Creating Good Habits
I like building good habits and I find a morning routine set’s me up for the day.
I was in the habit of waking up late, pressing the snooze button a couple of time before getting up…. Finally. I’d follow that with an unhealthy breakfast. I felt lousy and I was not sure how to change.
I know it’s really easy to roll your eyeballs and say – “Look, you only live once. You’ve got to just do what you want to do” – roll over and back to sleep!
But, is lying around in bed, getting up late, eating a fatty breakfast, and slobbing around not doing the things that you really want to do, doing what you want to do?
I absolutely love my bed. I really do. However, I don’t like having a go at myself when I have laid around in it too long either! So many hours wasted and so many opportunities missed.
I have been reading how changing your physiology can change your “state” for the whole day. That you can change how you feel mentally by waking yourself up physically.
So, my intention is to have a positive routine that sets the day up for success.
My new day in the summer looked like this:
- NThe alarm went off
- NI threw the covers back
- NI put on my clothes before I’d even realised what I’d done.
- NCleaned my teeth
- NGo downstairs and put my trainers on, open the front door and BOOM! ...go for a walk.
I’m very lucky to have a park near which helped me appreciate the wonderful world we live with all the nature around me, but a walk is a walk. Just getting outside and doing it is the goal – there never fails to be something that is interesting to see and anyway, tt is about forming the GOOD habit that serves you rather than living in a way that doesn’t.
I felt great this summer. I really did. Every day I followed this routine things seemed to go better the rest of the day. But then I hit a snag.
The problem hit when the clocks went back. It was dark when I woke up, and cold, and often raining. I just didn’t want to go. I did go a few times but it wasn’t pleasant – I didn’t enjoy it at all.
I allowed myself to get back into my old habits. Pressed the snooze button a couple of times to further enjoy my lovely bed and it changed everything. The whole routine went up in smoke. I went back to feeling lousy. The lounging state that I got up in followed through to breakfast.
I ditched the fruit and porridge for a cooked breakfast with sausage and bacon. I really did feel proper lousy and it lasted all day.
It was then that I knew I had to make a plan B and I put my thinking cap on. Doing something I don’t enjoy consistently didn’t seem very logical to me so I pondered. What could I enjoy? What new morning routine could I adopt that sets me up for the day like the walk?
I came up with a new plan that I have fallen in love with as much as the walking. It goes like this:
- NAlarm goes off
- NCovers back and get up
- NTeeth cleaned
- NAffirmations said (a list of great things that I tell myself to programme my brain for positive thoughts)
- N10 mins meditation
- N10 mins stretching
- NRead 5 pages of my book
I also started using an app to tick them off. It is called “Way of Life”.
I am getting my exercise from walking later in the day and I have taken up the Body FX Figure 8 dance fitness thing. It is not a picture of elegance but hey – I love it!
Self-discipline is growing on me. I am learning that I can change my “state” pretty much anytime. Changing my “state” allows me to take control of my life. My productivity is up, my weight is down.
Self-discipline is just that – from the self. Nobody’s going to look after us or care about looking after us any better than we look after ourselves. Are they?
So, I have decided that good habits are here to stay with me. I will continue to build more and more and see if I feel better and better. I will commit to them but I will not be ruled by them. If I am not getting enjoyment from them I will not ditch them – I will tweak them instead.
There is no doubt that good habits start best in the morning – well for me anyway. What about you?