April 30, 2020
So you’ve just come up with the perfect morning routine. The question now is, how do you stick to a morning routine?
Everyday, like clockwork, you’re going to get up at 5AM. After a little light stretching, you hit the shower, make your bed, tidy up while the coffee is on (fair trade, vegan, and organic), make a todo list, read for ten minutes, write in your journal, meditate for half an hour, and then start your work for the day.
What a legend.
Unfortunately, if this is the first time you’ve started planning your mornings in advance, an ambitious plan like that will likely fail over the long term. Not because there’s anything wrong with you, but simply because you’re human like the rest of us. And as humans, it’s not easy to change our behavior.
Our brain likes repetition. It likes short term rewards and it hates doing even mildly difficult tasks if there’s no immediate gratification afterwards. Fighting against all of that pre-existing programming is hard. Especially if your mornings haven’t been all that structured in the past. Along the way, you may feel at least a little frustrated as you find yourself falling off the wagon from time to time.
That’s OK. That’s expected.
The key is to get right back on track as soon as you possibly can. Over time, with enough consistent effort put in, your new routine should start to feel more effortless, more… routine. But you need to be patient at the beginning. Sticking to your new habits will get easier.
That said, if you find yourself struggling, here’s a few ways to help make your new habits stick.
Once you’ve come up with the perfect morning routine, we highly recommend you write each step down, in the order you want to complete them in. This is one of the most effective ways to ensure you get everything done. Even on those days when all you want to do is crawl back into bed.
Take the list a step further by scheduling each habit with your calendar. Start with the time you want to wake up, and then create events for every step of your new routine. This can help if you find that while you get everything done, you’re often dragging your feet and struggling to move from one task to the next.
An accountability partner is someone who knows what you’re trying to accomplish and pushes you to do so. They’re someone you trust, who you’re comfortable sharing both your successes and failures with. Check in with this person, and let them know (honestly) how well you’re sticking to your new goals. You’ll find that simply by having someone to report to, you’ll be far more externally motivated to make your morning routine stick.
Hopefully these ideas help you create a powerful new morning routine that sets you up for success day after day. In addition to all the advice and tools listed above, we wanted to mention once again how important it is to start small.
Give yourself tiny, achievable goals while you’re just starting out. If you want to meditate for 20 minutes every day, maybe try five minutes during the first two weeks. If you can do that consistently, without missing a single day, then try ten.
Basically, you never want this to feel like so much work that you’re constantly fighting with yourself when it comes time to actually do any of it. Each new habit you create should feel like so little effort (at the beginning) that there’s simply no excuse to not do them.
Over time, you’ll grow that small habit until you’re waking up each morning and running through a routine full of tasks that make you happier, healthier, and more productive.