Robyn MacGregor | 31 March 2021
We have all been there.
“I’ll start Monday!” you exclaim.
You have just read Robin Sharma’s “The 5 am Club” and you feel that surge of inspiration we all feel when we have discovered the secret to a better life. You set your alarm for 5 am and hop into bed.
The next morning, however, when the alarm goes off you hit the snooze button faster than that time you swatted that mosquito before your whole night was ruined and fall back asleep.
Setting up and sticking to a morning routine is HARD. There is no one size fits all approach and the problem with lists and how to’s is that… well…your life is not the same as the person who wrote them.
Cookie cutter morning routines that don’t remind you you are unique and have to find your own way of doing things are doing you a disservice.
In this post we are going to give you a few guidelines to remember when creating that all important morning routine.
Sometimes getting up and reading a chapter or “ahem” a paragraph of a book is not for you.
Maybe you would rather do a gentle yoga class instead of the high intensity workout all your friends are doing every morning.
Want to sit on your balcony and write out your thoughts instead of creating an entire week’s to-do list? Wonderful!
The point here is to not be hard on yourself for not liking what everyone else likes. Instead, ask yourself..
“What could I add to my morning that would make my day better?”
After all – it’s for you, so it has to be worth it for you alone.
Maybe you have kids. Maybe you are more of a night owl or maybe you and your bed have an understanding that you cannot leave its comfortable sheets before a certain time.
Whatever it is, know that when you are creating a new habit it’s going to be hard and it might not work the first, second or even third time you try it.
Commit to trying it out for a few days to see what works best and changing it up a little, making it slightly more manageable.
Maybe you need to get up a little earlier than the rest of your household. Maybe there is only room in your morning for one really important habit.
However this part of the process goes, know that it will take a little work but ultimately your goals are important enough to stick with it.
Eat more veggies but take in more protein. Read a book every month but also journal daily. Make time for yourself but also don’t neglect your family. Spoil yourself but also save money.
You see where we are going with this?
Start with one habit that can be easily introduced into your morning and, once that habit becomes natural and not so much of a chore anymore, bring in another.
In psychology, a habit is defined as “an automatic pattern of behaviour in reaction to a specific situation; inherited or acquired through frequent repetition”.
A habit can only become automatic through frequent repetition.
Think about the automatic habit of tying your shoelaces or brushing your teeth.
A huge reason why adding new habits into our lives can be tricky is because we have an “all or nothing” mentality and sometimes we end up doing nothing because the task we set ourselves is too big or too much.
We are all for aiming high – dreaming big dreams and going for your goals – but when you are adding a new habit into your life, it’s new and difficult and you are already doing your best.
So how do we fix this?
We start small.
Want to meditate? Start with 2 minutes a day every day for a week. Got that down? Add a minute every week.
Want to journal? Commit to 5 minutes of journaling your thoughts every morning with your cup of coffee.
Want to take in less sugar (but, ugh, sweeteners)? Aim to add half a teaspoon less in your coffee each week.
Make each step toward your goals so small, so easy, so attainable that you could do it with your eyes closed, no sweat!
And then, build up from there.
An important action that is super helpful when creating a morning routine and trying different angles is to reflect on what went well and what didn’t.
Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep and that made waking up even harder.
Perhaps you actually found that you had an even better day because you woke up 15 minutes earlier and jotted down your thoughts first thing.
Make a few notes just before finishing off your morning routine and after a few days reflect back on what you have written.
Reflecting helps us understand if we are doing something that works well for us or if anything needs to be tweaked or changed.
“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” — Buddha
A good morning routine is the first step to a great day because it sets the tone for the rest of your day. Whether you are generally a night owl or already love rising with the sun there is something special about the sacred time to yourself every morning before the world takes over your attention.
What do you think of this post?
What habits are you trying to instil into your morning routine? How are you doing?
Are you a night owl and are really struggling to create a morning routine?
We would love to know.