Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and it knocks you clean off your stride. Sinead getting sick and ending up in hospital was just one of those things. She’s been back in hospital once since then and it’s a very scary time. During the process, I didn’t realise that bit by bit I’ve been abandoning the habits that I’ve spent the previous 6 months building up. Meditation, running, eating healthy, cold showers…. the list goes on. Each one dropping off the radar without me even noticing. The crazy thing is, having these things in my life allowed me to handle the situation so much better than I would have done a couple of years ago, but the mind and habits so rarely follow logic.
If I look back to when my life started to improve dramatically, it was when I inadvertently started a morning routine. It was simply getting half an hour early and walking the dog, but that was the catalyst that lead to me bringing all of those other life changing habits into my daily life.
So after a weekend in London I’ve started up my morning routine again. Last Monday was the first day and I know already that I’ve now restarted the most powerfull tool I have in self improvement.
The idea of a morning routine is fairly simple. You set your alarm earlier than normal, get up and then you start the day but doing one or more things that are important to you.This is your time so you make sure you do things that will have a massive impact on your life. Don’t check emails, or get ahead on your work but use this time on yourself. If you’re looking to build habits then this is the perfect time. You have a trigger (your alarm), you have uninterrupted time so building habits becomes fairly easy. Adding more habits is really easy as you can just stack them on top of each other using the previous one as a trigger.
So my morning routine is as follows
To insure success, I find its best to start the evening before. Get any equipment that you need ready (for me it’s my running/dog walking clothes), set the alarm and throw an incantation in before you go to sleep, if you swing that way. I merely let me self know that I’m going to get the perfect amount of sleep for me to wake up, alive, invigorated, focused and that when my alarm goes off I will turn it off and get out of bed in one motion (this saves me from being sucked into a morning snuggle which will guarantee I go back to sleep).
- Turn off alarm and get out of bed in one motion
- Dress in the clothes i’ve already laid out
- Pour a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon
- Go to the office and read/visualise goals and read affirmations while drinking my water
- Run or walk with the dog
- Microwave a mug of water for a minute add salt and bring it upstairs to use with my neti
- Cold shower
- Breakfast and juice
- Back to office to journal for 10 minutes
- 25 minute pomodoro on Feganegg.
That’s my morning routine in detail. It takes about 2 hours in total, during which time my phone is in aeroplane mode. Now there’s a lot being covered there and 2 hours is a fair bit of time but when i started I just got up half an hour early to walk the dog. The other bits have been stacked on top over the course of 18 months and each of them makes a huge difference to how the rest of my day goes.
Take a minute to pick one habit or hobby that you’ve always wanted to start, write it down, set your alarm and start tomorrow. This is a gift that no one else has the power to give you, it’s free and can literally change your life for the better.