This is the end of week one!
Day 1 – We learned why morning routines are so important. We learned that while we very well can push ourselves into action, it’s a solid morning routine that allows us to maintain that positive behavior over time, giving us confidence in our ability to consistently move forward in the direction of our choosing. This is because a good morning routine provides motivation through various means and helps to reconnect us with our purpose – which is probably the best motivation, ultimately. We also learned that motivation is not a permanent state and to be maintained it must be replenished. This is the ultimate power of a good morning routine. As the daily habit of brushing our teeth keeps our mouths fresh and healthy, so too can a good morning routine keep us motivated and ready to take on the day with passion and purpose.
Day 2 – We learned about the all too real side-effects of a bad morning routine and how it can decidedly disrupt our ability to pursue our goals. We learned about the insidious nature of a bad routine – how it can rob us of inspiration and kill momentum. Even after finding inspiration and passion in an idea and having the motivation to pursue it, a bad routine means that we won’t have the ability to sustain that motivation and eventually our passion and desire to continue it will fade. This is a cycle that, over time, can lead to a life of general frustration and discontentment.
Day 3 – We learned how important our personal lifestyle needs are when crafting the perfect routine. As opposed to a one size fits all approach, we should always look to create routines that fit us – whether we’re a stay-at-home mother or traveling entrepreneur. If we fail to pay attention to these considerations, we may find it difficult to stick to our routine once it’s tested by our real life and real world issues, concerns, and obligations. Are you a morning person? What time do you have to be at work? Do you travel much? Building a routine that accommodates the answers to these questions will ensure that they don’t become stumbling blocks as you work hard to adopt your new morning routine.
Day 4 – As we know, the power of morning routines is that they provide enough motivation for us to show up as the best version of ourselves every day. But how do we keep ourselves motivated enough to stay consistent with our morning routine? We learned about three specific factors that help determine the amount of control we have over our motivation: self-knowledge, a well-developed plan, and a flexible mind. We learned these factors play a role in controlling our levels of motivation by supplying us with a wealth of information and an abundance of clarity. This makes us more creative and agile in our response to the obstacles that would otherwise have the potential to rob us of our motivation. All three of these areas are things we can improve in. The better we are in these areas, the stronger the routines we can build that can support bigger ideas and purposes.
Day 5 – We learned about the advantages of pacing ourselves as we attempt to make changes to our morning routine. Even though we may be excited to make big changes in our life, it’s important to understand that attempting to change too fast can often do more harm than good. With every new habit we introduce, we’re effectively declaring war on the current bad habit we’re replacing. If we decide to wake up at 6 am every day, and we’re not a morning person? That’s war! If we decide to add exercise to our routine and the only exercise we’ve done so far is search for the remote? That means war with our current sedentary habit. And old habits die hard! Taking on too much change too quickly can introduce unnecessary challenges and setbacks, which can be discouraging and cause us to give up prematurely. Instead of fighting a bunch of battles at once or even one big battle we’re not strong enough to fight yet, pacing ourselves means we’ll never bite off more than we can chew. Deciding to change slowly is a less risky approach that affords us more energy to focus on consistency – which is by far the most important thing to focus on.
Day 6 – We began to lay the foundation for creating our new morning routine. Building on the idea of pacing ourselves, it was recommended that only three habits be added to our routine. This means we won’t be overwhelmed with a bunch of new habits to adopt. Also recommended was keeping each part of the routine (the execution of each habit) relatively short, between 5 to 20 minutes. This means our new routine would add an additional fifteen minutes to an hour to our current morning schedule. Interestingly, it could actually mean much less because the process of creating our new routine would also mean getting rid of a few old, time wasting, counterproductive bad habits. This is great because it takes away the issue of time. When all is said and done, your new routine could end up saving you time – in addition to preparing you – mind and body – to go out there and win the day.
Whew! That was a lot for one week!
In addition to the posts, I posed questions for consideration. These questions are meant to bring to the surface information that could prove useful to you when developing your morning routine. In case you haven’t gotten a chance to answer them all, here’s the list of the questions to date:
Day 1 –
• List three goals you hope to accomplish this year.
• Do you consider yourself a morning person or night owl?
• Do you live alone or within a family dynamic (spouse, kids)?
• Why do you feel it’s important to create/fix your morning routine now?
Day 2 –
• List the first five things you do on a typical morning, immediately after waking up?
• What’s your typical morning mood like?
• Are you a daily coffee drinker? If so, how do you feel when you don’t drink coffee in the morning?
• What do you think the hardest bad morning habit for you to give up will be and why? (e.g. waking up late, watching TV, surfing the net)
• What do you think the easiest bad morning habit for you to give up will be and why?
Day 3 –
• Think about your lifestyle considerations. What are your special needs and requirements?
Day 4 –
• Do you like to get things done immediately or do you often wait until the last minute?
• Would you rather take advice from someone you trust or go with your gut?
Day 5 –
• Have you ever taken on more than you could handle in an attempt to reach a goal? Explain.
• What lessons did you learn from that experience (those experiences)?
• If you had to do it over again, what would you do differently this time?
Well, that’s it for this week.
Starting tomorrow, we’ll talk about a select number of habits that would be good candidates for a morning routine. We’ll also include suggestions for implementation.