Day 15 – Putting It All Together, Part 1

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21dmro_bar-5-300021dmro_bar-5-3000By now you should have a solid understanding of what it takes to create a good morning routine; one that’s designed to give you an edge in the pursuit of your goals, that matches your lifestyle requirements, and that fits your current levels of motivation.

Today we’re going to begin putting it all together!

This would be a good time to go over your answers to the questions from week one. If you haven’t yet had a chance to answer all of them, click here, and scroll to the bottom of the page. Your answers to these questions will serve as a primer to many of the decisions you’ll make this week about how to set up your routine.

Okay, now let’s get into it…

 

The Goals

First, let’s take a look at your goals. What are they? Losing weight, learning a new language, starting a new business? Whatever they are, write them down. These goals will be the main focus of the routine you create. Knowing what your goals are will help you build a good routine, staying connected to your goals will keep you focused and motivated.

Now that you know what your goals are, it’s important to look for the weak spots. This is the thing that most makes your goal a challenge to reach. Asking this one simple question should uncover any weak spots in your goal: If I failed at reaching this goal, what would be the likely cause of my failure? Your answer here will be the focus on our next action. This answer could range from having a huge knowledge gap to maybe being too risk averse which kept you stagnant. Your weak spot could simply be that you didn’t know what you didn’t know and that made you vulnerable. Whatever you come up with, write it down.

Once you’ve identified a weak spot, think of things you could do, as part of your morning routine, that would strengthen this weak spot. For example, let’s say you’re trying to lose weight and you’ve identified that your weak spot is a lack of motivation for eating healthy.

You could:

A – Create a food journal where you shared your wins, losses, and experiences around food. Spend 15 minutes every morning writing about how eating different foods make you feel. Eventually, you may begin to appreciate the connection between eating healthy and feeling good in your body as opposed to eating bad food and feeling slow and lethargic.

B – Start a food visualization notebook. Work on it every morning to reinforce the mindset that you are a person who loves good, delicious, and healthy food.

C – Spend 15 minutes every morning scouring the Internet for delicious alternative recipes as you build your personal recipe book of delicious, healthy food.

These are just a few examples of activities you could add to your morning routine that would directly help you succeed in your goal. This process will work for any goal you have in mind. As another quick example, let’s say you were building a business or working on a project that required an extremely high level of daily productivity. Your weak spot was that you felt susceptible to overwhelm in this particular situation.

You could:

A – dedicate a portion of your morning to accomplishing a small task and getting your first win of the day. This would build your confidence and get the momentum rolling in the right direction for the day ahead.

So the foundation of your new routine includes adding at least one new habit that directly impacts your ability to achieve your goal in a positive way. All that’s needed is to find a habit that fits this requirement. We went over a number of habits last week, maybe you could choose one of those. You could also consider adjusting any of the habits as I did in the examples above – speaking of the journal and the visualization notebook. Both were habits we discussed last week that we’ve adapted to fit the needs of this particular scenario – you could do the same thing. If none of the habits discussed last week fit this requirement, you could come up with one entirely your own, so long as it abides by the guidelines outlined in our Day 6 post.

 

Your Current Routine

What you also need to consider what you’re currently doing in the morning. Chances are you’re going to need to get rid of some of those activities. To start off create a list of potential targets for elimination. Activities such as pressing the snooze button (even just once), checking social media when you wake up or watching the News are likely to end up on that list. There may be other bad morning habits that you don’t serve you well – add those to the list, too.

While you’re at it, make a note of the parts of your current routine you plan on keeping. There’s the obvious –  brushing your teeth, showering and getting dressed – but there are likely others, as well. Keep those in mind as they will also be part of the new routine you’re creating.

 

Desired Length of Routine

Now is a good time to think about how long you want your morning routine to be; this means from the time you wake until the time you officially transition into the next part of your day, whether out of the house or at home. To feel comfortable answering this question, you need to know how much time your current morning habits (the ones you intend to keep) will take, as well as the length of time needed for the new habits (we’ll discuss this more tomorrow) you’re adding to your routine.

Depending on how much time you feel you need to complete your morning routine, you may need to reconsider your wake up time. First, you need to know the total time of your new routine. Then, you need to know when the next part of your day must begin. So if work starts at 9 am, and it takes you an hour to get there, that means the next part of your day begins at 8 am. This is enough information to know whether your wake up time needs to be adjusted. Another consideration would be to adjust the times you’ve allotted to certain habits in your morning routine.

 

Well, that’s all for today. We’ll continue with part 2, tomorrow!