I set myself up for failure without realizing it. Although, looking back, it was quite obvious. I was trying to completely change an entire morning worth of habits. I’m used to snoozing the alarm, meandering through the morning, poking through my phone, feeling groggy and then rushing to get out the door when the time comes.
Here are a few of the reasons I failed at creating a better morning:
- I tried to change too many habits at one time
- I didn’t have a clear purpose or goal
- I didn’t set up any accountability, reward or punishment
- My desired outcome was unclear or too broad
- My plan of action was vague and too difficult to remember
- My focus was scattered among many small, somewhat unimportant things
So, in light of my failure, here’s what I’m going to do to begin building a better morning.
- I’m clarifying my purpose and intentions for the morning. My purpose before was to build a better morning. Pretty vague, right? I want my mornings to bring peace and clarity to the rest of my day. I hope to build good morning habits to build a creative, productive start for my day. My intention is to use my morning to set the mood for the rest of my day. I will do this by focusing my mind in simple ways, like writing, reading and meditation.
- I’m making my routine simpler. Instead of a huge list of things that I want to do in a specific order, I’m focusing on the things that matter most. Those things are waking early (no snooze), writing, religious study, meditation and self-care. I’ll be focusing on improving and implementing one thing at a time over the next few weeks and months.
- I’m creating accountability for myself. I hope that the reward of preparation and inner-peace is enough to motivate me. Just in case I need some extra motivation, I’ll have a “punishment” of sorts if I don’t complete the habit each morning. These may include things like a cold shower, no allowance money, reduction of Internet surfing time, etc. These will vary for each habit, but I think they’ll be enough to motivate me to not forget!
So that is my new morning plan which I will be implementing today and for the next few months. I’m hoping to iterate these habits until I find the recipe that works best for my life. I challenge you to do the same. My new morning plan for now will look something like this:
- Wake up (no snooze)
- Begin no technology time
- Self-care (shower, shave, get dressed, etc.)
- 2-3 min. meditation
- Free writing in notebook
- End no technology time
Obviously there’s a lot of little steps in between, but the three important things I’m focusing on for now are a short mediation, a 10-15 minute writing session and not using my phone or laptop. I’m focusing on these things for now so I can start my mornings off better instead of feeling groggy and rushed.
My Year of Change habits are all about change for the better. I experiment with these different habits so I can learn how to improve my life one day at a time, one habit at a time. I have to make little adjustments here and there to find the best way to change for the better. This morning routine is a perfect example of a habit that needs tiny adjustments every day. Don’t feel bad if you’re struggling like I am. Just figure out what’s working and what isn’t and move forward from there.
Also, if you’d like a great self-guided course to build an awesome morning routine, I highly recommend Courtney Carver’s course, How to Create a Meaningful Morning Routine