I was listening to a podcast, the other day, where the host explained the importance of having a morning routine. More specifically, he recommended that the morning routine be so systematic that
1. It can be carried out day after day without much conscious thought.
2. You could write out your routine and someone else could carry out our morning ritual step by step.
Then I got to thinking about my current routine, which looks something like this:
Wake up, head to the computer, check emails, check stats, browse various sites, etc.
After reflecting on my routine, I came to the following conclusions. First, my routine isn't clearly defined. It's more a random set of actions that I repeat over and over again. Second, these morning activities do not offer any leverage with regards to how the rest of my day will turn out. Simply put, my actions don't set me up for success.
So I immediately decided to change all of that. My new morning routine would incorporate quiet time for meditation, reflection, prayer, etc. Then I'd do some type of physical exercise to increase blood flow and promote sweating. I'd also take time to focus on my current goals and determine which actions to do, that day, that get me one step closer to my goal. Finally, I'd incorporate a small beauty routine, as a celebration of life, while I put on a cup of warm bamboo tea.
This would be my ideal morning. But, unfortunately, the first version of my morning has now become my default. While in default mode, no (mental) effort is required. These behaviors repeat themselves over and over again. I want the second version of the morning ritual to become my default. But here's the issue. Every time I've done version #1, I've created a connection in the brain. When that same action is repeated over and over again, I'm essentially creating a deep rooted program. It's like walking the same path day after day. Eventually, the path becomes permanent.
Then one day, I decide I want to create a new path. Unfortunately, that area is overgrown. I literally have forgo the easy path (already awaiting me) and exert a considerable amount of energy to carve out a new path. Basically, you have to go against your default programming, day after day, until your new actions become hardwired into your subconscious. Soon, it becomes second nature. You wake up and instinctively carry out this new way of life.
Anytime you want to create new habits, an important thing to realize is that you will have to face a certain level of resistance. It's natural. YOU WILL NOT FEEL LIKE DOING IT. You will rationalize reasons why you can't. You will break promises to yourself. But it's all part of the process. As long as you are aware of this AND as long as you employ your power of CHOICE throughout this process.
You will have to choose to work out even though you've lost an hour of sleep 'cause of daylight savings. You will have to choose to drink water, even though you hate the way it tastes. You will have to choose to work on your business even though you are afraid of failing. You've gotta want this new path more than you want your own comfort. You also have to believe you're capable of being that person capable of living out that new path. If your belief is insufficient, your subconscious works against you to hold on to your old patterns.
So I decided. I decided to carry out my desired morning ritual. It wasn't easy. I had to keep pulling myself away from wanting to surf the web. I wanted to shift to default. When I realized what was happening, I adjusted my focus. Each time I executed morning ritual #2, I had a tremendous day. Then I used the results as leverage to keep me motivated to do it again tomorrow. Every morning, I remind myself why it's so important that I push against resistance no matter how hard it may seem.
The reward is what makes it all worth it.
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