I realised that I have written so much about creating a healthy morning routine and also about my own morning rituals, but I hadn’t written anything about how to actually keep up with a morning routine.
And well that’s the hard part right?
Creating a routine is one thing and actually sticking to it is a totally different thing. There have been so many times when I have made routines for myself so enthusiastically but again had a hard time following through.
But after constant trying over the years I have come to find some strategies that have been working for me in creating and sticking to a simple daily routine.
I now have a morning routine I have been keeping up with for years and it has totally changed my life.
Now I can’t imagine my day starting in a hurry, staying in bed checking my phone like I used to, and not being intentional with how I spend my mornings.
I love the quietness, the focus and the slowness of a morning routine too much.
I love to start my day right intentionally, work on my important things and I love how having a morning routine honours my self care and growth.
I know you want this for yourself too and you definitely can experience the beauty and benefits of becoming a morning person and having your own morning routine.
So here in this post I write about how you can actually stick with a morning routine in 10 actionable steps. So stay with me.
How to keep up with a morning routine
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1. Decide how long your morning routine will be
A morning routine should be 20 minutes minimum to maximum 4 hours long. Be realistic in deciding this, especially if you are new to having a morning routine for yourself.
We think so highly when setting routines- it is almost funny how we think we can do it all. But when the actual time comes we forget about it, and end up feeling guilty and discouraged.
I personally give 90 minutes for my morning routine before I work on my Most Important task (MIT).
I can give this much time because I have started waking up at 5am. But it does not mean you have to start waking up at 5am or even 6am to have a morning routine.
Whatever time you wake up in the morning, as long as you have time to do your morning rituals it is all that matters.
Maybe you can give this time by waking up a little earlier or by eliminating some of these bad morning habits.
- Action Step: Decide how long your morning routine will be and based on that decide on the time you need to wake up for it.
2.Decide what your morning rituals will be
Once you decide how long your morning routine will be, choose what morning rituals you want to or can add in your time set.
We set unrealistic expectations of an ideal morning routine, but that only happens after we give ourselves some time.
If you are just starting, you can choose just one morning ritual to do for 20 minutes and do them first thing in the morning. Try sticking with only that one first.
- Action step: Decide your morning rituals. I suggest you to add at least 1 ritual from these 5 sacred morning routine ingredients.
When starting, to stick to your morning routine, something is better than doing.
3.Make your why strong
Nothing will help you to keep up with your morning routine unless your why is not strong.
If you find yourself getting off track, that’s not a problem. You can actually expect it so that you don’t feel discouraged.
When I actually expected that I would get off track at some point, it actually helped me get on track more easily.
So to fail is not a problem, but how you continue to not get defeated and try again is what counts and what you should be proud of.
And the only thing that will help you do this- that will help you actually stick to a morning routine or for that matter any lifestyle change you’re trying to make is by making your why strong.
How badly do you want to change? How badly do you want to inculcate good habits and give up bad ones and see your life improving? How badly do you want to want to give yourself time and honour your self?
It all depends on your why. Make your why strong and you will be able to stick to your morning routine.
- Action Step: Write down your why. Writing down has a power most of us don’t even realise. It has the power to make everything you write come true.
- P.S How to make your new habits stick
- Only 3 Tricks to build Self discipline
- Why we fail to stick to good habits
4.Use an actual alarm clock instead of your phone
- Action steps: Actually use an alarm clock instead of your phone to set your alarm.
- When you go to bed keep your phone far away and keep your alarm clock far away too.
This way you have to get up from your bed.
Also you won’t use your phone first thing in the morning (which is the biggest killer of having an intentional and productive morning)
5. Be patient
One reason why we fail to stick to a routine or new habits is because we are too quick to imagine the ‘ideal’ and instead of motivating and pushing us, we let it discourage us.
Please don’t put high expectations when starting.
When you start waking up early, you might not find yourself in the ideal energy like you imagined. Sometimes you might totally struggle.
Sometimes you might even think what you are doing, why you have to sacrifice your sleep instead of just comfortably being in bed or checking your phone.
This especially happens when starting out.
