Starting a morning routine

So, one of the tips on getting rid of Busyness was to start a morning routine. It was pretty good timing that I’d just finished Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning.

For the past few years, I’ve been talking about how I wanted to become a morning person again. (I blame grad school for my wonky hours.) It currently only takes me 20 minutes to get out the door; a <30 minute train ride to work, and I could get away with arriving at a semi-respectable 9:30 AM after waking up at 8:30 AM. But I wanted a more relaxed morning which wasn’t characterized by the frantic-ness that started my day.

So yeah… I got into it.

To be honest, what it prescribes doesn’t seem revolutionary. It told me to wake up an hour earlier than I usually would, and do six things:

  • S – Silence. I do 10 minutes of meditation using the Headspace app
  • A – Affirmation. I reread an affirmation I’ve written down. I’m not a huge fan where people spout off things like, “I’m the greatest! I’m the best!” so I concentrate on how much I’m growing as a person instead
  • V – Visualisation. I have more focused daydreams about good things I want to happen
  • E – Exercise. I actually do this last, because it’s easier for me to do all the non-active things first. Since I do my “real” exercise routines in the evenings, this is a short 5 minute stretching session to iron the sleepy kinks out
  • R – Reading. I spend ten minutes reading. No, it’s not something related to decluttering, just reading anything
  • S – Scribing. I started a gratitude journal a couple of years ago, but didn’t write in it regularly. I’ve now used this time to make sure I do fill out my gratitude journal

It’s been a little over a week since I started, and I’m proud to say I’ve done it for 9 days now! I’ve been waking up at 7 AM (except for weekends) so I have around an hour to do my morning routine. My goal is to start waking up earlier and earlier, so come tomorrow I’ll be setting the alarm at 6:45 AM.

So how do I feel so far?
I feel pretty good. Look, if you go on Amazon you’ll find a gazillion reviews about people who are raving about this. I’m not at that point, at least not yet. But I’ve noticed that I’ve been more focused, I’ve had more willpower to do things I don’t like doing, and I’ve spent less time procrastinating or wasting time online. I’ve also started sleeping earlier, which is great — I always hated myself when I dropped off at 1 or 2 AM, even on weekdays!

The thing is, it sounds simple, and it is. But what it does, is gives me a psych hack — it primes my day. By getting all that stuff done in the morning, I get a better sense of, “oh, my morning was so productive, I’ve got this” and I feel a renewed sense of energy to tackle the things I have to do.

This is something I’m definitely continuing. I gotta admit, I do get a bit sleepy during the day sometimes, but I’m hoping my body clock should readjust itself in a few weeks. 🙂

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