the value of an anti-routine
Mornings are one of my favorite parts of the day. Everyone harps on the importance of a morning routine, but my mornings are actually a little anti-routine. I wrote about how I seek joy first thing in the morning in this post, but I want to look a little deeper at what that means for my morning routine.
Mornings are incredibly important to set the tone of your day. I love the thought behind Martin Luther’s quote, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” If you have a busy or important day ahead, it is vital to get yourself in the best headspace you can to tackle the day ahead which is not the way many people approach their days. Would you prefer a surgeon operating on you who had rushed out of bed and out of the house, downed some coffee on the way to surgery, and started operating without taking a breath or one who took time in the morning to do the things that make them feel their best?
I understand how people can fall into the trap of “I have so much to do I have to start right now” but hear me out. Do you ever have those days where everything just feels hard? Or on the flip side, do you have days where you crush everything on your to-do list quickly and easily? Most people don’t consider the fact that you can choose which type of day to have. Using your time in the morning to align with who you want to be that day and to set yourself up to have the best day possible is not time consuming, it’s actually more efficient.
If you can spend fifteen minutes on things that make you feel good, you’re going to get yourself into alignment and make it easier for you to flow through your day. So you end up saving that fifteen minutes later in the day when you might have ended up frustrated and venting to a friend or procrastinating something that needs doing.
So how do you do that? For me (because I’m anti routine), it starts with the simple question of what would make me feel good right now? Sometimes the answer is breakfast. Sometimes the answer is reading or meditation. And honestly, sometimes the answer is getting up and getting a few things (like dishes or laundry) accomplished. The point is, my whole routine, instead of being centered around what I “should” do, is centered around feeling good and setting myself up for a good day.
Here are some ideas for quick, easy adds to your morning routine:
• Read a few pages of a book
• Listen to music while you’re getting dressed
• Sit and eat breakfast without distractions
• Make your favorite breakfast beverage
• Write a gratitude list (with details)
• Hug someone if you can
• Set an intention for your day
I don’t discourage anyone from having a set routine. I see the value in it, but it just doesn’t come naturally to me and I find trying to force myself into it is counterproductive. What I would caution you on is falling into too static of a routine. Sometimes you need to shake things up and find something new that works for you, so consider revisiting your routine monthly or quarterly to make sure it’s still serving you and not just a rote habit. The whole point is to make sure it’s setting you up for a happy, fun, productive day.
What does your morning routine look like? Is there something you can add that would set the tone of your day? Give it a shot for a week and reflect on how you feel after those 7 days.