In his book, Atomic Habits James Clear said, we're only as good as the systems that run our lives! And the one system you must have to feel productive and on top of your life is a morning routine.— a morning routine.
Routines are a set of smaller habits — all of which, like coffee — help you to be more productive and in control of your day.
Morning routines work because how we start our day influences the rest of it.
Here are 3 tips to help you start a morning routine that you are going to want to stick to.
Tip One: Visualize A Better Morning
Think about how you're now waking up and getting ready for your day. Then imagine how you would rather spend that time.
Do you imagine you're not rushed? Maybe you're alert and enjoy walking the dog at 6:30. Do you feel more positive and energetic? Think about this for as long as you'd like — for minutes or days.
Next, think about what 3 things would give you this desired experience.
It doesn't need to come to you right away.
Here's what you do: From now on, begin to observe yourself inside your morning routine. Pay attention to what's not working. The 3 things you add to your morning should fill a need or provide a benefit.
Tip Two: Keep it Simple
Don't make the rookie mistake of trying to start with a 90-minute routine or a complicated one. If the routine is too much for you to handle, it won't last or have the benefit of making your mornings run smoother.
Think small changes.
I recommend that you start with no more than three things and keep your new routine around 30 minutes long.
Tip Three: Focus on Building Energy
When you think of what to do during your new morning routine, consider what you do now, and how to anchor the new habits to them.
For example, like most people, one of the first things you probably do is go to the bathroom. Consider what you do before and after going to the bathroom, or within the first 5-10 minutes, and how you can create your first chain of habits for that block of time.
New habit 1
Existing habit: Use the bathroom
New habit 3
Think through your morning in 15-minute blocks of time and stitch together 2-3 activities to do during each block of time.
Let's look at what that might look like for you:
First 15 minutes:
Meditate or read an affirmation in bed *
Go to the bathroom
Second 15 minutes:
Go for a walk around your neighborhood *
Third 15 minutes:
Pack your lunch or start getting ready for work while
Listening to a podcast *
Fourth 15 minutes:
Add nothing new, but streamline those activities that you're currently doing every morning.
As you can see, only three new items were added to your routine. All will help you feel more positive and energetic.
If you streamline parts of your existing routine, the new energy-building habits you introduce should not add more than 10 minutes to your overall morning routine. But considering that within weeks you will feel so much more productive and alert during the day, you will find those added 10 minutes to be a great trade-off.