(Sequel to “Morning Routines: The Benefits are Many” article)
After reading last month’s article, you may feel enticed by the benefits of creating a morning routine while also thinking, “ I know it would be good for me, but do I really want to commit to something like this? What if it’s drudgery…or if it makes me even more stressed out…or if I feel like a failure?”
I have a solution for that – it is the very first step in establishing an awesome, workable morning routine that’s customized just for you:
Make it your own
There is no rule book for this – you are in charge. Yippee! Seriously, I’ve heard people include everything from “a prolonged headstand” to “yodeling.” It’s your routine and yours to customize. So, start there: with one luscious, or wild, or luscious and wild activity that will put your personal seal on your morning routine.
Now move on to these specific steps:
Set an intention
Whether it’s a focus, a vision, a prayer, or a mantra, the idea is to define what you want to experience or “create” as the next 24 hours unfold. I often repeat the word “patience” or “heart wide open” or “calm” to set my day’s intention.
Identify your “to do’s” to tackle
We all have several things we absolutely need to do first thing in the morning. That might include making the bed, taking a certain medication, feeding Fido, or pulling up all of the shades around the house. Make your list of necessary tasks to ensure that your morning routine is grounded in reality and that nothing is missed. And yes, if you must check your texts and emails, that “to do” also goes on the list.
Build-in some self-care
Identify two or three things you will relish experiencing each morning so that you look forward to your new routine. Maybe it’s reading a poem along with your coffee or stretching for ten minutes while jazz plays in the background. It could be getting on your Peloton and taking a quick class or sitting on the porch to listen to the morning’s birdsong. It could even be enjoying an indulgent body wash in the shower. There are so many options, so choose a few!
Fuel for the body
Instead of relying on a haphazard “grab ‘n go” or a “whatever is in the house” approach, be more deliberate. Think about the foods and beverages that energize you and make you feel good from the inside when you start your day with them. The point is to be as intentional about what you consume as you are about other aspects of your morning routine.
Establish the rhythm
Now shift your attention to the pattern you want to establish. If you are a yodeler, is that the very first thing you want to do when you open your eyes? Trust me, there is no judgment here. Maybe setting your intention is first. It is completely up to you. Now start to draft a tentative “schedule” or timetable from the moment you awake, until you shift into another gear for the day. Be sure to approximate the time you’ll need for the specific activities you’ve already identified. Next, give it a try and see how it goes. You may be amazed at how good you feel about taking control of your morning routine. One more thing – don’t hesitate to experiment a little until you find the groove that’s just right for you.