What do you do in the morning? Is your introduction to the day mostly moaning and groaning about even having to get out of bed? Are you irritated and crabby, over-tired, stressed about your daily responsibilities, or just want to stay asleep? Or are your mornings pleasant and peaceful, with appreciation for the new day in front of you? Are you excited to see what the day has in store?
Or are your mornings often something like this?
If you do not have a morning routine–something that helps to get you going in full anticipation for the day–consider getting this routine in motion. There is a purpose for routine actions in our lives, as this helps us to maintain some mental, emotional, and physical balance to be prepared to conquer our days. Think for a moment about something in your life that is routine, that you could describe in detail because you do it so often. It is predictable, right? You know what to expect (most of the time), right? The action produces fairly consistent feelings too, right?
A morning routine was not always my thing. I am the type of person who requires a lot of sleep to function. I think my sleep-bank must be refilled at least monthly, because I go through regular cycles where I am exhausted and need more sleep. So, I sleep in, go to bed early, take naps, whatever my body tells me to do to meet the sleep-bank requirement. But, regardless of my sleep patterns, I do have a predictable morning routine that helps me get my mind “right” for the day. Now that I have been practicing this routine for several years, I know what I feel like if I do not go through the motions:
- Take a shower and get dressed. This is essential for me, especially when I may be tempted to be in my pajamas all day on a Saturday, or do not feel like getting dressed because I know my toddler is going to put his little grimy sticky hands on my clothes. But I still do it! Why? Because it changes my mindset from asleep-to-awake, and then I feel human.
- COFFEE! If you aren’t a coffee drinker, I feel sorry for you. Just joking, maybe you drink tea, juice, water, protein shake, or whatever you need to get your body going for your brain to talk to your body and say, “I’m up!”. Personally, I need a cup of coffee, and relatively soon after I am up.
- Breakfast. It is true that this is the most important meal of the day. Of course, this has required many years of skipping breakfast for this acknowledgment, but hey, I know now that without breakfast, I am winding down and cranky by noon. And going to sleep at noon is not part of my routine.
These are the three things that help me to get going in the morning. There are other things that I may add into the mix, but I cannot even focus on those things unless these three things are accomplished first. My routine may be very different from yours, which is fine. I am not here to suggest that my routine wins gold. However, in order to positively prepare ourselves for the trials and challenges of our days, the morning routine becomes significant. It is our platform for positive thinking and is able to help reduce anxiety and stress as the day unfolds.
So, why is a morning routines so important? Imagine if you just rolled out of bed and tried to tackle your day, with no personal recalibration at all. See, this is exactly what routines do for us, they calibrate our thoughts and well-being, keeping us on track. Now, not every routine is pleasant or desirable, but we still need them. If we just aimlessly walked around attempting to meet our daily and long-term goals without any routine or consistent behaviors, how long would it take us to feel defeated? Not too long…
If you want to get in shape, diet and exercise is crucial, and must be consistent, right? SO, you need a routine to meet this goal. If you are a student and aim for high grades, you have to study regularly, right? SO, you need a routine to also meet this goal. If you want to start keeping your home cleaner and neat, you have to keep it up everyday, right? SO, you need a routine to maintain your home goal. Routines are necessary even for the common, everyday things we want to do.
Routines are also important for a positive thought life. In order to generate positive thinking, we have to practice this on a daily (even hourly or by the minute) basis. We have to get in the habit of removing toxins from our minds and words, and this, my friends, requires consistent, regular, persistent, and ROUTINE behavior!
Start with just one routine, the morning routine. Then see if the beginning of the day has a positive impact on the remainder of the day. Then look at other routines in your life and determine if they are working well for you or need modification. Are any routines in your life promoting negative thinking? If so, these will require your immediate attention.
Remember, every moment of everyday does not have to be routine, fact is, it is very good for us to switch things up sometimes. But if you do not have some general routines in your life, think about how this might impacts your thoughts and feelings. Consider that without a routine, or several, many of your goals and dreams may be unreachable.
A routine is habitual behavior for our ordinary, everyday lives. We all have them, but how often do we stop and assess their function and purpose?