Making the most of your morning is one of the best ways to start your day off right. I used to be a morning person, but my thyroidectomy and subsequent radioactive iodine treatment left me lethargic, constantly fatigued and quite frankly, dazed. As I reclaimed my life, creating a morning routine that incorporated my needs (such as taking my medication) and my wants (a meditation practice) was a powerful shifter. A morning routine also helps eliminate some of the energy that goes into simply having to make a decision. It stores that energy for decisions that need to be made later in the day.
Creating a routine is about doing the same thing, every day and taking pleasure in that routine. Here are some key steps to help you get started, without overwhelm.
1. Figure out what is most important to you.
Figure out what is truly important to you at this time and why it is a priority. I had so many ideas of things I wanted to do and found it challenging to pinpoint what my priorities were. Once I sat down and reflected on what my biggest goals were, it was easier to see how I needed to allocate time to this. One of my goals continues to be having great mental health and this means blocking off time for this in my morning. Spend some time reflecting on this, it’s well worth it.
2. Pick two items or activities you are going to incorporate in the morning.
Or if that seems too daunting, then even just one is a good start. I started small, doing a coconut oil pull every morning. Then I added on having a good breakfast every morning. Once I had that down, I added in a short 15 minute morning meditation. It’s about building on progress so that you keep growing. My therapist at the time helped me see this and what a breakthrough because I was actually trying to do everything at once which was of course overwhelming. Since then, I've seen so many others struggle with the same problem of taking on too much at once.
3. Schedule the chosen activities in - in 30 minute slots.
Scheduling the activity in in the morning makes sure it gets done and means that this is a priority. Think in 30 minute chunks of time. I know that I want to get physical activity in and it’s better for me to do this in the morning. Otherwise, after work, my mind will make excuses that I’m tired or that I’ve already worked hard for the day. It's important to know how the mind gremlins in your head take over and stay ahead of them by scheduling this non-negotiable time for you.
4. Track your morning routine somehow -write or draw it but make it real.
There are a number of online habit trackers that are great. I’ve personalized mine and incorporate it into my bullet journal. Everyone is different so your routine should be tailored for your day, priorities and life. But make sure you write it down and have this routine visible and in front of you.
5. Be gentle with yourself through this process.
Cultivating a morning routine that works for you takes time and repetition. I don't get in my physical activity every single morning and that’s okay. But the next day, I start over with intention.
6. Remember to revisit your routine.
I revisit my morning routine once a month (sometimes more often) to check in about what’s been working, what hasn’t been and whether there are any changes that I need to make.
7. Recommit to your morning practice.
I also like to take the opportunity at the beginning of every month (or whenever you choose) to recommit to my morning routine, remind myself why I started this in the first place and celebrate how far I’ve come.
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