It’s all the rage right now. Morning routines. Gotta have one. And, I do understand why. The fact is, morning routines are a natural thing for pretty much any productive person for all of humanity’s existence. But, there’s another fact that’s been true for all my existence: I’m horrible at routines!
As I’ve said before, I work like Google, not like Apple. In other words, if I ever thrive in something, it happens more out of pure motivation and enjoyment rather than calculated discipline for the end goal. Neither can be void of the other, but I’m definitely a person motivated by the enjoyment of something more than the goal. That surprises a lot of people because I seem to be pretty “goal driven” from a casual look.
So this is my problem with morning (or most any) routine: I’ve never enjoyed them! Thus, I’ve never had any!
No really, I mean, “none!”
I don’t put my pants on in the same way each day. I don’t brush my teeth in the same pattern. I don’t wash my body with the same motions. I do nothing at the same time each day. I’ve spent time trying to think of anything I do in a routine fashion, or ever have in my life, and have asked my wife to help me think of something, and I’ve never, ever, had a single thing come to mind that I could say I’ve done in a predictable routine fashion in my entire life.
So… this is serious. Maybe just seriously weird. But, it’s serious… Ha!
On one hand, I’ve always had a suspicion that my lack of routines, habits, and brainless repetitions has probably allowed me much more mental engagement with the world around me, and thus, better creative and visionary thinking in my life. But, on the other hand, it has meant I can exclude doing something that I consider to be important for my day and should be done in a consistent manner. Think: writing for my blogs, working out, brushing my teeth twice, showering, reading a book, memorizing scripture, checking each email account, and so on.
What makes a morning routine so special?
Well, as I’ve admitted, I couldn’t even begin to try to convince anyone of their need for a morning routine at this point in my life. Yet, if you were to do a quick Google search on it, you’d find thousands of articles by people way smarter, more studied, and more accomplished than me, saying they are essential to a person’s success.
I cannot even, at this point, link you to any specific stand-out articles or people that have persuaded me. For over five years now, I’ve read about the benefits of a consistent morning and evening routine to start and end your day, but I’ve been a rather hard sell on the matter.
It is the conglomerate of multiple people vouching for these routines over time, paired with my need for a consistent amount of sleep (I think? I’ve never done this either) and my desire to practice writing every single day, that has won me over to the idea of forming a morning routine especially.
I’m sure an evening routine will follow, but I’m less worried about it because it seems that should take care of itself if my body is constantly waking up at the same time each day.
Plus, when you add in the fact that the older I get, the older my wife and friends get, then this means everyone around me is becoming more valuable, and thus responsible, with more things demanded of their time. This means they have stricter requirements for getting sleep and starting and stopping their days at consistent times too. So, one could say that I’m, in a sense, conforming! *gasp*
However, all this said, the big thing that motivates most people about forming a consistent morning routine is that they are supposed to help lay a solid foundation of energy, spiritual renewal, and mental focus that you can launch into your day from. This allows you to more likely assure you get done the priority work in your day with less distraction and disarray.
We all want to know we’re doing our most valuable work we can do, on the most valuable things we can work on, and that we’re doing it regularly. Control and accomplishment aren’t the biggest desires for me — though I’ll happily take what I get as far as those — but more so I want to know I’ve stewarded my time, energy, and abilities in such a way that God, myself, and my wife can be pleased with. It takes a lot more than a morning routine to be sure I’m doing that, but a routine at the start and end of each day seems like helpful parts of a plan to assure this desire is being met.
What’s it going to be?
So, what is it? What is the morning routine? Well… I don’t know yet.
I’m in the experimental phase right now, and I plan to blog about it as I get something good figured out.
Here are the things I know have to be true about my morning routine for myself (and are genuinely recommended for everyone):
- It has to have elements I look forward to each morning (it needs a strong motivating factor of pleasure such as “I’m going to wake and write!”).
- It has to be easy to sustain and replicate each day (it can’t cost me too deeply in other ways that are important or be too complicated, requiring much thought and energy to remember to carry out each day).
- It has to involve easy food right away (I have extremely low blood sugar in the mornings and must have a readily available food source I can quickly put in my body without tons of effort).
- It needs to help me focus and plan my day, and not distract or complicate my day more (it needs a dedicated time of reflection on my purpose, values, desires, most important work, and planning of my tasks and relationships for the day).
If I get these elements from my time, I should be set to happily and predictably dominate most any day!
As far as the specifics of what exactly this is going to look like though, I do not yet know! Ha!
I’m approaching three weeks into January and have been getting up each morning at 5 a.m. on a pretty consistent basis so far this year. However, I have yet to get an actual routine down. So, beginning today, I’m going to be trying to implement certain aspects of an ideal routine and see what works.
I have posted a separate blog post and update that one with what my current morning routine is as I iron out the details and continually improve it.
You can find it here: My Current Morning Routine!
In the meantime, if you have any tips, advice, or experience in regard to morning routines, I’d love to hear them in the comments below, an email or a social media message!