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Goal Achievement

How to Stay Consistent With a Morning Routine

As a mom & business owner I did not want a super rigid routine.

A morning routine is a practice highly successful people implement to start their days. I’ve learned that sticking to a consistent morning routine is a journey that evolves over time. It takes time to learn about yourself and what works and what doesn’t work. A lot of the books and articles I’ve read on morning routines suggest the same routine executed at the wee hours of the am each day. I struggled with following this advice consistently. I started to feel bad about myself for missing a routine or shortening my routine when in a rush. I didn’t want to have another thing to simply check off the list. I realized what is most important to me is having a moment of each day where I am intentionally working towards my goals. Somedays that means I dedicate an hour to my morning routine and some days I dedicate 5 minutes. As a mom & business owner I did not want a super rigid routine. I wanted to create a practice that I enjoyed, appreciated and incorporated into my day without feeling obligated.

I created 3 morning routines!

My max potential morning routine is my all-out routine! This routine includes the 6 steps listed below and I typically achieve this routine three times per week. My mini morning routine is shorter and includes steps 1-4 listed below. I lean on this routine when I have early client meetings. There are days when steps 2-4 happen in mid morning versus first things in the morning. On those days, which we all have, where nothing seems to be routine or on schedule, I practice just one step. I find myself adjusting my routine when I am traveling and I read my design statement. The habit of starting each day by reading my design statement keeps me focused on my important goals and reminds me of the person I want to be.

By having 3 different morning routines my consistency has increased. I no longer feel like it’s all or nothing. For me, this aligns with my belief to focus on progress versus perfection.

  1. Design Statement – This is my version of a short-term vision statement. If you want to learn more about a design statement check out my post on writing a short-term vision statement.
  2. Gratitude – This is the practice that changed everything for me! I quickly realized what is important to me and gratitude helped me make decisions in the direction of my priorities. With a daily reminder set on my phone, I built the habit of writing down what I was grateful for each day. I like reflecting on gratitude in the am to minimize negative thoughts about what might happen throughout the day. Practicing gratitude changes everything, yet nothing changes. 
  3. 10.10.1 – Thank you Rachel Hollis for this practice. I heard Rachel talk about the power of writing a 10-year vision, distilling it down to 10 dreams and then one goal on her podcast (episode #72). I thought about following Rachel’s advice many times. Like most things we intend to do, I didn’t follow through until I established accountability. My sister and I started having regular goals calls, and we decided to share our visions and list of 10 dreams on our first call. To establish this practice as a habit, I joined Rachel’s community in the 90-day challenge at the end of 2019 and have not looked back. Writing my 10 dreams and 1 goal daily keeps me focused on the bigger picture. 
  4. Read Page from Daily Reader – I’ve read John Maxwell’s book The Maxwell Daily Reader multiple times. I remember taking pictures of the daily inspirational messages and reading them on my babymoon in 2014. What I love about this book is you read just one page per day. The pages are filled with leadership and personal growth messages that prompt reflection. 
  5. Read for 10 Minutes – On days when I intentionally carve out more time for my morning routine, I set an alarm to read for 10 minutes. I have a goal to read 36 books in 2020 which will be the most I’ve ever read in a year. This intentional reading time is enjoyable and aligns with one of my goals. 
  6. Meditate – I am still working on consistently incorporating meditation into my routine. What does work is setting an alarm for a couple of minutes and sitting down to focus on my breath. If my mind wanders (which it often does), I acknowledge the thoughts and go back to focusing on my breath. I have no idea if I am doing this right, but what I do know is that I feel a sense of peace and clarity when I am finished. I am also surprised at how fast 3 minutes passes when my mind stops racing and I am being still.