When this feeling comes, just remember that this is not you, it is your mind resenting the change. It is your mind craving for comfort.
- Action step: Remember your why. Remember that this is because you want to take charge of your mornings and thereby your life.
- Remember that it is because you want to experiment how starting a morning routine intentionally feels like. Because you want to actually work on yourself and honour your self care.
Once you get past the initual hurdle and you don’t let your mind win you, you will feel more confident and more in charge of yourself.
You will start loving your mornings and you will find the answer to your ‘why’ eventually and you will be so thankful you kept up.
- P.S The Power of Embracing slow growth
- The Spirit of experimenting with life
- 11 Self care ideas for a rough day
6.Use a habit tracker to keep with your morning routine
Using a habit tracker is a great way to stick to a new routine. It was by using a habit tracker that I actually started waking up at 5 am.
When you check those boxes off and see it in front of your eyes, you feel more encouraged and less likely to discontinue seeing you’ve been through for so long.
Action step: Make yourself a habit tracker or take a printable.
This is how I made mine for mum (my accountability partner) and me when we decided to get up at 5 am back in January 2019 after reading Robin Sharma’s 5 am club.
We stuck with it for 66 days till it became a habit.
Here are some great free Habit Tracker free printables.
7. Change your self talk
Do you unconsciously brag to people about how ‘lazy’ you are and how you keep procrastinating things and you are not at all self disciplined?
If yes, then please cut this habit completely.
What kind of image of you are you building in front of you? That is all that matters. By changing your self talk you start building you.
Remember that, whatever you speak knowingly or unknowingly, you (your subconscious mind) is always hearing you, picking it up and making sure the same happens.
If you say you are lazy and you can’t stick to a routine, it is you who is making sure you don’t stick to a routine.
If you say you are just not disciplined even though you wished to have a little discipline in your life, it is you who is making sure you always remain undisciplined.
- Action Step: Cut all negative self talk and start saying things such as, ‘I am calm’, ‘I can wake up in the morning’, ‘I will be the most disciplined person for me’, ‘My body cooperates with me’, ‘My mind cooeperates and is friends with me’ and see how easy it is to cooperate with yourself for your growth.
- Plus, 10 toxic habits to quit asap (& how to)
8. Tiny improvements to stick to your morning routine
Make tiny improvements in your morning routine. When you are first creating a morning routine, don’t think to do it all. Start with including one habit- maybe reading a book for 20 minutes.
Next as you stick with that add exercise for 15 minutes right after reading a book.
Action Step: Try Habit stacking gradually.
Habit stacking is when you add new habits to things that you aready do or which have already become a habit.
For example, when starting to keep up with a morning routine
- After brushing teeth -> read book for 20 minutes
- After reading -> exercise for 15 minutes
- After exercise -> Do your MIT in the morning.
You can try habit stacking before or after what you already do.
This is how I finally stuck to my own morning routine.
9. Sleep early to wake up early
Just as you make tiny improvements to wake up 15-20 minutes early, make the same adjustments to sleep 15-20 minutes early.
This is very essential because you need to have a good night’s sleep so as to start your day refreshed and energised.
- Action Step: Decide when you want to go to be bed.
- Put your phone far away and uninstall/log out from instagram/facebook 30 minutes to 1 hour before going to sleep.
- In that time find something else to do which doesn’t involve using any digital device such as -colouring, reading, taking a bath before sleeping, meditating/praying, journaling etc.
If you want to try journaling, here are great self discovery journal Prompts for 21 days.
10. Keep getting back on track
Lastly, I always say this- keep getting back on track. You’re not lazy. You’re not undisciplined. Nobody is. Everybody gets off track. Every body fails. It would be something superhuman in us if we didn’t.
What matters is how fast you get back on track.
If you get up late one day and you find yourself having less time for all your morning routine, simply do one for 10-15 minutes.
If you miss one day, don’t miss the other day.
- Action Step: Don’t ever miss more than 2 days in a row.
So with these 10 steps, I am sure that you will easily be able to stick to your morning routine. P.S 10 toxic morning habits to start quitting.
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All the best! Keep going.