So, Ya Wanna Start a Morning Routine?

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Why You've Failed Before, and How to Finally Nail Your Morning Routine

Have you tried getting a morning routine going, but just couldn’t make it stick? We’ve all done it…read a post about how good meditating is for us, bought a yoga mat thinking “This is the time!”, set the alarm clock for 1 hour earlier to begin writing in that nice new hard bound journal you picked up last trip downtown, yadda yadda yadda. Yet here we sit…not doing these things. Sure some of us pick up the new routine for a little spell….a week, a few months even. But life, right?! Well, guess what doll…you’re not alone.

Watch Out For Pitfalls...

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 My goal here isn’t to pump you up and get ya pumped up to try the new Tim Ferris morning routine. My goal is to let ya know it’s all part of the process. To make any change, big or small, usually takes multiple attempts. Multiple attempts would inherently mean you’ve had multiple failures. Yup… I’ve said it…failures. But listen up buttercup…these were good failures. I’m sure you at least learned a thing or two of how NOT to do your new thing. At the very least, you now know if you do x,y, and z it leads to what you got. Take whatever nuggets

of knowledge you can squeeze out of what you did those other times and reflect on them. Don’t do the usual…sit in pity and denial and eat bonbons till you’re enough days past it to not think about it anymore. I’m giving you permission to think all about it. You need to. You’ll get to a place inside yourself that will recognize the previous pitfalls from a mile away if you do. If you can get there, you can easily sidestep most of these as well as be on the watch for other potential roadblocks. 

Sometimes it's only one piece missing from the puzzle...

 You’ve tried to do whatever it is you’re attempting to do, learn, or become and you know the results. I’m sure you’ve read all the how-to manuals, taken a $97 online course, and Googled the idea dozens of times. One big roadblock to why the failure may have happened is the simple lack of tools in the toolbox. If all you have is a screwdriver and wrench, but have to hammer a nail into the wall to hang a new clock, wouldn’t you get online and order a hammer for same-day delivery? Then, all of the sudden, your tool kit has grown by 50%! Bring this idea into any other area of life where you’re struggling and the successes will begin to mount. These tools needed, however, are sometimes a bit more obscure and less obvious than simply needing a yoga mat to add to the elusive morning routine. 

The future you isn't who you think they are...

 Let’s continue with the yoga example…mentally skip ahead, oh i dunno…66 days. (Studies have shown it takes this long for a new behavior to become a habit.) The You on this day is fitter, leaner, and thinking more clearly. We would all be blowing up Instagram on the regs if all it took was buying a slick-looking yoga mat. The key lies behind your self-identity on day 66. You’ve become someone who does yoga. It’s now part of what you do. It’s deeply ingrained, and is now the cornerstone of your morning routine. In social settings, casual conversations, water cooler talks, you drop lines about your yoga routine with pride. And rightfully so.

Beau and Daddy

Morning routines are a hack, not a cheat...

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So what does this future form of you 66 days from now do differently? Maybe they have cleared a certain block of their day which is now their yoga time. Say, right before leaving for work in the morning. Clearing this block is now a new tool in the tool kit. Maybe they brought a friend into the mix with them who has like minded goals. Being accountable to someone else on things is surprisingly effective in keeping you aligned with your plan. Maybe they have laid out their workout clothes the night before to make the session easier to get started. Another tool right there.  According to James Clear’s book Atomic Habits (highly recommended!), the easier you make it to do the task by removing potential obstacles, the higher chance it will get done each time. Vise versa, if you’re trying to stop doing a certain something, inserting obstacles in the way of beginning the unwanted task makes it less likely you’ll do it. So simple, yet so overlooked by us all.

A new morning routine for a new you...

 So now that you’ve got your yoga mat unrolled and out of the corner, your water bottle chilling in the fridge, add to it whatever else you can find that will make it way too easy to get it going tomorrow. With these things in place, it would be easier for you to just get it done than to find a way out of it. If you continue on this way for a long enough times repeatedly, you’ll develop the habit and persona needed to make it stick. 

Let's keep it going...

Check out my article The #1 Habit Change Tip for some help on getting the Scooby Snack ball rolling. 

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