Hello, friends! I'm Jessica and this is The Reclamation, a twice monthly publication from Meridian Integrative Wellness that Inspires Courageous Action for Inside Out Healing.
Is your current morning routine working for you? As we move toward shorter days and darker mornings, how you start your day will have a big impact on what you can accomplish each day; your morning literally sets the tone for your entire day!
If you struggle at any point throughout the day, chances are you may be able to trace those difficulties back to the choices you made (or didn’t make) in the morning.
The key to a great morning routine is to intentionally design one that works for you.
There are endless recommendations available (a simple Google search will prove this point), but not all tips work for everyone.
Today I’m sharing a general framework, rooted in behavior modification, for designing your optimal morning routine. By choosing to modify your behavior intentionally, you will see results and build new habits in the process. (My health coaching clients are certainly familiar with behavior modification!)
When creating a morning routine, you will consider the following:
- What do you want to accomplish in the morning?
- How will you accomplish those tasks/goals?
- What are the potential obstacles preventing you from completing a successful morning routine?
Set Your Intention for Your Morning
What are you trying to accomplish by building a morning routine? Is it making mornings run smoother for your family on the way to school and work? Is it waking up earlier to have more time to meet personal goals before moving on with your day? Do you want to incorporate more wellness practices into your life, and mornings are the best time to do them?
Whatever your motivation or intention is, get very clear about your objective. This will help you figure out what your best morning routine looks like.
Determine the Steps Necessary for a Successful Morning Routine
We all know the saying, “Failing to plan is planning to fail,” and the same concept applies here. If you want to have a great morning routine, you will need to make a plan.
Consider specific practices that you’ve heard or read about. Which will serve you well to help you meet your goals for the morning? For example, if your goal is to incorporate more wellness practices into your routine, then meditation, journaling, or yoga may be great additions to your morning.
Pre-determining your morning steps will help you prioritize tasks and minimize decision fatigue. Over time, this practice will help you fall into your morning rhythm easily to maximize the benefits of your routine. If you find that some or all of your routine doesn’t work quite right, you can adjust it until it’s just right for you. That means growth may be slow, but that’s okay!
Identify and Remove Any Barriers to Success
Once you’ve decided what your morning routine should look like, identify anything that could prevent you from completing your routine. If your goal is to wake up earlier, a potential barrier is going to bed late or not getting quality sleep the night before. If you intend to include some form of exercise, then a barrier might be not laying out your workout clothes and shoes the night before so they are easily accessible.
Consider one other possible barrier to success: YOU. How can you you-proof your morning routine? Decide now to hold yourself accountable to NOT do certain actions that will sabotage your efforts in this area, such as staying up too late, hitting snooze, not preparing in advance, etc. This is where your commitment to change through behavior modification will make or break you: are you REALLY willing to make the necessary changes to improve your life?
Pro-Tip: Habit Stacking
Consider stacking your morning tasks with one or more daily habits you already have established. We've talked about this before — this process is called habit-stacking. When you piggyback multiple habits, starting one habit usually means you'll complete the entire series of habits. For example, when you get out of bed in the morning, your habit stack may look like making your bed, brushing your teeth, getting dressed in workout clothes, and completing your workout.
Don't forget that repetition is important here! Building good habits requires showing up and completing your routine regularly, so the habits become ingrained in you. Alas, your behavior has been modified for your betterment!
Put it into Practice
Now it's time to take your insight/ learning from today and turn it into action! Grab your journal and answer the following questions:
- Why would a morning routine be beneficial for you? (be specific)
- What do you want your morning routine to look like?
- What are potential barriers to your success in this area?
- How will you overcome those barriers? (be specific)
Pick up your journal and write out your answers OR share your thoughts with other people— OR EVEN BETTER, do both. Sure, you could just think about how you'll take action. But I STRONGLY urge you to talk to another human about it or leave a comment below because sharing your thoughts and ideas with others helps to build momentum, excitement, and insight. And— it leads to more action! Which is precisely why you're here, you want to make some
Now until next time, here's what you can do: Schedule a free discovery call to see if health coaching would be beneficial for you. If you're confused about what action steps you should take to move you toward more complete well-being, that just happens to be my specialty. I help folks sift through dreams, desires, priorities, and obligations to determine exactly what that "next right thing" is. Action steps. Forward focused planning.
This is work that I do every day with my health coaching clients, and I'd be more than happy to talk with you if you need help in reclaiming balance in your life. Here are more details on health coaching: what I do and how I do it.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll catch you next time!