I’ve never considered myself a “morning person.” I was a night owl. During my school career I would sleep the entire afternoon and start my homework at 10pm, even at university I would work straight through the night and sleep in the mornings. When I started working I had to start getting up at 6 a.m and let me tell you… I did not enjoy it at all! I would snooze my alarm six times, get up at the last possible minute, skip breakfast, rush to work, and then feel like I was trying to catch up the rest of the day.
It started to really take its toll on my physical and mental well-being and had a major impact on my productivity.
I’m always intrigued and fascinated with people so I started reading about morning routines of successful people. Did you know Anna Wintour editor and chief of Vogue magazine wakes up every morning at 5:45 a.m and plays tennis at New York’s Midtown Tennis Club for one hour. Scott Adams, the creator of ‘Dilbert,’ designed his morning routine to maximize his creativity he says that the first 20 minutes of his days are exactly the same, every day. Putting his physical body on autopilot “frees his brain for creativity.”
I’m the kind of person who loves planning out my entire day. Following that perfectly planned day is a different story. I guess I just suck at following routines. I decided to overcome my struggle with my morning routine by shifting my mindset, staying accountable and staying motivated.
It’s all in the mind:
I took a look at my day and saw that I have a daily routine without even realising it. I went for a daily run, drank coffee in bed and watched YouTube while doing my makeup. If you look close enough you will start to see that you have a daily routine without even realizing it.
You do you:
I also figured out what I need to keep myself accountable to my routine. After taking the Gretchen Rubin’s quiz I now understand that I am a obligor. Obligers respond readily to outer expectations, but struggle to meet inner expectations. In other words, they work hard not to let other people down, but they often let themselves down. Because of this I find it difficult to undertake habits for my own benefit. The key to sticking to these habits as a obligor is to creating external accountability. You can take the quiz here.
So, I had to ask myself what’s my motivation? Why would I want a morning routine and why should I stick to it? A routine keeps me sane and the perfectionist part of me need some sort of order. I am someone who likes to be in control of everything around me which isn’t always possible. Having a routine in the morning that I can control keeps me sane even if the rest of my day is completely horrible. I can leave the house feeling good and knowing that I was in charge of my own morning.
I am not always perfect when it comes to my morning routine. Sometimes I still mess up and snooze my alarm one to many times. But I’ve been getting better and here’s some of the tips I’ve been using to crush my morning routine
- BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF
Not every morning will be 100% the same. Sometimes my hair doesn’t play along or I mess up my winged eyeliner costing me an extra 15 minutes I didn’t plan on. They secret is to not let that get you down. Have confidence in yourself. Do not let the little things irritate you. Just be patient and take a deep breath.
- TRACK YOUR HABITS
Lately, I’ve been using a bullet journal and incorporated a habit tracker to keep a record of my morning routine. There’s just something about writing things down that makes it more accountable and binding. Seeing all the checked boxes at the end of the day makes me feel a lot more accomplished and motivated. You do not need to start a journal, there’s lots of apps you can download to help you keep track of your habits.
- REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED
In order to stick to something, you need a clear PURPOSE for doing it. If the only reason you’re starting a morning routine is because you saw you’re favourite YouTuber vlog about it, the chances are you will not stick to it. It has to be something you truly want to do for a specific reason. Before starting a morning routine, sit down and write down why you feel it’s important that you have one. Is it to reduce stress, to start your day with more energy, to feel more organised, to be more efficient with your time? Whatever the reason write it down and put it on the fridge so you’ll see it every day.
- MAKE IT EASY FOR YOURSELF
Do not be unrealistic with your routine. Do not suddenly thing its going to take you 5 minutes to do your make up compared to your usual 15 minutes. Start off easy and give yourself enough time. You do not want to feel rushed and stressed out in the morning. You can always build up the level of performance that you want once the behavior becomes consistent.
The most important thing is to stay motivated, take it slow and never stop trying. It might not be as glamorous as the YouTube videos, but I can promise you it’s worth it. Leave a comment below and tell me your favourite thing about a morning routine or what you struggle with.