During the week, my alarm rings at 5 AM. I am at the gym by 6 AM. I will admit...most days when my alarm goes off (which I use my phone for) I hit snooze and wait for it to go off again. After hitting snooze, maybe once or twice (the occasional third time), I roll out of bed and head to the bathroom. I am not usually scrolling on social media while I am in bed but I will admit, I do it when I am in the bathroom. Usually, I find 10 to 15 minutes have passed and then I am rushing to get myself ready for the gym so I am on time.
I have heard lots of information about not having your phone beside your bed or using it as an alarm and yet...this is one habit, I am yet to change. I often comment on the fact that there are so many things I could do in the time between when I wake up and leave for the gym but I never have enough time after my random and often mindless scrolling.
High-Performance Coach Brendon Burchard often uses the phrase, 'Win the morning, win the day'. What we do in the morning, our morning routines, set us up for the day. They result in us either wandering aimlessly through the day with no real set intentions other than 'go to work, do the job, come home' or they help us to focus on what is important in order to move us forward and make progress towards our goals or improve in a particular area.
Morning routines are essential. Classrooms are typically run on routines and good morning routines will help set up the classroom and kids for the rest of the day. My routines at school are better than my home routines! So what if we could absolutely crush our morning routines at home and at work? I wonder how more productivity we would get out of our day?
The first hour matters
The first hour of our day is THE most important one. Our day is pretty much formed by how we spend that first hour. Everyone is going to have a different routine, especially if there are children involved. But every one of us is able to do this: check our thoughts, check our attitude and check our heart. These three things will impact what happens next whether kids are involved or not. Invest the very first hour of the day in yourself. If you are a parent, you probably spend most of your day giving to someone else. Thinking it is selfish to take a little time at the start of each day for yourself is an outdated way of thinking. It is imperative in order to bring your best self for the rest of your day.
Don't wait for it
You either love the morning or you don't. I used to say I wasn't a morning person. The reality is, you can choose to be whatever person you want to be! While my morning routines still require some improvement, I am aware that it is up to me to get up and do the work on the areas that require improvement or growth.
I used to blame lack of sleep, fatigue, not enough time in the morning and many other things on why I couldn't get up earlier or why I couldn't do anything else extra in the morning. But really...the responsibility for my life lies only with me. If we want success and joy and all those other great things in life, then we have to take responsibility for our habits today. The moment we take responsibility for everything in our life is the moment we can change anything in our life.
The Ripple Effect
We often underestimate the ripple effect in most things in our life. One good habit, one kind word or action can ripple far beyond what we see. Creating a good start to our day can help us to feel success. This immediate feeling of success in the morning leads to increased risktaking, being more open and taking more action throughout the day. Imagine if we changed our morning routines so that we started our day feeling like we had already won it?!
So here is the challenge....we ALL know what we are supposed to do but stuff gets in the way!
Stuff like: excuses, lack of confidence, fatigue, old habits and routines, change. It is tough to change habits and routines when this stuff gets in the way. So how do we get rid of the roadblocks?
Whether you feel like it or not
I remember a story from a friend a few years back. He was training for a triathlon and his coach gave him his training schedule. His coach told him that in the weekly schedule there will be two workouts that will be the most important for the week. When my friend asked which ones they were, his coach said he didn't know. But what he could tell him was, there would be two mornings at least where it would be too cold, too dark, too wet or he would be sore and too tired and he would not feel like getting up and training that day. Those two days would be the most important two training sessions of the week. Why? Because habits and routines take discipline and the reality is we don't always feel like doing the work even when we know it is good for us! In order to change our life, we start with our habits and routines. The stuff we do on a daily basis. Too often we look ahead at the end goal and it becomes too overwhelming or out of reach and so we stop. Even when we don't feel like it...our routines are important.
Success Breeds Confidence
We want success but we give ourselves excuses about why we can't or won't ever get there. We don't feel confident enough to go and chase our dreams. We don't feel confident enough to ask the question or share the journey or be disciplined to create new habits. But the thing is...confidence isn't something you either have or you don't. Confidence is something that you can generate. The more you create your habits, the more progress you make towards achieving your goals, the confidence is generated. The confidence, the more success we feel. Success breeds confidence and more success.
Habits and Thoughts
Success comes from creating and improving our skills, confidence and habits. We are what we repeatedly do. Success is not an action but a habit. (Aristotle) Habit is more dependable. It will sustain you whether you are inspired to do it or not. The biggest source of our motivation though is our own thoughts. It is up to us to be conscious to dream big and motivate our self to win. Embrace the discipline. Embrace the suck when things are hard or when you're tired. Trust yourself that you have what you need within you already.
In the classroom, routines are not only necessary for learning but there are so many more benefits beyond just not going insane! The benefits of any good morning routine - either at home or school - are it helps to reduce stress, increases productivity, creates more energy, fell more fulfilled because you are more intentional and there is more joy because the stress of randomness is decreased. Imagine starting the day feeling like that every day!
Asking the right questions
The following questions are just a couple of examples of what Brendon Burchard suggests we ask ourselves to help win the day. You might find them useful to focus your intentions on what you want from your day.
What is one thing I could get excited about today?
What is a situation that might stress me or trip me up today?
How would my best self deal with this?
What is one action I can take to demonstrate excellence or real value today?
Don't be too hard on yourself when you don't get your morning routine right every day. Changing one habit at a time is the best way to create a permanent change in our life. For me...mine is going to be to get an alarm clock that is not my phone! I have been talking about it for a while. I think it is time!
Until next week....have a magnificent week!
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