The morning routine challenge: part 2

My desk

I am in the middle of a long process of changing some old habits and implementing new ones. My first attempt started some months ago, as you can check here in this post. At the same time, back then, I was also starting to change many others things in my life routine and in the end it was just too many things at once! My new established morning routine lasted for one month, maybe, and then I lost track of it…

Well, now I believe I have the right set of mind to reestablish it, but with a few changes. I was inspired by this site the early-riser.com that says we can defeat the chaos and confusion in our mornings by having a routine with these 4 elements:

  1. Excite => some morning exercise (physical or maybe studying)
  2. Relax => meditation, yoga, book, audio book
  3. Plan => reflex and try to answer these questions:
    • What do I want to accomplish today?
    • What steps can I take to do that?
    • How do I measure my progress?
  4. Go => eat, get ready and go.

I have been testing some routines based on the above formula with a few twists. I realized I didn’t adapt to the exact formula above, so I have made some adjustments. My best set until now is this:

  • 06:00-06:10 – Relax: meditation => Drink a glass of water and sit down on my Yoga mat. I feel better doing some meditation right after jumping out of bed, actually
  • 06:10-06:40 – Excite: Stretching & Yoga => I discovered Yoga a few months ago and I enjoy the mix of aerobic exercise and stretching results. I am a complete beginner,  so some Sun Salutations are enough to get my blood pumping in the morning.
  • 06:40-07:00 – Prepare: bath and getting dressed: I always feel ready to go after a bath in the morning.
  • 07:00-07:30 – Eat: breakfast => I am on a new breakfast diet that is now based on a slice of whole wheat bread with fruit jelly or olive oil and a mug of vitamin of fruits with cereal and honey (sometimes I change to a fruit salad with cereals and honey)
  • 07:30-08:00 – Go: Hair and teeth, pack my snacks and fruits that I eat during my day, and leave.

I wanted to introduce a time for reading in the morning. I tried! But it didn’t work very well because (now that may sound strange) I love reading!  So I didn’t want to stop reading and that made feel a little frustrated in the morning. I wish I could spend all morning reading instead of going to work, you know? Yeah… so I will leave that behind for a while. I am now reading mostly after lunch (during my lunch break) and at night.

To sum up, I am reading a book called The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business by Charles Duhigg that has made me realize very interesting things: a habit only works if we have a habit loop well established (review soon!!!).

All habits must start with an evident trigger/cue (something that encourages you or reminds you that is it time for that routine), a routine (your habit actions, you must know what to do) and a reward (for example, the sense of accomplishment or the pleasure after a run).

Sometimes I feel that when I think about my plans for the next day right before I go to bed, I have a better chance of triggering my mourning routine. My alarm sounds, I turn if off (and don’t hit the snooze) and I immediately get out of bed and the process start automatically.  And on days like these, I feel I can save the world and life is good, you know?

I am tracking my mornings, and last week I managed to wake up around 6:00 and 6:30 all weekdays. Some days my routine were shorter, but mostly because I went to sleep late the night before, and my total sleep hours were kind of impaired. Now, the weekends are a totally different matter. My mind says to me: if is Saturday or Monday I can OBVIOUSLY sleep more, heh…. Well, one thing at a time, someday I will (hopefully) become a master of morning routine!!

Has anyone else been struggling with this? Or am I trying to be super human in some sense?

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