Yesterday my morning did not start well. I woke up feeling okay but then as soon as the children woke up and the day really began, I very quickly morphed into the grouchy, dissatisfied, annoyed by life version of myself. I am confident that this is mainly because yesterday instead of following my regular routine, I decided to just lie in bed for a while before spending the precious early minutes before the children woke up scrolling aimlessly through facebook…
Yesterday’s setback reminded me how far I have come and how precious and important my morning routine is. I first thought about establishing a morning routine when I read about it in Crystal Paine’s book ‘Say goodbye to survival mode’. She suggests getting up earlier and using the extra time to reflect and work towards your goals. I already got up at 6:00 so I pushed the alarm back to 5:30 for a while and now I have conditioned myself to get up at 5:15. Some days I bounce right out of bed and some days I literally throw myself out of the side of the bed to accomplish this. Either way I know my day will be better if I do it. Step 1: Get up early
The second thing that makes my morning is coffee. Plain and simple. Having the time to sit and drink my morning coffee without rushing around getting ready for work or tending to the children because I have woken up early feels like a luxury and is often enough in itself to set my internal barometer to sunny. Step 2: Coffee
Silence. When everyone is awake, my house is noisy. We like music, we like the TV and have a recurring soundtrack that forms a backdrop to our daily living. I think this is why I love the quiet of the morning when only I am awake. I can hear the ferry calling out to sea, early traffic in the distance and occasional birdsong but it is quiet and peaceful and makes me feel the same. Step 3: Embrace the quiet.
When I was a child, I always wanted to be the kind of person who kept a diary but I failed miserably. I am pleased to say that as an adult, I have finally embraced this habit. A few months after we arrived in New Zealand I decided to start a journal. I could feel myself slowly transforming. I was healthier, better able to cope with the minutiae of everyday life and I wanted to track my thoughts and feelings. I don’t write in it everyday but a few times each week I write my gratitude lists, I reaffirm my goals and I report to myself how I am feeling. I often spend my quiet time looking back over my journal and reading my own thoughts and ideas and doing so always gives me a boost as I am reminded how far I have come and where it is I am heading. Step 4: Take the time to do something you love.
That brings me to Step 5. Start the day off as you mean to go on. I recently started doing 10 minute chunks of exercise because one of my 2016 goals is to improve my overall health. What I have found is that the earliest hours of the day sets the tone for how my day will unfold. If I want to be healthier I need to start the day off with some exercise because I know from experience that I am more likely to eat a healthy breakfast’,take the stairs rather than the lift and drink glasses of water, if I have signalled to myself from the start of the day that my health is important.
Following these very simple 5 steps ensures my morning gets off to the best start possible. It really amazes me how much better I feel when I manage each one. If you have never established a morning routine like this, maybe give it a try and see if it can make a difference for you too!
The 5 steps are so simple but each points towards something important. Taking the time for yourself. Signalling to yourself that you are important and investing in yourself with the precious gift of time.