2 Key Mindset Shifts to Help You Build and Stick to a Morning Routine

Overcome the thought: “I have variable timings each day”.

2 Key Mindset Shifts to Help You Build and Stick to a Morning Routine
Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

Overcome the thought: “I have variable timings each day”.

I was never much of a believer in morning routines.

All my life, I’ve moved from home to hostel, city to city, never once settling in one place for more than a year. It was always a bit of this city, a taste of that town, a new hostel, a new roommate, and I was too overwhelmed to even claim a few minutes of the day just for myself.

This changed when I started living alone. Even now, my job required me to travel every two weeks, but I managed to build a simple three-step morning routine. Even though I find myself on a flight more days than I can count, I have managed to stick to this religiously for the past two years.

This article is about the two fundamental mindset shifts that helped me stick to my morning routine despite all the uncertainty in my life. Before we dive in, here’s why morning routines are important according to science:

  • Experts say establishing consistent daily and weekly routines is a way for people to feel there is some certainty during tough times.
  • Morning routines help you begin your day with confidence, peace, and a positive attitude.
  • It sets the tone for the day and helps boost your productivity.

1. Define Your Non-Negotiables

After I started setting up a morning routine, I realized that this was a great way to feel in control. As is, my life is full of uncertainty, but knowing there are a few minutes each morning that will pass the same way, no matter what happens, is a calming feeling.

But when every day pans out differently, it’s hard to have a few minutes each morning where you’ll do the same thing. Also, some days might be more packed than the rest, making it impossible to complete a full-fledged morning routine. That’s when I decided no matter how long and detailed a morning routine I have; it’s important to have a few non-negotiables.

For me, they were:

  • Working out for twenty minutes. This involves basic stretches focusing on flexibility. If I can’t manage twenty minutes, I stretch my back, arms, neck and do a few squats. On a busy day, moving your body for a few minutes is better than not moving at all.
  • Journaling about my plans and set my most important task for the day. Even if I can’t find time to journal, I run through the tasks in my head and visualize my day as I plan to spend it. This gives me perspective on what I want to get done. Achieving the tasks became more manageable once I’d already envisioned them in detail.
  • Meditating for a few minutes. Since the core idea of meditation is staying in the present and fully participating in your life, I combined mindfulness with my workout on days I didn’t have enough time to sit and meditate.

The mindset shift

Breaking down my non-negotiables into micro-habits helped me stick to my morning routine, no matter what. The moment you think of it as not eligible for debate, you start taking your morning routine seriously, irrespective of how packed your day is.

2. Check the Story You’re Telling Yourself

Once I started working out in mid-July, I’ve been pretty consistent at it every morning. However, in December, I found myself relapsing. The main reason was that it was too cold where I live. I had zero motivation to change into workout clothes, pull out my Yoga mat, and start working out. Maybe if I went to the gym, it might have been more comfortable as going out of the house was motivation enough. But at-home workouts were too hard to continue in the December chill.

This went on for far longer than I’d like to admit, and the changes I saw in my life were apparent too. I felt lethargic all day long, and the guilt that I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to was eating me up on the inside. Things got so bad that one day, I decided it was enough.

So what if I wasn’t going to the gym? I could go to the terrace and workout there. This gave me a reason to change, put on some music, and carry my Yoga mat upstairs.

Once I started doing this, I felt like a queen. Not kidding, but it legit felt like if I can push myself to work out, I can do just about anything. On lazy days, I even stayed on the terrace for more extended periods of time, practicing affirmations and telling myself that my body is like water. It can flow in whatever direction it wishes to.

The mindset shift

Watch the story you’re telling yourself. Are you filling your brain with excuses rather than telling it that you can do anything you set your mind to?

Research suggests people with positive self-talk may have mental skills that allow them to solve problems, think differently, and be more efficient at coping with hardships or challenges. This can reduce the harmful effects of stress and anxiety.

And if it can help you stick to your morning routine as well, isn’t it a win-win situation?

Final Words

I used to think sticking to a morning routine was hard, but these two mindset shifts helped me crush my goals and make a habit out of them. They apply not just to morning routines but also to any act of self-care.

People often complain that self-care is hard and they never have enough time. But if you consider what your non-negotiables are and break them down into the most basic habit you can perform with ease, you’ll find things become more manageable.

The same is true for the kind of self-talk you’re practicing. If you fill your vocabulary with excuses and your head with reasons why you can’t do it, the universe will come up with ways to prove you right. However, if you change the story you’re telling yourself and consider why you should, you’ll find many different options open up.

In this fast-paced world of today, self-care should be a priority, not an option. Having a morning routine that keeps you grounded throughout the day is a great way to take things in control and prove to yourself that you’ll always put yourself first no matter what happens.

I create content in many different forms related to self-improvement, body-positivity, and feminism on several other platforms. Join my email list to make sure you don’t miss out on anything new.