Each and every day, you have the power to shift who you are. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you came from, or what you have or haven’t accomplished; a sense of confidence, clarity, and a sense of purpose need to be established, and re-established, on a daily basis.
The problem is we don’t purposefully carve time out every day to progress and improve ourselves on a daily basis. Our time gets lost in the vacuum of our increasingly crowded lives. For the most part, people begin their mornings the same way every day which is triggered immediately by a subconscious cycle. We wake up, pull out our phone, go through the same apps, get out of bed, and go about our day the same way. Our physical body has become our mind — and due to the repetition it has experienced, our body goes through the day in an automatic and subconscious way. We wake up the same way, get ready the same way, go to work the same way, eat the same unhealthy foods, and distract ourselves at work in the same ways.
We’ve been wasting time living out the same experiences, the same emotions, the same patterns of our past over and over again. In this old way, we are living out of our subconscious mind in a never-ending, distracting cycle. Fun. If we want to become someone different, we must cease our habit of living out of survival mode. Instead, we must start being, thinking, and acting in a way that reflects the emotions we want our future self to experience. The way to do this is to design our lives with intention. We must intentionally decide who we want to be, how we want to behave, and how we want our life to look like as a reflection of that intention.
Why You Need a Morning Routine
- You are less stressed or rushed in the morning
- You gain more time
- You are likely to forget less
- You will be more organized
- You will accomplish more
- You take better care of yourself
- You will feel more put together
First, we must understand that our body is a chemical system. Our body seeks to maintain a relative state of chemical equilibrium or homeostasis. Our emotions are a cocktail of chemicals our body has created a habit of producing. Those emotions are tied to our mind, memories, attitudes, and beliefs. Our body becomes our mind because our physical body is an extension of our subconscious mind. And our subconscious mind makes up around 95% of our behavior. We have to decide, very intentionally, who we are going to be every single day. If we don’t make the decision, then our body will make it for us. Our body will go through the same cycle, seeking the same chemicals, experiencing the same emotional states that it has become accustomed to out of habit. Over a long period of time, if you have a habit of experiencing unhealthy, elevated emotional states, you’ve raised your homeostasis to an unhealthy level. That’s why change can be so difficult and emotional. This is magnified tenfold when people introduce alcohol or other chemical substances on a regular basis. That is why we have a habit of pulling out our smartphone first thing in the morning, and throughout the day. Our body has taken over our mind. It is seeking the dopamine chemicals that it has made a habit of producing and experiencing.
Second, we must deliberately design a different daily routine to surprise and then reward our system. When we do something different, our body seeks to reestablish its normal homeostasis. Which is why breaking old habits and forming new ones is so difficult. Our body is literally fighting our willpower. To set ourselves up for success, we must DESIGN success into our life. Which is why we must design a routine do something different every day, then reward ourselves for doing it. I’ll get to the reward later, but first, let’s talk about the new routine. English academic Richard Whately once said, “If you lose an hour in the morning, you’ll spend the rest of the day looking for it.” Your morning routine will set yourself up for success. Your lack of one will set you up for reestablishing your normal homeostatic state.
A successful morning routine begins the night before. Spend a few more minutes listing what goals you’d like to accomplish the next day. They need not be big. They can be small steps that lead to accomplishing a bigger goal. Add one thing to that list every day that you’ve either been procrastinating on or that scares you. Make a list, then prioritize your list. There’s a huge difference between being productive and being busy. Make a plan on how you will accomplish those goals the next day. Visual and see yourself easily accomplishing those goals.
Next, take a few minutes to set up the environment, then half the decision has been made for you. If your goal is to drink a full glass of water when you wake up, set the water glass on the nightstand for you to find in the morning. If your next goal is to work out in the morning, have your workout clothes laid out for you the night before. If you want to stop eating fast food for lunch, meal prep something healthy the night before to take with you the next day. This evening routine eliminates any need to think and significantly reduces the amount willpower you will need to make the right decisions. It thereby ensures success.
The next morning, drink that cup of water you set by your bed. Water fires up your metabolism, hydrates you, helps your body flush out toxins, gives your brain fuel, and may even make you eat less. Then spend a few minutes connecting with your intentions. Spend a few more minutes connecting with a higher power and a higher version of you through either meditation or prayer. Next, start visualizing how you want to feel through the day. Visualize how you want the day to go. Then, use the list you made the night before to spend time seeing yourself accomplishing those goals. This routine provides clarity and opens your mind to possibilities. This is how you deliberately start your day living with purpose and intention.
How do you reward yourself? At the end of the day, spend a few minutes making a list of everything you’ve accomplished and that feels good as a result of doing something different. At every person’s core, we want to feel accomplished and that we did something that mattered. This is what we’re tapping into by making that list every day. Spend some time every day letting yourself feel that pride in your and gratitude for your accomplishments. BONUS: Brainstorm new ways to set you up for even more success the next day! Then start your next morning every evening by repeating these steps!
Here is a summary:
- Create a list of what you want to accomplish the next day
- Add something to that list every day that you’ve procrastinated on or that scared you
- Prioritize that list
- Create a plan to execute that list
- Create an environment that sets you up for success the next day
- Wake up early
- Drink a full glass of water
- Connect with your intentions
- Visualize how you want to feel, how you want your day to go, and how much you to accomplish
- Get it done
Enjoy! Please feel free to share if you think others will find value.
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