Use Morning Tasks to Build a Morning Routine Step by Step
If you read recent articles and listen to self-development podcasts you will definitely come across the phrase “morning routine”. Books, articles, interviews, videos, podcasts and all kinds of other outlets have written and recorded about the power of morning routines.
Successful people attribute (at least part of) their success to their morning routine. Others may use the concept to get out of the gutter and start getting serious with their life and success.
I’m not here to devalue any of that. I personally think a morning routine can provide great benefits to each and every one of us. It can provide structure and motivate you, while at the same time keep you grounded and healthy.
There are countless possibilities of how to set up your morning routine. Whether it starts with meditation and ends with going to the gym or it starts with reading and ends with brewing your favorite cup of coffee.
Morning routines consist of various activities, different durations and are simply a very individual activity.
Needless to say, it takes some time to set up and get used to a proper morning routine. You need to find the components that fit you best, find the right order and actually start doing them on a consistent basis. Usually the last part is often the hardest.
In a perfect world, everyone would be able to set up his perfect routine. Follow it religiously from day one until this person finds something better for him. Unfortunately, that’s not how things usually work.
Many times people have trouble with following a full routine consistently. In case they miss a day, some might get discouraged. Afterwards, it’s often just a question of time until they drop the routine entirely as they think they have failed, by not living up to their own expectations.
Gladly there is no failure, especially not when it comes to your OWN morning routine. You decide how you build and follow it. An article or a podcast might inspire you to set it up and actually do it, but it still remains your routine.
A step-by-step morning routine
Now don’t get my wrong. I don’t mean you shouldn’t start with a morning routine, just because you think you will be unable to stick with it. Instead, I’d like to offer you a different kind of perspective. Instead of a full morning routine, why don’t you start with a single “morning task”?
Most articles I read basically tell you to set up the routine with steps one, two, three, four, five in a certain way and follow it. Some suggest only different tasks and ask you to choose the one’s you like best. These are all valid approaches, but I think for some people, with too much on their plate, it’s not a good approach.
Instead of planning your morning routine, just focus on one single task that you will do every morning. Let’s call it your “First Morning Task” (FMT).
Since I’m trying this approach for myself right now, my FMT was meditation. Usually for 20 minutes. That’s the only task of my soon to be morning routine that’s planned for now. Next, I will add “Exercise” as my “Second Morning Task”.
Afterwards, I will add a couple of other things, but I know that gradual introduction works best for me. It might take more time to have a full morning routine, but recently I learned that it’s better to do something slowly, than to do it fast and drop it again, which brings me to the first benefit of this approach: patience.
This approach will teach you patience
If you’ve been listening to Gary Vee lately, like I have, you know that he is very big on having patience. I can’t agree more. In our fast paced society many people don’t have patience and want everything too fast, which will often lead them to give up.
Patience is key and I think that splitting the morning routine into different tasks, can teach you patience as well. Instead of creating it fast and probably not doing it consistently you focus on only one thing. The beauty of it is, that you can decide how long you want to wait to add another one.
Maybe it takes you 3 days to feel comfortable enough to add another task, maybe it takes you three weeks. It doesn’t matter, as long as you actually DO it.
Patience is extremely important, whether it comes to building a business or getting healthy and also when you try to build a new habit like a morning routine.
You’ll still benefit from the “morning routine”
Another great aspect of this concept is that you will still benefit from your morning routine, even if it is only a morning task in the beginning. While a full morning routine, I.e. Exercise, meditation and taking a cold shower, provide you with several positive benefits that could also accumulate, a morning routine that only includes meditation as your morning task, will still give you positive effects.
There is no law that says you have to do 3 or more activities to benefit from your morning routine.
Maybe the contrary is the case. By only focusing on one morning task, you might actually get more out of it. First of all, you won’t feel stressed because you still have so many other things to do before going to work or before getting your kids ready for school. Having only one “morning task” doesn’t create this problem.
Secondly having only one task in the morning, could actually enable you to enjoy this task more and get deeper into it. For example, if you exercise, you might get interested in which muscles you actually work out and what other routines there are to address different muscle groups.
Your knowledge and motivation will increase by doing this.
You’re really flexible if you don’t have time
I’m not sure how you feel about it, but I don’t like it when I can’t finish an activity, such as a morning routine. If for some reason I have a limited amount of time and can only do 3 of the 5 tasks, I somehow don’t feel good.
For others, it might even go so far that they drop the routine completely. Kind of like “all or nothing”. We all know this is nonsense, but that’s how some of us (or most of us) act. Building your morning routine step-by-step will give you different anchor points.
By starting with only a simple morning task you will already recognize this task alone as a morning routine. This can be great in the case described above. For some reason, you don’t have time for your fully established morning routine, but since one task is enough for you to “complete the routine”, there is a slighter chance of you slipping.
On the next day, you could either go immediately back to your full routine, or you can stick with one task for a while and increased it again step-by-step.
One thing to remember: sleep
Building your morning routine step-by-step is a good way to establish it for the long run and actually stick with it. As I already mentioned a morning routine in itself is a great way to start the day, but there is one thing I’d like to mention as well.
For most of you, it will be a reminder, but it is a really important one.
A successful morning starts on the night before. If you don’t sleep enough or only get low-quality sleep, then the best morning routine will probably only get your mediocre results. In order to gain your full potential sufficient sleep is important.
Just keep that in mind. If you want to learn more on how to get better sleep you can check out this.
What’s your morning task?
Now that you know about this approach, it’s your turn to take it and put it into action. It’s not daunting or anything. You don’t need to pick several tasks and create a full morning routine. To get started, you just need to choose one task.
Think about what task would you enjoy doing most and which task would benefit you most.
Do you feel stressed and overwhelmed? Maybe try meditation.
Do you feel lethargic and tired? Try exercising for 20 minutes.
Do you feel like wasting too much time in the morning? Maybe try to stop hitting the snooze button.
Whatever it is that you might choose, it needs to fit your personal needs. Don’t choose it because your friends do it or because you’ve read that millionaires do it. If you think that brewing a perfect cup of coffee or tea will get your day started in a good way then do that.
It doesn’t have to be something productive, but instead something that makes you feel good about yourself.
Choose your morning task. Do it consistently. Add another task until you have your morning routine. It’s simple as that.
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