Day 18 – Welcome to Your Morning Routine!

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21dmro_bar-4-185021dmro_bar-4-1850So you’ve successfully created your new morning routine! What next?!

First, a big congratulations! We’ve gone through a lot of information over that past couple of weeks, and you’ve also done quite a bit of introspection and self-analysis. You stuck with it, and here you are! Your morning routine is now complete.

Now it’s time to use it, test it, and tweak it as necessary. It’s built for growth so it will grow as you change and grow.

 

Before we continue – If you haven’t yet downloaded yesterday’s worksheet, please do so now. This worksheet is meant to help you finalize your thoughts and lay out the specifics of your new routine to paper.

If you haven’t noticed already, I believe in focusing more on process than goals. The goal is important, but it can become a distraction if your focus is too strong. When you’re focused on goals what you notice most is the space that exists between the two points – where you are now and your goal. This is not a bad thing in moderation. If you are overly focused on this point, you become susceptible to feelings such as anxiety and disappointment. On the other hand, focusing on process places your attention squarely in the present moment so you can use what’s happening now to best influence what happens next. This means you’re aware of how you (your mind, body, spirit) are relating to, internalizing, and processing the work of execution. This awareness allows you to pick up on subtle clues that contribute to motivation or lack of motivation and empowers your ability to fix and manage problem situations before they ever become a threat to the success of your plan and the completion of your goal.

That said, you need a goal, and you need plans. A goal tells you where you’re going and the plan, how to get there. A well-thought-out plan means you won’t have to spend mental energy wondering which road to take or direction to travel. You can, instead, focus your attention on insights and feedback that tell you whether your efforts are in line with an already prescribed course of action or whether changes should be made to ensure that they get in line.

Now that you have a complete morning routine plan of action, your next move is to work the plan but stay focused on the process. Pay close attention to the feedback you receive and use that information to improve your morning routine over time.¬†Also, if you feel that you’d like to further develop your morning routine, maybe add more habits or increase the intensity of the overall routine over time, you can begin to plan this out.

Going through a similar process to the one you just completed, create a list of additional habits you’d like to add, or maybe you just want to go deeper on certain habits you’re practicing now, that’s fine too. Map out the addition of new habits as well as updates to your habits based on your own feedback and insights. Decide in advance to review and update your routine on a schedule – monthly, for example. Then, according to your schedule, edit your routine so it reflects your growth, takes better advantage of your strengths and addresses any points of weakness you discover along the way.

As you make changes to your routine, especially if you’re adding a new habit, you may notice a tendency to lose ground on your older habits; the ones that are still not fully formed yet. Let’s say you took up exercise and you’ve been doing well for two months. You decide to add a new habit – learning a language. As you begin to focus your energy on learning the new language, if you’re not extra vigilant with your prior habit, this is a vulnerable point where you could backslide. Understanding this as a real risk is the first step to preventing it. It’s important to manage your focus especially well when you bring in new behaviors.