Routine. What comes to mind when you hear this word? Habits? Plans? Boring? For most people, it is somewhere between the ordinary and the mundane. Routines produces your habits. Habits can be good or bad, and the same is true for routines. To cultivate good habits, you must have dedicated and consistent routines. It is hard to eliminate bad habits. I have found that it is easier to exchange a good habit for a bad one. To eliminate a habit is very difficult, so replace the bad habit with a helpful habit. For me, the routines that are making a difference are ones I have put in place as a part of my morning routines. Allow me to suggest some possibilities:
- Get up earlier. For some, it is very early. The secret is to get up an hour earlier than your usual time, and that gives you an hour to work on things while the house is quiet.
- Hydrate. Drinking water will serve to rehydrate yourself and amazingly gives you energy and alertness. Some have a water bottle filled and ready for them when they get out of bed.
- Pray and read the Bible. Bible reading and prayer helps get me in the right frame of mind and spirit for the day.
- I work on the three most important tasks that I identified during my evening routine the night before. This one thing will super-charge your day.
- Parents with younger children use this time to pack lunches.
- Eat Breakfast.
- Read. I read early in the morning for fifteen minutes.
- Exercise. For me, it is the last thing I do as a part of my morning routine. I go to the gym and then shower and then go into the office.
- Review your goals. Read them and determine to work on something that moves you toward the accomplishment of your goals.
- Journal. For me, a journal differs from a diary. In my journal, I make observations about the events I have experienced, and I reflect on my day and my goals. In my journal, there is a gratitude section. It is crucial to everyday take time to be thankful for the blessings you have received. This one exercise will keep you grounded and consciously grateful for the grace and gifts that you have received from your Heavenly Father. Journaling does not come easily for me, and it is not my default. Without question, I have developed this habit because it became a part of my routine. As I look back on past journals, it has been helpful to watch the steps I went through when working through a problem. Journaling is something I do not just journal for my present self, but my future self as well.
You could add to and subtract from my list. It is not a “once size fits all” kind of thing. You need to tailor it to your specific needs. If you do not develop routines, you will continue to follow whatever you are doing. Are you happy with where you are today? If not, nothing changes until you make changes. Aristotle said, “we are what we repeatedly do.” Excellence then is not an act but a habit.
I would love to hear what morning routines you do and how you start your day. Have a great and blessed week.