January 9, 2019 7:00 am
By now we know that most, if not all, successful people have some sort of morning routine, a series of actions that they do every day without fail, in order to set their day up for success. Every blogger and their dog has jumped on the morning routine hype train and I’m not about to be an exception (see last weeks post) because I genuinely do see the benefits, I’ve felt them firsthand. However, in true Break The Loop style, I’m going to go out on a limb here and offer up the idea that we don’t actually have to execute our morning routine perfectly every day for it to still be a ‘success’.
Life is a great big fat balancing act and whilst some people might be able to stick to a schedule like glue, that’s not always possible for everyone and it certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t still reap the benefits of having some sort of routine.
It’s literally no use creating your own magic morning routine if you end up beating yourself up over only completing half of it, you’ll feel worse than when you started and that’s certainly not the aim of this game.
When thinking about what you might add into your morning routine, the goal is to really find what works for you, which actions will once complete, leave you feeling calm, centred and ready to tackle the day? What will provide a little mental clarity and a boost of accomplishment that leaves you feeling good about yourself and your abilities?
Remember, this morning routine isn’t for anyone other than you so resist the urge to add things to it that you think you should be doing because maybe you heard that someone else does it.
I’ll repeat… It’s pointless adding 30 mins of yoga to your morning routine if you secretly hate yoga, you won’t stick to it and then you’ll feel bad about it. That being said, it goes without saying that moving more and getting the blood flowing in the morning will have a massively positive effect on your mental health and physical wellbeing so if you are said yoga hating individual, how about adding 5 to 10 mins of simple stretching into your routine? Or maybe you take your first cup of coffee for a 10-minute walk around the block?
I love a grand gesture as much as the next person but little and often is the key here, every single day you are given another chance to reinforce habits, start small and then build as you become more confident and it becomes easier.
For example, if you’ve been feeling overwhelmed recently with how untidy your space tends to get, making the bed each morning can be a part of your morning routine and a really positive start to your day. Or, you could set a timer for 10 minutes and tidy up as much as you can in those 10 minutes, I do this and it’s been a gamechanger.
Taking the time to brew yourself a good cup of coffee and enjoying it without interruption.
Writing a page or two in a journal.
Whatever it is, make it simple, achievable and beneficial.
To summarise, figure out what you need to do for your health and happiness and then make a plan for how you’re going to do it, in a way that works for you.
(You can have a nosey at my own morning routine HERE if you like.)
Once you have a rough idea of what sort of stuff you need to be doing, then settle on a realistic and achievable timeframe. Be totally honest with yourself about how much time you have to dedicate to your new magic morning routine… 10 minutes? Half an hour? An hour?
If time is tight could you maybe set your alarm 15 to 30 minutes earlier? Or is there something else that you usually find yourself doing in the morning, that can be replaced? Once you’ve figured out how much time you’d like to devote to your morning routine, you’ll see exactly what you have time for.
Now you’ve been through that process and you have your ideal morning routine in place, try to do it every day for one month. Treat it as an experiment and give it a fighting chance to become a habit. However hard it feels now, before long, it will happen without too much thought on your part.
But also, give yourself some grace…
Give it your best shot but on those days where it truly isn’t feasible for whatever reason, give yourself a break, the world won’t stop spinning if you miss a day or if you only complete one part of your routine.
Anyone struggling with their mental health, for whatever reason, will know all too well the struggle it can sometimes be to simply make the bed or face ‘simple’ tasks, let alone meditate and complete your morning pages. Sometimes you will need all of your energy just to face the day and that’s ok, it truly is. This routine should never be a stick to beat yourself with, just remember that the more of your routine you do complete, the better you will feel and the easier it will become.
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