Many people downplay how important it is to have a routine. Many people also don’t have a morning routine that they actually stick too. But routines provide a sense of structure. They give us organization to what could be an otherwise hectic day. You wake up feeling prepared rather than feeling overwhelmed by all the tasks that need to get done that day. The structure that routines provide give you a direction of where you need to go next, instead of diddling around wasting time trying to figure out what needs to get done and then not actually getting it done.
Our bodies THRIVE on routines. If our bodies had it their way, we’d eat the same thing at the same time everyday, we’d get up and go to bed at the same time everyday, we’d exercise at the same time, heck we’d even brush our teeth at the same time. But luckily for us and unluckily for our bodies, our mind steps in and takes over and provides us with what we want, not what we need. When we decide what we’re going to do every single day, we typically will choose something that will make us happy in the process. In turn, we form positive habits that make us happy.
Once you have made your routine a habit, you will begin to automatically do things that are good for your well being. You’ll stop having to make small decisions in your life and have more time to focus on the big decisions. There are many successful people, including Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and Louis CK, who wear the same outfit everyday. Even Former President Barack Obama’s wore the same brand of suits, ties, and shirts to keep his daily decision making to a minimum. You enable yourself to get things done before you have to do other stuff, thus creating a sense of fulfillment when other things don’t go the way you had planned them, like traffic, a coffee spill, or a sick kid. Plus, once a routine is set, you no longer have to motivate yourself to perform these tasks. Have you ever noticed when you’ve been working out consistently it feels weird when you don’t workout? But then you miss a day or two and all of a sudden the motivation is lost? This is why routines are important, but sticking to them is even MORE important.
In the long run, these little routines will add up to much greater accomplishments. Writing something you’re grateful for once a day will in turn give you 365 things you’re grateful for by the end of the year. Reading one book a week will leave you with 52 books and much greater knowledge after just 1 year. Drinking coffee at home today will save you over $1,800 this year alone. It may seem like small steps now, but creating these positive habits will have nothing but positive effects on your life in the long run. Everyday you will become a better and better version of yourself. “Practice makes perfect” as the saying goes, imagine where you could be after 10 years of this routine? It could possibly send you into a direction you never even knew was possible. You could discover your love of writing, fitness, cooking, yoga, meditating, whatever it is you want to include into your morning routine.
In order for these routines to work though, you MUST adjust your schedule. These things will take extra time in the morning, but they will make you feel so accomplished by the time you get to work. I quickly realized that in order for me to do everything I wanted to do, I needed to get up 4 hours earlier than I already was! I know that sounds crazy, and you likely don’t have to make THAT big of a change, but that’s what was necessary for me to reach my goals.
My morning routine looks like this:
When I wake up I like to sit on my phone for an hour. Most people say they make it a rule to not look at their phone right when they wake up, but for me I really enjoy laying there in bed while my brain & body wake up. Then I make coffee and read! I’ve made it a goal to read 1 book a week so in order for me to accomplish this I must schedule it into my morning routine. I also eat a protein bar during this time to settle the coffee and get me through until breakfast. My husband wakes up later and we enjoy eating breakfast together so I wait for him. Then, I go out and run 1 mile. It’s also in my goals to run 1 mile a day. To me, it’s less than ten minutes taken out of my day to do something good for myself and leave me feeling energized. Next, I practice yoga for 20-60 minutes depending on how I feel. Yoga is extremely necessary for me to release any tension built up from the day before. I believe strength training and yoga go hand in hand. One contracts the muscles and the other releases them. The perfect yin & yang. After yoga I meditate for 10-20 minutes, then make breakfast and then head to the gym!!
This routine might sound excessive, but afterward I feel like a million dollars! It leaves me feeling confident going into my day of work knowing that I’ve already accomplished everything I needed to to make me feel amazing, plus I don’t have to worry about getting tired or things coming up later. Because you and I both know, they ALWAYS do!
So let’s design your routine RIGHT NOW! Grab your phone and open notes or a piece of paper, and first write down what time you NEED to be ready for your day. Then work backwards. You need 15 minutes to walk your dogs. 30 minutes to get ready. 20 minutes to shower. 30 minutes to make coffee and breakfast. And then work in your new habits there, 30 minutes to read, write, exercise, paint, make pottery, whatever! And then start waking up and going to bed earlier! You will have to sacrifice TV time or hang out time, but I promise you will feel so much better when you align your everyday life with your goals!
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