Tag Archives: new year

THE MORNING ROUTINE

This New Year’s, I heard about the “morning routine” on three different levels, a one-two-three punch, if you will, that helped me to re-engineer it in a way that today, 14 days, two weeks, into the new year of 2016, I’m feeling like if I did this for 351 more days, I’d be pretty damn unstoppable! Firstly, I read “the School of Greatness” which I blogged about in my last post – please feel free to read.  In it, Howes emphasizes the importance of setting up a routine, no matter what it is, and advises that it include certain key components.  I chose from his list of recommended components and came up with the following commitment to my morning routine: journaling/free-writing/ setting up day, prayer/ visualization, yoga/forearm work.  Let me further break these down: journaling/ free-writing/ setting up day:  This is simply opening up a journal, old school or new school (I personally use the DayOne free e-journal) and writing what’s on your mind for a few minutes.  I find it cathartic to write my thoughts and emotions out and find that it gets my head cleared out and my shoulders unweighted.  After I do that for anywhere for 5-20 minutes, I write out my day’s main to-do’s and plug them in on my calendar. yoga/forearm work: Many people build their workout right into their morning, but since I teach classes, I enjoy pairing another workout with my classes later on in the day.  However, I do have a goal to be able to do a forearm stand and I heard that I should do a few minutes of practice every day, so I decided to guarantee it gets done by building it in to the morning.  I have a nice amount of space when I fold my murphy bed that becomes my insta-yoga-studio!.  I lay my mat out and do a few vinyasas, poses, stretches, etc and when I feel warm enough, I’ll start kicking up into inversions.  I was scared at first that I would fall over, smash into the walls, etc, but I’m more comfortable now and doing it in my apartment it actually the best way to guarantee it gets done. visualization/prayer: By the time I’m done trying inversions, I’m usually warm and a bit sweaty, so it’s the perfect time to go into a child’s pose and then a little meditation.  I relax in a sitting position, close my eyes, and start some visualization.  If visualization is a practice shared between Olympic athletes and business greats alike, I’m sold.  In the School of Greatness, they talk about imagining the feel, the sound, the taste and smell, even, of your achieved goal.  It’s mandated HD daydreaming!  After this very enjoyable exercise, I get into prayer, praying over others, giving thanks, seeking answers, and simply having time with God.  It’s the perfect end to the perfect start to a new day. Around the same time that I was reading the School of Greatness, I came across Michael Hyatt’s podcast on “How to Become a Morning Person.” He was talking about what it takes to really get up early and take charge your day with the first step being “throw away the ‘I’m not a morning person’ story.”  He’s got some great tips so listen to it here: but what stuck out for me was the importance of protecting your evening in order to ensure your morning.  So, for example, if I want to be up at 7am with 7 hours of sleep under my belt, then I should be asleep by midnight and so I start getting ready for bed at 11pm.  11pm is the mark for shutting everything down and saying, “no more, I will pick it up tomorrow. ” Sounds practical, but up until this point, I was traveling down a slippery slope of allowing that “bed time” to creep later and later for no good reasons: watching silly videos, doing work, watching silly videos, etc.  Michael Hyatt breathed a very realistic reminder into my brain and I’ve been sticking with it. Finally, I went to church service on the first Sunday of the New Year and their message was about “Giving God the first part of your:______”  The blanks were filled in with “my day, my week, my relationships, & my energy”  The way these translate are:
  • my day: quiet time in the mornings
  • my week: church attendance on Sundays
  • my relationships: sharing God in your relationships
  • my energy: serving God
Again, this theme of starting the day properly with a morning routine that protects everything that’s important to you to “self-care” and “put your mask on first” was just another great reminder. Btw, I did not do this perfectly for the past 14 days.  I certainly had mornings where I mussed up or had to leave so early I didn’t get it in, and all that showed me was the cost.  Those days, in particular, were not as peaceful, not as fruitful as the days in which the morning routine was paid time and attention.  On the days when I implemented my routine, literal miracles were allowed to occur in my day – those days were not only peaceful and effective, they were miraculous.  And the correlation is uncanny.  I am so sure that when I leave the house having written, prayed, moved, & doing what I deemed important for me, all things go better. And so, I hope that if you’re in need of a morning routine, that you’ll pull something out of my experience.   The first step is designing (or re-designing) your routine, the next step is protecting it to ensure it takes place, and the third step is doing it consistently.  Go ahead and bon voyage!