Breaking Bad Habits for a Happier and Healthier Morning

1.21.2019 Fresno, CA


I never knew the importance of a morning routine until I didn't have one. For most of my life, I have been on a strict schedule as an athlete. Pretty predictable. I can't even begin to share how many times "I have practice" or "I have a track meet" uttered from my mouth. I always knew what to expect and how much to give back. I had workouts, weights and classes down packed. I was the multitask/prioritizing queen. That's all I knew, how to juggle things (and very well might I add). It certainly was useful in the beginning. However, once the schedule changed, bad habits began to form. You mean I don't have to wake up at the butt crack of dawn for weights anymore? That calls for immediate sleep-ins. Always being on the go meant always eating on the go. Not enough time? I'll just skip that meal. Free weekends were like a vacation. I carried all of these habits over into life after track and soon realized it needed to be fixed. I'm not saying that I was unhealthy, but I am saying that I didn't have the greatest of morning habits for a while.. and your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day.

When I first got out of college, I took every opportunity I had to sleep in. When I say sleep in, I'm talking 10/11 a.m. sleep-ins. I believe a portion of that had to do with the fact I was dealing with post-grad depression and had to go to a job I didn't like every day. After realizing that I wasn't making good use of my time in the mornings, I wanted to start being more productive during the hours I used to sleep my life away. There were so many things I could be doing within that time period and I wanted to make sure that I was getting the most out of it.

It took a while.

I continuously fell off of my plans to do better and would pick back up just to fall off again. Things get so much harder when you aren't required to do them anymore, but that's where self-discipline comes in the most! Our days and moods are pretty much shaped by how we spend the first hour in the morning. My first-hour would be spent scrolling through social media.. and I still fall short sometimes. I'm guilty, but I hate giving my time to things that aren't that important right then. I've done it so much throughout college it's become second nature. I started really thinking to myself like "what did I do before I ever had a phone?" before any of these social networking apps took over. It seemed the more I got into blogging over the years, the more I instinctively checked social media.

If I want to direct my life I must first take control of my consistent actions, because it's not what I do once that shapes my life, but what I do consistently. So, at the end of last year, I told myself that I needed to change the way I spent the first hours of my day and did trial and error routines. For some reason, I wake up at 6:58a on the dot, every single morning now and it's been that way since October. It doesn't matter if I go to bed later than usual, the good Lord is popping my eyes open right on time daily. Noticing that and taking the areas of my life that I wanted to improve this year I began a routine. Waking up this early helps especially on Saturdays when I go for my run.

I'm still in the process of tackling this routine down perfectly every single day of the week, but we're getting there. Baby steps right?


(side note: my room is my favorite place outside of my office.. I spend more time here creatively.)

WEEKDAYS

I'm kind of a grandma now so I really don't do much on weeknights, but I do have movie nights with my boyfriend or sometimes binge watch shows on my own until 12a the next day (ya'll know how it goes). However, I'm pretty adamant on going to bed around 8:30 or 9p outside of my occasional Netflix binge. In addition to that, because I'm going to bed quite early I usually don't eat anything after 8:00p (usually). As morning comes around, I'm up at 6:58 as my bedtime alarm starts to play chirpings of birds (this is the calmest alarm tone to wake up to, take my word for it).

I then will proceed to either take my morning shower or run a bubble bath so I can spend some time on devotionals. After that, I make my bed and cuddle up on my couch and read one or two chapters of whatever book I'm reading at the moment.

Since I'm at two different schools throughout the day, I like to set my intentions, go over lesson plans and get in tune with how I'm feeling. I do all of this by using my little 5-second journal. I document how I am feeling that morning, why I feel this way, what I can do to improve my mood, as well as state the things I would like to get done. My favorite part of the journal is the option to physically write down when I will be done working that day, which is especially good emotionally when I'm beginning to feel burnt out.

Notice, I haven't mentioned anything about my phone? Well in case you were wondering, yes. I have been on it but not for social media. I do my devotionals through the Bible app so I'm utilizing it for that and exchanging good mornings and well wishes for the day with Kirk and family. Other than that, I don't need to check my Twitter or even begin producing content because it's already taken care of. I use Buffer to schedule any and every thought I may have to tweet out for me at night. I have fallen in love with this app because it really does the work for me. It schedules the timing on its own, I can choose how many times a day I want to publish tweets and that's it. I don't have to worry about producing content throughout my work day and can be active online without having to be active.

I've gotten pretty good at sticking to this routine, sometimes I fall off (checking social media), but I do plan to continue doing it so that it becomes easier to have a more productive morning. When I do well on this routine my whole day runs smoothly and I'm in a great mood because I've taken the time to utilize my morning and get many things out of the way early.

Once I get to work I use office time to check or respond to any blog or business related emails since I'd typically already be checking work emails before class.

 WEEKENDS

Are used for fun right? To a certain extent. I don't want to stop trying to collectively better my routines with the exception of the weekend. So, Saturdays are used for morning runs. I get up at 6:30a to get to the park at 7:30a and do my full workout with my trainer. It can consist of hills, sprints, two-mile runs on the loop, whatever it is, I take this time to clear my mind of everything from the week. Running has always been my way to focus better. After, I get a nice and healthy breakfast in, shower and dive into blogging. Again, Twitter is already handled. Then Sunday is a rest day, usually more time for reading and prepping for the work week.

I like this schedule so far and plan to be more consistent with it because it does make me very productive. The next thing on my list to tackle is incorporating cooking more throughout the week to limit eating out and practice healthier habits.

Hopefully, this helped you identify bad habits that you've developed throughout your mornings and moved you to want to break them!


The 5-second journal can be found here if interested: Amazon 

4 comments

  1. Ash! This blog post is so on time because I struggle in this area the most. I've been doing a little bit better being that I'm in the middle of a spiritual fast, so I've had more disciplined days than usual. But I know that I can do better, and after reading this, I'm so inspired to push harder.

    Btw, your room is super cute!
    Love you babes! Good job!
    Love Mel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mellie!

      Thank you, I know how you feel with the stuggle areas. I'm pushing myself to really do this as consistently as I possibly can so it can be easier. Everyone isn't a morning person and I definitely didn't use to be but I found actually getting use to being a morning person makes your day better. Its something about taking advantage of the first few hours of your day that get your motors turning lol. We've got this though!

      Thank boo, love you too!

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  2. WOW! love this! I was just telling my boyfriend I'm now looking to create a consistent morning routine to make my days much more easier and to utilize my morning with a bit more self care

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Yes, it has definitely been helping a lot. Good luck with creating more cosistency in your mornings!

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