How to Create an Awesome Morning Routine you’ll Stick to

Create a morning routine you'll stick to

Have you noticed that when you set an intention for the day things generally work out better than days when you don’t? This is because you’re taking responsibility for your energy, your thoughts, and your actions. Set yourself up each day to do this with a morning routine. 

Setting a Wake-up Time

First, think about your optimal wake-up time. If you’re not a morning person trying to get up a 5:00 am is probably not going to give you the best start to the day. You’ll be better getting up later and using your evenings to achieve things. 

Now set your wake-up time so that you have time for your morning routine before you start your day.

Setting an optimal wake-up time can be tricky if you have young children because you’re never quite sure when they’ll surface. Get up with enough time to move through your routine according to their usual wake-up time but be prepared to change as they change.

Once you have your routine set in place you can break it up If you have an early riser. Just slip in the elements of your routine as your morning allows. A morning routine should serve you, not the other way around, so be prepared to go with the flow. 

Your morning routine can include anything you want that helps you set your intentions and your energy for the day. Following someone else’s routine will never be as effective as a routine that you’ve put together yourself. You’ll also be much less likely to stick to it. 

This Way of Creating a Morning Routine is Different and here’s Why?

No morning routine will work if you don’t get out of bed in time to move through it. That’s why it’s important to make the first thing in your routine something that you love to do. This way you’ll have the best chance of maintaining it.

For years I’ve forced myself to get up to exercise or cram in a couple of hours of work or study. It wasn’t particularly enjoyable and as a result, I never really cemented it into my day. 

Now I get up at 5:00 am to write, watch the sunrise, and enjoy a couple of big cups of coffee, on the couch. Not your average morning routine but it works for me because I find it blissful.  

You can create a full routine all at once and then move things in or out depending on how well they work for you. Or you can start with one element and do that for a week or so before adding another element.

Here are the basic elements that are great to include in your morning routine. Depending on the time you have available don’t hesitate to add others.  Be careful not to overwhelm yourself though. 

The Basic Elements of a Choice Theory Morning Routine

1. Decide on something you love and that will get you out of bed joyfully at least 5 mornings a week. You can reserve the right to change it if it doesn’t work for you, or even do different things on different days. A morning routine should serve you, not the other way around. 

2. How do you choose to show up today? This is something that you can decide on the night before. I try to stay aware of how I’m feeling throughout the day and this gives me ideas about how I want to show up tomorrow. Encapsulate your ideas about showing up into one or two words. 

Today I’m a human being…. and …

If you’re fearful you might set the following intention: – Today I’m a human being brave and optimistic.

If you’re feeling lacking in energy and drive you might set the intention: -Today I’m a human being energetic and enthusiastic.

3. Find a few things to be genuinely grateful for. Gratitude helps you to focus on what you’ve got rather than what you think is missing in your life. It helps to maintain a positive mindset. 

…and the rest is up to you…

Some Ideas for your Morning Routine 

  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Journalling
  • Reading
  • Taking supplements, juice, or drinking a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon juice
  • Prayer

These are all great things to include in your morning routine. But anything that you do with your full attention and that helps set you up for the day that you choose to have is fine. It’s perfectly possible to make school lunches, hang out the washing and empty the dishwasher mindfully and joyfully. 

By starting your day with a personal morning routine that you’ve created you’re setting it up intentionally. You can’t control everything that happens during your day, but you can control how you respond to it. Setting up a morning routine that you love will get you off to a very good start. 

A Choice Theory Meme a Day

Another great addition to a morning routine is to read one of our original memes that we send out every day for about six months. You can sign up for those by clicking the image above and then choosing the option on our homepage.

Thanks for reading 🙂  What kind of human will you be tomorrow?

Best Regards

Deb

P.S If you’d like to work with us on an organisational level head over to Choice Practice Institute

P.P.S If you’d like to book a counselling session with Jeff head over to Riviera Counselling

Deb and Jeff

Your Best Guide to New Year’s Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions
New Year's Resolutions

2021 was being welcomed in a way that has not happened before in my lifetime. There was a sense of hope that the world will begin to right itself. Skyrocketing Covid-19 cases around the world and even a new breakout in Australia may have dampened that optimism somewhat but most people are still hopeful that 2021 will be a better year than 2020. I could see this by the number of people out exercising this morning and working on their New Year’s resolutions.

