You might be the type of person who hates routine, and thinks that this isn’t for you. But here’s the good news – it’s 100% for you. And we promise you won’t hate it.
So why should you have a routine? Well, and here’s the rub - it’s actually quite freeing. Yes – something that seems like mundane repetition, can be freeing. Experts say that creating daily habits reduces the number of decisions you make and therefore your mind is freed up to exert energy on other, more important things.
But, what about creating a morning routine that will stand the test of time?
The key thing to remember is that someone else’s routine probably won’t work for you – you need to find what works for you, based on what you value most.
So let’s get into it. Here are our tips for a long-lasting morning routine:
Think about what you value (the WHY behind what you’re doing)
What is it that you want to make sure you are doing in the morning? Is it that you remember to eat breakfast, or that you wake up early for gym? Is it that you spend 10 minutes stretching, or just to listen to a motivational podcast?
Whatever it is that you want to do, think about why you want to do those things – you need to give each action a purpose, a reason why it’s worth doing. This will help you realise the value in what you’re doing, instead of feeling like you’re stuck to a routine that doesn’t mean anything to you.
Learn to love discipline
Easier said than done, but let us tell you… it’s the best thing you can do for yourself.
The word discipline has bad connotations, so let’s get it straight: discipline is all about pre-deciding and following through. If you’ve already decided you will go to gym in the morning, you don’t have to make the decision again the next morning – simple, right?
The hard part is learning to follow through, and that’s all about respecting your pre-determined decisions. But don’t worry, discipline is just another muscle that you can work on.
Find your right environment
In what environment do you tend to follow through? Is it when you’ve made a plan for the morning, is it when you’ve premade your breakfast the night before?
Experts also say that when it comes to forming habits, environmental triggers are one of the most important factors. You need to know what kind of circumstances allow you to fail, and when they allow you to succeed. This helps you clearly see what decisions you need to make, so that you follow through.
Take it one step at a time
If you’re new to the whole routine thing – take it slow. You’ll have a hard time trying to focus on 10 new things at a time, so there’s no need to make 10 changes all at once. Impossible! Start by choosing one thing to focus on, even if it’s just drinking a glass of water when you wake up. Once you’ve mastered your chosen habit, extend the roster. We all start somewhere!
Don’t indulge in feeling guilty
There’s something really powerful about starting something new – and it’s that you believe that you can do it.
However, one of the most common issues when it comes to setting up a good routine or changing habits, is feeling guilty. When we fail (notice the ‘when’, not ‘if’), we go straight to feeling guilty, when actually we need to stay as far away from guilt as possible.
Punishing yourself because you ‘failed’ will set you back further because guilt makes you believe that you can’t do it, and you lose that initial excitement. You need to keep believing that you can do it, and the best way to do that is to leave guilt at the door. It’s simply not invited.
If you take these key points onboard, you’ll definitely be set up for success.
We can’t guarantee you’ll wake up tomorrow following your perfect routine, in fact we don’t want you to! It’s just like a weight loss or weight gain journey - you can’t have it all tomorrow, but you can start somewhere.