.
After reading the book, The Secret, I decided I would benefit from reciting a morning mantra. It was, for me, more of a morning prayer. It has, since then, evolved and changed (several times over!) but it still holds the same purpose and importance in my life.
To learn how to organize your thoughts and write your own Mantra, you can check out my hub, How to Write a Morning Mantra.
Visualize Your Results.
How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as the competent, fulfilled person? Starting a new routine can be difficult. You have tools here to plan the routine. The next step is implementing it. The final step is maintaining it.
How can you make that happen?
The most critical step is in starting. Once you are motivated to start, you have completed half the battle! Next is staying with it. In the beginning, you may forget to leave yourself enough time or you may only do some of the things in your routine. You may struggle to get out of bed to do it when all you really want is just one half hour more to sleep.
Ways to Insure that you will stick to your Morning Routine.
Don't be surprised to find yourself making up excuses, looking for rationale to get out of following your new routine. We are creatures of habit. Most of balk at change, even when the change will be better for us in the long run.
- One trick to keep this from hindering your progress is to be forewarned and forearmed. Plan for the fact that it will take time to get used to it and some days will be more difficult.
- Write a contract to Stick to your Morning Routine. This may seem a little silly but if you write a contract or statement about your intentions, you will be more likely to stick to it.
- Phone a friend. If you tell someone you are going to do it, you will add accountability to the mix. When someone is "checking up" on us, we are much more likely to strive for results.