21dmro_bar-321dmro_bar-3So today we begin giving form to our morning routine. Over the past number of days we’ve given thought to the who’s and the why’s, now we’ll spend some time on the how.

What we’re going for here is a basic outline of what our morning routine will look like as well as how it will function. Once this is done, you’ll just need to choose the habits, adjust them to fit your requirements and you’ll have your basic routine.

The perimeters set will hopefully make it easy to say yes to your new routine and more importantly, stick to it. You can do more, and I encourage you to, but I’d suggest holding off for at least a month before making any major changes.

Start with three new habits.

I recommend beginning with no more than three new habits. This means if your current routine consists of waking up, deciding what to wear, brushing your teeth, taking a shower, etc…, we’re going to tack on three additional tasks. The reason for the number 3 is due to something we went over yesterday: a slow progression. It allows you to explore the borders of your comfort zone and move into what’s known as the stretch zone – the area where your biggest growth opportunity exists. Adding a few new habits to your routine is a great way to avoid overwhelm as you acclimate your mind and body to your new behaviors. This is a time of growth and learning, discovery, and reflection. It’s manageable change that allows you to evaluate how and if the change works for you.

Make the activity short.

In addition to selecting three habits, I recommend keeping their execution short and sweet; no more than twenty minutes each and as little as 5 minutes should do the trick. That means your new morning routine would add fifteen minutes to an hour to your schedule. This is great because, again, the goal is to make them easy to start and easy to keep. It’s going to be hard to say you can’t find an extra 15 minutes in your morning, especially when that 15 minute was built to make the rest of your day happier and more productive.

*Pro tip – what your routine lacks in time you should make up for in presence and effort. Whatever part of your routine you’re completing, you should be fully engaged. Make those precious moments count!

Create an order then stick with it.

The next thing to do is go through the process of assigning a specific order to the tasks in your routine. Decide what comes first, second, third…, essentially creating a chain of habits: You wake up then jump out of bed and immediately do 50 squats and 50 sit-ups. Next, you drink a glass of lemon water followed by 15 minutes of meditation. Do this every day – in the exact same order. What happens over time is you’ll begin to create triggers. This is when the ending of one activity prompts you to continue to the next activity. Have you ever listened to an album over and over again to the point where it almost felt like one song just melted into the other? Then while listening to the radio, you hear one of the songs, and as the song begins to end, your mind just immediately starts singing the next song on the album. The first song automatically triggered the next song in your head. That’s the way triggers can work with habits, as well.

That’s it. We’ll soon enough begin to put meat on the bones, so to speak.  For now, you’ve created an outline that gives you a solid chance of success with implementation. The only additional requirement is consistency. If you follow this format and use the information we’ve gone over this week, you’ll be on your way to quite the successful morning routine.

Kudos to you for sticking with it through this point!