I used to be so good at mornings. At one point my routine included walking outside, reading, journaling, a skin-care routine, AND even a 4 minute cold shower!
Then life (aka a puppy and more demanding work schedule) happened. Little by little, I had less control over my mornings. Some days, I wouldn’t even have the chance to change out of my pajamas before having to take the pup out to do his business. Before I knew it, my morning routine no longer existed. I was staying in bed until Axel woke me up. Or until a few minutes before I started my work day.
Mornings once were enjoyable and relaxing but became stressful and chaotic.
Instead of owning my mornings, my mornings were owning me. Maybe you can relate?
I found that the lack of structure in the morning was setting the tone for the rest of my day. That tone meant that I was unproductive, unfocused, and unmotivated.
A couple weeks ago, I decided it was time to do something about it. I started by identifying a list of long-term and short-term goals I wanted to work on. I shared those goals in a previous email so ICYMI, you can read that here.
Also Read: Use Your Core Motivation Style to Set Goals
Now that I knew which direction I was heading in with my goals, the next step was to tackle my daily actions. Pulling inspiration from James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, I completed a “habit audit” (he calls this a habit scorecard, but same difference). To do this, I made a list of every repeated action I take as soon as I wake up in the morning.
Then identified how those actions are serving me by assigning the following ratings:
Once I had this list, I was able to come up with an upgraded routine that I’d like to stick to each day. I kept the actions with a “+” (like taking the dog for a walk) or a “=” (like going to the bathroom). Eliminated the ones with a “-” (like checking my phone or turning on my work computer earlier than I needed to). Then decided which other actions I’d like to add. Actions that would serve me by supporting my goals.
I chose simple, achievable actions that would contribute to achieving my February goals. Then I decided that if I did this routine for at least 17 out of the next 21 days, then I’d reward myself with a $50 spend at my favorite store (TJMaxx/HomeGoods).
Based on those goals, here’s the morning routine that I came up with:
And in no particular order but before starting work, I will complete the following:
And lastly, I decided that all of these actions must be done before I start work (between 8:00am and 8:30am).
Today is day 19, and I’ve completed my full morning routine 17 times. The two times I didn’t was because I had volleyball things which both began before 8am. We goin’ to HomeGoods, y’all!!
Since I very much enjoy every part of my routine, I’m pretty confident that I’ll keep up with it. Until it continues to serve me, of course. Once my goals change or I find my routine no longer works for me, then I’ll repeat this process. I’ll revisit my goals and do another habit audit to come up with a routine that serves me.
Do you need to tweak your morning routine so that it serves you?
If so, I present to you the Healthy Green Habit Challenge. This 3 step challenge will guide you through the process that I used. You’ll identify your goals, do a habit audit and establish an upgraded routine.
You can download that here at no cost to you and no strings attached!