How to Build A Morning Routine That Works
...for YOU. Yes, you.
Last time, we talked about why the purpose of a morning routine is more important than what you do in the routine. This week, we’re focused on some of the questions to ask to help you discover the purpose and the right elements to add to build the type of routine that will change YOUR life, not the life of some random person on the internet who told you exactly what to do.
1) When you get to the end of a day, what do you want to consistently be true about yourself?
How do you want to feel about your interactions with others? What attitude do you want to prevail? What do you want your internal dialogue to sound like? Answering these questions first will equip you to identify specific tasks for your routine.
2) Next, what are some tasks or habits that help you achieve the answers to the first questions?
If you don’t know, it’s time to do some experimenting. Journaling, exercising, calling a friend, making breakfast for yourself, lighting a candle, putting the dishes away, listening to your favorite song… notice patterns in how you feel after certain activities and then identify how you could fit those activities into a morning routine.
3) What are some things you always say you want to do more of, but you never end up with the time or energy to get them done at the end of the day?
You know that thing… you’ve told your friends for years you’ve always wanted to start x, y, or z, yet somehow, you still haven’t gotten around to it? Maybe it’s picking up the guitar, memorizing scripture, going on a daily walk, or writing a note of encouragement to a friend on a daily basis. While we may enjoy the idea of starting a habit like that, sometimes we get to the end of our work or school day and simply don’t have the energy to do anything else. Or, we end up with spontaneous plans with friends, so anything else we might do with our evening is out the window. That’s the power of the morning—no one else is asking for your time when they’re still sleeping. Don’t try pack everything in, but if there’s a habit you know you need to start, try getting it knocked out in the morning.
4) What can you do that will help you feel like you’ve already won the day?
Part of the value in a morning routine can be the fact that, before you even show up to work or to class, you’ve already conquered what Steven Pressfield calls the “Voice of Resistance”—the little voice in your head telling you to hit snooze one more time, to just try again tomorrow, to just be complacent. When we build a morning routine that we feel good about, where we can both relax to prepare for the day but also check something off our list, we silence the Voice of Resistance, making it harder for it to weasel its way back into our internal dialogue later in the day.
Aside from going about our day aimlessly, perhaps the worst thing we can do is think we’re being intentional by simply copying someone else’s intentionality. Living a purposeful life means we have to do the work, ourselves, to know what that purpose is each day and how to best live it out. And, since every new day starts with a new morning to try again, how about we make it the most purposeful part of our day?
Journal Prompt of the Week
How might these questions alter your perspective on morning routines? What’s something you’ll do differently as a result?