Confession: I am a sluggish, lazy, morning person.
Under the covers is the very best place to be as far as my body is concerned. When my alarm goes off in the morning, I imagine myself awake, meditating, exercising, preparing a healthy smoothie to start the day.
In reality, I'm still in bed.
I eventually get up at the last minute and try to accomplish what should comfortably take an hour in 30 minutes. The whole time I'm checking my phone and praying for time to stand still while I repeat the universal word for "poop" over and over and over again. I should have a dream board (...the irony) with all the things I want to consistently accomplish every morning and just stick to it already. The need is quite necessary.
It's been said, if you write it down/say it out loud, you have more chances of breathing your intentions into life. I need to give life to a morning routine.
My current routine, or lack thereof, will not let me be great. What about you? Do you have a morning routine, or do you wing it and just go with the flow?
Because you see, I don't like the process of "winging it" any more. At least not all the time. I've come to realize a consistent routine, morning or not, equals stability and a sense of focus. My daughters have morning routines for weekdays and weekends. No matter what, they never deviate from it. I envy their consistency. I'm not trying to adopt their routine, or anyone else's for that matter. My routine needs to fit me personally; something I can look forward to. I'll start by creating a dream board, something virtual most likely, with all the things I want to adopt and accomplish each morning as a routine.
"Most people believe that habits are formed by completing a task for 21 days in a row. Twenty-one days of task completion, then voila, a habit is formed. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth. The 21-day myth began as a misinterpretation of Dr. Maxwell Maltz’s work on self-image. Maltz did not find that 21 days of task completion forms a habit. People wanted it to be true so much so, however, that the idea began to grow in popularity." - Habit Formation: The 21-Day Myth, by Jason Selk
However, that theory was debunked by a 2009 study held by Phillipa Lally and her colleagues at the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre. The study proved that it takes an average of 66 days to actually form a habit/routine. You want my take on that? I feel if you're like me, a lousy morning person who attributes being physically alive as a major accomplishment in the morning - keep going until you form a routine.
No matter how long it takes.
Consistency is key.
Getting the routine to feel like second nature is goal. It may take me 66 days. It may take me 99 days. I may be consistent only 4 out of the 7 days at a time. In the end, for the love of all that is holy and good, I just want to stick with it!
It's common, I've noticed, to try and adopt someone else's routine or habits that you admire. "Goals" they say.
Be kind to yourself. Set a realistic routine and grow from there. You don't know how long it took said person you're trying to "single white female" (movie reference) to adopt and maintain their routine in the first place. Stay in your lovely lane. Pace yourself. Do you.
Admire and be inspired? Sure.
Full on copy cat? No Bueno.
I put together a list that I aspire to maintain as a routine. Intentions without action is useless right?
Monday to Friday
Wake up time - 5:30am (Currently this is the time I roll over and thank God I'm alive...again)
Meditate - 5:30 am - 5:40am (I've used Headspace and Simple Habits. Both Apps. Both awesome)
Exercise - 5:45 am to 6:15am (Not my finest moment. I may or may not cuss out loud. Ok, I may)
Pray - I'm always grateful. I greet Him first with lots of thank you's - for everything. Always grateful.
DIY smoothie and vitamins (I do it now, just not consistently. I'll share the deets on a separate post.)
Journal - I seriously need to pick a time to jot down thoughts at the beginning of the day.
Sunday - Fellowship time at 12stone! I always have a great experience. And last but not least, wait for it........wing it! My lousy side is so proud right now.
You will need to break old habits that no longer serve you to start new habits. You will mourn and grieve letting go of comfort in place of courage. You may want to quit.
66 days, 99 days, 299 days, however long it takes - just please keep going. If it helps you smile, makes you feel productive, energizes you, keeps you looking forward to a new day - it's worth it. Stay encouraged and be well.