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Routine Maintenance

it's Friday // January 23rd, 2015

“You have to have the motivation to do it, the ability to do it, and a trigger must occur to remind you to do it.”

I’ve been talking a lot lately about goals for the new year and the one I shared this week revolved around getting an early start on everything. I’m realizing that it’s easy to say, but harder to execute. I’m mainly talking about mornings, especially when the sun doesn’t come up until 8AM. I just want to sleep. I mean… it’s not even daylight yet and it feels wrong to get up in the middle of the night.

Transforming my life around these goals is ultimately the end goal in all of this. That’s why I’m continually pursuing them and reading to see how other people have achieved similar goals. I am a huge fan of 99U, it’s such a great resource for creatives – and for people who, generally speaking, are just trying to survive the day-to-day. They posted an article today on what they refer to as “stacking habits” and how to create and actually stick to a morning routine. It was literally just what I needed.

After reading the article, I figured out my morning pitfall – I don’t have a routine. I have what I’d like to this is a routine…but it goes like this: some mornings I wake up on time and others I take a little 20 minute nap after waking up. When I do roll out of bed I typically get dressed right away. Here’s a little tip: I pick my clothes out the night before. Seriously, it saves SO MUCH time in the morning, and forces me to not change my mind 10 times. So I get dressed, run downstairs and start coffee while typically doing any left over dishes from the night before (which I am officially putting a stop to today), I hop on my computer and quality assure my post from that morning – sometimes share it on social media…and the list continues of me doing 20 other random things before I finally leave for work. Wait, what? That’s like running backwards on a treadmill.

It took me until now to realize that, after reading this article. The article talks about the “five minute” approach when developing a habit and sticking to it…which I think is also a great side point – but it wasn’t my main take away. In order to have a routine, you have got to stick to that exact routine, not just chart off course whenever you feel like it (or didn’t feel like it, in my case).

I have never been a fan of routine – actually I despise it. It bores me. My mind and body move to fast for routine. But I really do believe that developing a habit in the morning – a habit that in some senses will force me out of bed – because my brain is actually telling me I have a specific number of things to do before I leave for work… will help so much.

My new routine shall be this : wake up, stretch, brush teeth, wash face, get dressed, make coffee and write. And that’s it. It’s so simple. Each of those things acts as the trigger to initiate the others – and that will help me make the best of every morning.

Do you have a defined morning routine?

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