We can’t control the world, in fact, the only thing we can really control is ourselves. Some people made the most of 2020 by changing something in their life for the better. They hung in there even when the world seemed like it was going to hell in a handcart. They can look back with a sense of satisfaction in having achieved something worthwhile.

Others soothed themselves, stressed, and worried. As a result, they probably didn’t hang onto their 2020 resolutions and haven’t come out of the year as well.

New Year’s Resolutions often revolve around reforming habits like unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, using addictive substances, overworking, etc. All these habits have one thing in common. They’re avoidance of discomfort in favour of pleasure. 

Pleasure vs Happiness

There’s nothing wrong with authentic pleasures like spending quality time with friends and family, enjoyable outings, taking care of yourself, hobbies, educating yourself, exercise, and even relaxing at the end of a full day’s work. Pleasure-seeking becomes problematic when it doesn’t move you towards sustainable happiness. Instead, you use pleasure to reduce discomfort and to avoid dealing with behaviours that you know need to change for your overall wellbeing.

We often justify this kind of behaviour. We tell ourselves that we have to put up with whatever’s causing us stress, and pleasure-seeking is the only option available to feel better about it?

Your partner’s abusive, but you can’t leave because you’re in love. Your job may be horrible, but you have to stay because it pays well or there aren’t any other good jobs around. You’re locked down, bored and frustrated so it’s OK to calm yourself with sugary snacks. This kind of thinking is incredibly destructive because it’s managing stress with destructive behaviours. It’s a poor substitute for sustainable happiness.

Making Sustained Change

Making New Year’s resolution is easy. Sustaining change isn’t so easy but long term it’s easier than continuing to seek pleasure and comfort via unhealthy behaviors. Motivation also plays a part in this. A lack of motivation is often brought about by unresolved fears that lead to a “head-in-the-sand” mentality.

One of the reasons that New Year’s resolutions don’t stick is because you start them during the holidays. At some point, life as you knew it before, re-starts. You have to find the time and the discipline to incorporate your new behaviours into your old life.

If you allow yourself to believe that there’s not enough time to maintain your New Yeat’s resolutions, or to address big issues, the next best thing is a bit of pleasure-seeking right? Wrong; pleasure-seeking is like a low-grade addiction to a multitude of things. Of course, everyone needs some pleasure; a bubble bath, a piece of cake here and there, and to watch some Netflix. But spending significant time doing these things when there are bigger things that you know need addressing, is going to lead to trouble down the track. 

Creating a Wellbeing Scale

A well-being scale is typically a scale between 1 and 10, showing a vision of yourself at your perceived worst and your perceived best. 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest. 

Create a vision of yourself and your life that’s balanced, happy, and healthy. This is you at an 8-10. Now think about what you at your worst might look like. You don’t need to see yourself as a homeless drug addict. A smoking, workaholic that lives on takeout food and has no friends will do. This would put you down at a 1-2. Now place yourself on your scale according to where you see yourself at present.

This can be confronting, especially if you’re a long way short of your best version of yourself. The gulf between where you would like to be and where you are can seem insurmountable, but all sustainable change begins with just one small step. 

Begin with the Biggest Problem

New Year’s resolutions work best when you focus your efforts on what you can control. Stay in your lane and let other people figure out their own resolutions. What’s the thing about your life that upsets you the most? What can you do about it? It’s likely that you’ve tried many times to address this issue and, for whatever reason, you haven’t been successful.

This isn’t unusual. It often takes many tries to make sustainable change. Change isn’t easy, if it was everyone would be doing it. And everyone would be walking around as their best version of themselves. If you could take just one small step towards that vision you have of yourself at your best, what would it be? Each step you take will lead on to another and before you know it you will have stepped your way into your best self. 

Identify your Needs

You will have much more success with any behaviour changes if you can identify your needs and learn to be resilient to discomfort, which is a form of stress. 

You can download your Needs Profile Questionnaire in the sidebar. Or if you’re ready for more check out our Stress-less training. You’ll still get the Needs Profile Questionnaire, but you’ll get a whole lot more as well.

Choice Theory Online is all about making choices and changes to improve your life. Don’t let the New Year’s resolutions you make this year fall by the way by February. If the first two options don’t appeal, you can get a free original meme each day to help maintain your motivation right through to 2022.