Everyone has routines, whether they like to admit it or not. The same things that they do every day become habits, and those habits are like little hinges upon which big doors swing.
Routines can be a source of comfort and stability in an otherwise unstable environment and a welcome stress relief for us during the day. In this post, I’ll share with you my morning routine and how you can create one for yourself.
Our routines, like I said above have the power to become habits, and those habits major parts of our business or personal growth. It’s why my wife stays fit, because she goes to the gym every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and has for years.
My morning routine starts the night before
I find that I am most productive in the morning, so I’m a lark if you follow chronotypes and the like. I’m least productive in the afternoon after lunch. Typically I will want to take a short nap to recover and recharge for the rest of the evening. When it gets late though, I have been known to get a burst of creativity or want to stay up late finishing some task for a project. I have had to get into the habit of shutting down in the evening. Which is where my morning routine starts.
At 9:30pm I have an alarm that goes off to tell me to shutdown and prepare for bed. Ideally, I do the following:
- Change into my pajamas
- Read a Proverb from the Bible
- Complete a daily entry in my Full Focus Journal
- Brush teeth and “hit the head”
- Step on the scale to find out my evening weight
- Take some Melatonin
- Get in bed
- Put my Airpods in and listen to choral music
- Set an alarm
- Go to sleep
I know that if I do those things then I’m going to be able to get enough rest to start my day correctly, so my Morning Routine actually starts the night before.
My actual Morning Routine
This week, the week of August 26th, I have made it my goal to wake up at 6:00AM every day. I set my alarm for 6 AM. The app I use is called Pillow and it tracks a lot of things. Mostly it shows me how well it thinks I slept the night before.
Here is the rest of my morning routine:
- Wake up at 6:00AM
- Hit the Head
- Step on the scale to know my morning weight
- Create a new food log entry in Evernote and record my morning weight
- From 6:00am-6:30am it’s my morning “quiet time” (I’m currently reading through I Corinthians)
- 6:30am-7:00am I have breakfast (1/2 cup cooked oats, apple, hard boiled egg)
- 7:00am-8:ooam I will write my daily blog post
- 8:00am-8:30am Shower and get ready for work
- 8:45 leave for my job.
By then I will have consumed 2 12 ounce cups of coffee to ensure that I’m adequately caffeinated for the day. During breakfast I might ask Alexa, “What’s in the news” and or to start my day and scroll through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
By doing these things I have accomplished a couple things. First, I have connected with God. Second, I have established awareness of my weight and health. Third, I have created something and published for my business and career.
My morning routine still needs work
My morning routine isn’t perfect, but it’s close. Soon, I will want to add some sort of workout in the morning to get my body moving and a little sweat going. It used to be years ago that I would get up, hit the elliptical for about thirty minutes, do some strength training, and then vocal exercises, and then writing, but that was a different part of life then. Mostly, if I could add a little cardio in my morning I think I would be good. I’m not yet to the level of getting up at 5am to go to the gym like my CrossFit loving wife does.
There are other routines I need to establish
In this post I’ve covered my evening routine and my morning routine. As a user of Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner, he outlines that there are four routines in the day: a morning routine, a workday startup, a workday shutdown, and an evening routine that one should do every day.
The ones I need to develop are my workday routines, but in my current role I don’t think there’s much call for those at the moment. Years ago I remember working for a company and I did really well with this. That at 4:15 I would shut down the office and write down the things I needed to do the next day, when I would get those done, and tidy up my desk, turn off the lights, and head home. I would get to work the next day with my day already planned so I would hit the ground running. After I’ve had my coffee of course!
Why routines are important
I think the most important reason routines are important is that they help you almost automatically achieve certain things in your life. If I want to write a book then I should write 1,000 words a day for a sustained period of time. Creating a writing routine with that in mind is a great way to help with that.
They also serve as markers throughout the day and help you establish margin and accountability. It’s easy to let your day expand with responsibilities and tasks but with routines and schedules you can say “No!” to things that aren’t important.
In this post I’ve shared that my morning routine actually begins in the evening, and what I do every morning to set myself up for success. I’ve also shared with you the applications and tools I use to track my completions, Pillow, Evernote, and the Full Focus Planner, and Full Focus Journal. I have more work to do to perfect my routines but it’s a work in progress.
What are your current routines in your day? What’s your morning look like for you? How has this post helped you with yours? Let us know in the comments below.