How do you take the morning routine you’ve developed and make it part of your daily schedule? Last week we looked at what to include in the best morning routine. Now it’s time to take a look at what to exclude, as well as how to make your new routine a habit that sticks!
Determine what to leave out
Normally, people want to know what to include in a morning routine, like exercise, a healthy breakfast, positive visualization and so on. I’ve found it beneficial to figure out what you can exclude. You’ll notice that in the previous blog post, I didn’t mention pack a lunch, get work supplies together or choose an outfit. These can all be done the night before. I also didn’t include check email or social media. When we attempt to connect with the outside world first thing in the morning, we tend to get thrown off track for the rest of the day. Checking your devices shouldn’t happen until after you’ve finished your primary morning routine because if you don’t complete these important self-care steps in the morning, you probably won’t have the most productive and peaceful day. Is there anything you’re currently doing in the morning that can wait until later?
Make your new habit last
Whenever we try something new, we feel uncomfortable – even if it’s a change for the better. This is human nature. We like to stick to routines, even when the routine is bad for us. So when you try out your new morning routine, you’ll want to stay with the plan for at least two weeks. Embrace the discomfort!
If you don’t accomplish what you attempted, you’ll want to ask yourself these questions:
1) Did you wake up when you were supposed to?
2) Did you try to squeeze in something extra?
3) Did you underestimate the time needed?
Based on your answers, you can tweak your routine as necessary – but change because you need to and not because you feel awkward trying something new.
Also keep in mind that what might be a workable daily routine for you today may not be perfect in six months because of changes in your schedule or in your physical, mental or emotional state. That’s why it’s important to reflect at the end of each week about how things are going. Are you flowing each morning? If so, give yourself a celebratory pat on the back and stay with your morning routine. Were there any hiccups? If so, was it a one-time anomaly, or has life changed a bit and you need to adjust accordingly?
If you take the time to go through these planning and reflecting steps, you’ll be investing in yourself and your well-being, as well as creating a realistic morning routine that you can stick to. When your daily schedule becomes a habit, that’ll be one less thing to think about when you wake up! (Until it’s time to make well-thought out changes when you need to adapt to life.)