3 Secret Ingredients You Need for a Morning Routine
Updated: Apr 30, 2021
Anyone can think about starting a morning routine or have new years aspirations, but, despite the best intentions, many don't succeed, mainly by falling off the program and losing interest.
I've been there myself and I've wondered why that is....
Well, starting and maintaining new habits takes some time and effort to establish themselves as habits.
And, with the right effort in the right way (what I'm calling ingredients), this idea and intention can change into a healthy habit that lasts and lasts.
So, let's break it down.
What do people have or do, that follow through a new resolution or stick to a morning routine (even when it becomes difficult)?
In no particular order, it boils down to three things...
1) Self-Discipline. When developing anything new, it requires some discipline. Self-discipline. You need to be able to refocus your impulses and attention away from the habits you don't want and focus them on the habits that you do want. Having a coach or partner can help you sort that out, but it's really easy and tempting to fall off the program as the self-discipline requirement goes up.
Let me explain...
Once the new habit is starting to form, the old habit is wanting some attention. Hey, don't forget about me. It requires self-discipline to consciously let go of the old habit and refocus attention to the new habit. Just like meditation, where our minds can wander away from our point of focus, like the breath, and with self-discipline we can choose to note that our minds wandering and refocus our attention back on the breath.
This is mindfulness in action.
Same goes for a morning routine, your mind will wander. It will want you to hit the snooze button. It will make excuses like "there isn't enough time". This is where self-discipline kicks in to notice the wandering back into old habits and choose to refocus our attention to following through with the morning routine process. We can trust that waking up and having a routine is good for us, albeit great for us. Far more than not having a routine. So we trust in that and follow through with the self-discipline.
2) Motivation. Another key component to not only having a morning routine, but sticking to it, is motivation. We need both the structure that guides our morning routine, and we also need the motivation to follow through, especially when we meet our own sense of push back from our old habits.
In a general sense, motivation can be thought of as the general desire or willingness to to do something. In another way, motivation is also the reason(s) you act in a particular way. In fact, having a morning routine and a consistent wake up time will radically change your over health by promoting healthy wakefulness and healthy sleep patterns.
For me, my motivation at a core level to stick to a morning routine is my desire to take ownership of my health and I choose to act in a way that reflects that motivation. It took me having poor health and burnout to realize that was my path and it became clear that it was up to me to make strides in my health.
3) Results: Now this is a powerful ingredient to having your morning routine stick: Results! We need to have the results of our actions and behaviors reflected back to us with data to back it up. This fuels our motivation and self-discipline. Most resolutions fail (or dwindle) because people don't have the right data to back up their subjective results.
It's one thing to say "hey, I feel great this morning!" That's great AND to have the data to back it up links our positive feelings and sensations (results) to our actionable items (accountable). With the right data, you could say "Hey, I got 8 hours of high quality sleep last night AND I feel great this morning." This positive result (feeling great) is backed up with getting 8 hours sleep, which together reinforce healthy habits and behavior.
Some key performance indicators to keep track for optimal health in relation to The Golden Hour are: total asleep time, daily hydration amount, workout duration/intensity/daily steps. I'll bring you along a deeper dive into the data in another article and efficient ways to track overtime (think fitness watches...:)
Once you have the right data tracked and are feeling/seeing results, you will think twice when a decision will throw you off your routine. You would reconsider sacrificing "feeling good" over a lost night sleep because you stayed up late.
In summary, we have 3 special ingredients that accompany any sort of resolution or new habit forming:
self-discipline (no one else will do it for us),
motivation (know the reasons why you want this new habit), and
results (the objective data that back up our subjective claims).
Together these become strengthened by a morning routine and spill out into your everyday life!
I hope you've enjoyed this article and found value as it applies to your everyday life.
Stay tuned for more articles and insights.