WHY SHOULD YOU CREATE A MORNING ROUTINE?
By OR Marv
Morning routines. They are a big deal in Recovery, which I never understood why.
I didn’t have a regimented morning routine for the majority of my life, so at first, having a routine I was “supposed to follow” was nothing but a nuisance. In reality it is was just yet another thing that “I sucked at” and would use as a way to beat myself up for “falling short of perfection.”
Well, after some time in Recovery and working on myself, that self-victimizing and self-sabotaging behavior and thinking started to disappear. That’s when I started to see exactly why we do them.
I was actually quite blown away by just how instrumental a morning routine came to be in my life when it comes to staying grateful for my new clean and sober lifestyle.
What exactly do I get out of doing my routine these days?
It gets me out of my head, it gets me prepared for the day I am about to face, it reminds me just how wonderful my life is, and most importantly, it sets the tone for my day.
By nature I am a procrastinator, so even to this day it’s easy to put off my morning routine. When I do so I set myself up for failure because I am not setting the TONE for my day.
I quickly forget that how you start your day sets the tone for the day, so when I hit my snooze button a few too many times I start my day way behind schedule and therefor feel panicked and rush. I forget to do the little things like recognizing the fact I just woke up instead of come to, or thanking my Higher Power for yet another day.
In a perfect world I want my day to go a certain way each and every day. Does it ever? Occasionally. But I can give myself an advantage and start my day off on the right foot with how I want it to go versus playing catch up from the very start. When I don’t follow my routine I feel sluggish both physically and mentally and more often than not just go through the motions versus accomplishing everything I set out to do earlier that day.
When I do follow my routine I feel motivated and confident. I encourage everyone to form a morning routine.
It is my opinion that a routine should be totally comprehensive.
What do I mean by that?
I blend recovery and fitness into my morning routine to wake up to a “can of kick ass” mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
My morning routine goes like this:
1.) ALARM GOES OFF & I GET UP…no snooze….I GET UP
I set the tone for the day that I am not going to procrastinate by hitting the “snooze” button
2.) START BREWING MY COFFEE
I set the tone that I want to be alert and focused all day yet NOT spend excess money at a coffee shop because I’m too lazy to brew my own
I also down a tall glass of water prior to taking that first sip of coffee since I just went 6-8 hours without drinking any water so I just woke up slightly dehydrated and caffeine will compound this
3.) READ MY DAILY REFLECTION BOOK & SAY MY THIRD STEP PRAYER
I set the tone that I am working on my recovery each and every day and that nothing else comes first
I wrote my OWN VERSION of a third step prayer which turned out being a very powerful experience – I have the original copy to this day – it’s battered and held together by tape, but just seeing it transports me back in time to my early days in Recovery which allows me to find gratitude that I have grown since that point
4.) I DRINK MY COFFEE WHILE DOING 20 MINUTES OF FASTED CARDIO
I set the tone that I am making fitness a priority
NOTE: I do my cardio fasted not because I think it “burns more fat” but I seem to wake up quicker when doing so. For me if I avoid eating breakfast for the first 2-3 hours I am awake I find myself sharper mentally plus doing so allows me to eat bigger portions later in the day. In fact in a 24 hour period there is ZERO difference between whether you do your cardio fasted or fed in regards to fat metabolism so do what works best for you and your schedule
5.) WHEN I HAD A DAY JOB I WOULD PUT MY LUNCH TOGETHER THAT I HAD PREPARED THE NIGHT BEFORE
I set the tone that I am going to eat healthy and control my portion sizes versus spending way more money than necessary and possibly giving into to some less than ideal nutrition or way too large of a portion size (“I mean it’s only $2 more for almost twice as much food…I would be wasting money if I don’t make it a large!”)
6.) TODAY I EITHER READ A MOTIVATIONAL ARTICLE OR LISTEN TO A MOTIVATIONAL SPEECH THEN CREATE MY TO-DO LIST FOR THE DAY AND START WORKING ON IT IMMEDIATELY
I set the tone that I am going to be productive and when I write something down it increases the odds that I will accomplish it
My recommendation to you is to take charge of your life and set the tone for your day with a morning routine! You can never control how things go (hence the all-important phrase life on life’s terms), but you can start things off right. Even if you have to wake up 20, 30, even 40 minutes earlier, doing so will pay off.
Today I never have a “bad day” – I have “bad moments” – and if I have enough “bad moments” to equal 24 hours, then I am just trying to feel sorry for myself and play the victim card like I used to when I beat myself up for not following a morning routine. I know that if I follow my routine, I start my day off right meaning it’s impossible to start the day with a “bad moment” and that’s already a huge advantage.
Where I come from, what I did in my past…I shouldn’t be alive let alone free from behind bars to pursue all I am working to accomplish. Setting the tone reminds me of this – it keeps me present, it keeps me grateful, it keeps me sane.
So, what about you? Are you going to join me in creating and following a morning routine? What will your routine entail? Well, that’s up to you!
Don’t mistake the forest for the trees and analyze this to death. It’s simple:
CREATE A ROUTINE YOU CAN REALISTICALLY FOLLOW DAY IN & DAY OUT.
MAKE SURE THIS ROUTINE EMPHASISES RECOVERY FIRST, FITNESS & NUTRITION SECOND.
FOLLOW THIS ROUTINE FAITHFULLY & SET THE TONE FOR YOUR DAY, EACH & EVERY DAY.
P.S. Want to hear something crazy? By following my morning routine more often than not, by putting my Recovery first, and by asking for help when I needed it most, I celebrated 4 years of sobriety on June 22!!!! If I can do it, you can do it too!!!