Well, I’ve written before about some things I do each morning to get started for the day, but I wanted to create a more consistent approach. So this week, I set out to do the same morning routine for 5 days straight and continue to work on becoming the morning person I wish to be. Habits are something that needs to be continually practiced so that you don’t lose focus or let yourself slide. Starting a new routine is about building habits that eventually become so automatic you don’t even think about it. The problem is that when you first get started, you have to break through old habits and behaviors.
This was my morning routine the past 5 days:
- Wake up around the same time and go for a 25-30 minute walk
- Stretch and drink a glass of water
- Make coffee and sit down to write my daily affirmations
- Make breakfast
- Eat breakfast, review the calendar, and make my realistic to-do list for the day
- Stretch and take a 5-minute break
- Begin working for the day
Here are the 5 challenges I encountered this week as I started this new routine.
- Resistance – Since I was getting up early than I have been for the majority of summertime thus far, it was a challenge to wake up each day. I’ve also been a long-time snoozer and have been desperately trying to break this bad habit. I did hit snooze 2 of the 5 days, so it wasn’t a perfect week, but a great start.
2. Time – Now, the reason this week made sense to do this new routine was that my schedule was a lot more open than it has been. I didn’t have any courses that I was teaching or anywhere I needed to be before 11:00am each day. It was a clean slate to accomplish my morning tasks. It was also a good test to get me up and out of bed each morning at 7:00am rather than sleeping in until 9:00am.
3. Accountability – Well, this one is super important for anything that you are trying to do in your life. The first day I was walking early, my neighbor saw me. The second day she said, “Hey, I’ll go with you!” Usually, she walks a bit earlier, but she waited for me to go and it definitely helped me stay focused the rest of the week. On day 5, I did hit snooze and I was a bit late so I didn’t like how I felt at that moment because I wasn’t holding up my end of the bargain to myself or to her.
4. Planning – I am a breakfast person and I do like to eat when I wake up. That is typically the first thing I do in the morning before anything else. So, this routine was to switch it up and get the exercise portion done first. Sometimes after breakfast, I don’t feel like going for a walk, and then as the day goes on, I continue to make excuses not to get outside. However, when I came back inside this week, I didn’t have a plan for what I was going to eat and I was hungrier because I waited longer to eat. I did pretty well focusing on fruits, vegetables, and proteins, but I think next week I will think through what I am going to have for breakfast each day so I’m not scrounging around.
5. Motivation – I wanted to get this routine started now so that when I start teaching at 9:00am again, this will be automatic. However, because I didn’t have any early commitments, my motivation to actually get up and get moving each morning was lacking. To break through this mindset, I had to remind myself why I’m doing this. I want to be healthier. I want to have more energy. Walking is good for me. The why and purpose of this new goal needed to be a constant reminder in my head.
Overall, I had a good first week and I stuck to all of the things I wanted to do each morning. I did sleep in a bit one day and snoozed once another, but it’s a start. Even small improvements each day can have huge positive long-term impacts. What’s holding you back from starting your morning routine? Or, if you have any helpful tips, comment below!