Routines I: my Morning Routine

by Frank Martin

This is part one of a series about creating morning and evening routines. For part two go here. Part three and a conclusion are forthcoming.

My living arrangements have changed a bit since graduating college. I moved into my own place for about a year before moving back in with my parents for various reasons. My routine, however, has stayed basically the same since moving into my apartment a couple weeks after graudation.

Most days I wake up between five and six in the morning. Since going off sugar, I tend to wake up in this window without needing an alarm, regardless of what time I went to bed the night before. After hitting the bathroom and sitting for a couple minutes of meditation I head upstairs to get coffee started, turn the lights on in the living room and open my laptop to write morning pages and a post for my tumblr, before reading for a while. Once my parents have gotten up, my mom and I get a snack and head out for a three to five mile walk, before returning to shower and get the day started.

As you can see, at one and the same time, there’s a lot I’m doing, and not much. This is a routine that allows me the opportunity to do many of the things I enjoy (writing, reading, meditation, walking, spending time with family) before the day gets going and distraction sets in (notice “checking email” is conspicuously absent). At this point, just about the only thing I’d add is a short yoga session, and maybe switching coffee for tea, both of which I plan to do this year.

If you like the idea of a morning routine, give it a try for a while. Before anything else, take some time to sit down and think about what you enjoy doing. Reading, exercise, meditation, journaling, and enjoying a nice mug of coffee or tea, are all good (though I prefer to journal in the evening) but there are plenty of options. Include not just things you already do, but things you enjoy doing but have trouble finding the time for. Once thats done, write another list based on that one, this time of the three to five activities from the first list that you enjoy the most, once again, regardless of whether you do them now or not. Actually, give particular attention to what you enjoy doing now but don’t have time for. Keep the list to three to five activities, that way there’s no feeling of needing to rush.

When you start doing your routine, be sure to give yourself time in the morning by getting up earlier than normal (unless you’re already an early riser). To do this, focus on going to bed earlier, and slowly moving your wake-up time earlier. This won’t be easy, but remember, you’re creating a routine so you can have more time for things you enjoy. Look for follow up posts next week about evening routines.

Sound like a good idea? Have you tried to start a morning routine before and struggled? Leave a comment, or tweet me @Simple_Yogi,

Have questions for me? Morning/evening routine related or not, tweet me or head over to the ask page on my tumblog. You might just see the answer posted there, or used as fodder for a future post on the tumblog or here.