Food for Thought

My Morning Routine

planner2

Over the next month, I plan to implement a regular morning routine. Since graduating from college last May, I’ve gotten in a bad habit of not waking up in the morning. I’ve never been much of a “natural” morning person. If I wake up early in the morning, I enjoy it immensely, especially watching the sunrise, but waking up before 9:00am is not my natural tendency. I’m more of a night owl. My creativity tends to kick in at night, I get carried away with what I’m doing and before I know it, it’s 1 a.m…oops. 

However, everything I’ve read and researched shows the benefits of waking up in the morning and going to bed earlier at night on a regular basis. So, I am determined to kick this habit!

The reason I developed the habit of not waking up in the morning is due to several different factors. Like I said, it really started after I graduate last May. Since then, I haven’t had 8 a.m. classes to wake up for. I’m currently working on my Masters degree, but my classes are online and have an asynchronous schedule. Don’t get me wrong, I actually love taking my classes online because of the nature of my degree (Arts Administration) and the fact that I didn’t have to move to pursue graduate school. Another factor, I pretty much create my own schedule for work. Working for a youth choir organization, we have rehearsals at night, two nights a week. The work I do during the day is on my own laptop computer, and the time I spend “in the office” is in the afternoons before rehearsals. So, I’m not waking up for a daily work schedule. All of these factors, combined with my natural tendency to sleep, has created this little habit. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right? 

My hope is, by implementing a morning routine, I will feel the positive results and have the self-motivation to follow through.

The first step toward progress has been to regularly go to bed earlier. My new year resolution was to go to bed every night between 10 and 11 p.m. For about two weeks now, I’ve been able to keep this going, which is very exciting! (The only time I didn’t make this was on a Friday night after being at the movies). Naturally, I think waking up earlier should be easier when I’m going to bed earlier, but that hasn’t exactly been the case. Then again, I haven’t been working very hard at actually waking up on the first alarm.

Also, besides going to bed earlier, I haven’t really been setting myself up for success. Setting yourself up for success is key…especially for those of us who have a hard time motivating ourselves to do things we don’t enjoy. 

Today, I laid out the elements of my ideal morning routine.

  1. Wake up on the first alarm! (7:00 a.m.)
  2. Bible reading–15 min.
  3. Yoga–20 min.
  4. Meditation/Prayer–10 min.
  5. Breakfast–15 min.
  6. Shower/Get dressed–45 min.
  7. Make coffee–5 min.
  8. Planner check–10 min.

Total time: 2 hours

Then, I went down the list and estimated how much time each activity may take and why each thing is important for me to include. The most important thing to me is to start my day with God and center my focus. This starts by spending time in my Bible, spending time in prayer, and spending time waking up my mind and body. Right now, because I’m waking up late, I don’t take the 45 minutes to do this. This is the most important aspect or my morning I feel needs to change.

Skipping down to #5, I’ll eat my breakfast, get dressed for the day, make my coffee, and then sit down to check my planner and begin the rest of my day. These are elements I tend to already do. I certainly never start my day without my coffee moment!

coffee

As I mentioned before, I must set myself up for success. This includes continuing to go to bed earlier, and perhaps plugging my phone in across the room instead of having it on my nightstand. ha. But, this also includes not expecting myself to implement this routine perfectly from now on. Over the course of the next month, my goal is to have this routine in place. That means adding elements little by little. I’ll start by focusing on waking up on my first alarm and immediately doing my bible reading. After that, I’ll add yoga, then meditation, etc.

Everyone’s morning routine looks a bit different. I may end up modifying this list as I see what will work best for me. Ultimately, the idea is to have a routine in place I stick to which helps my day get off on a rich and productive start.

Do you have a morning routine? 

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