On your mark, get set, now get up!

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Written By Geoff Jaeger

Rituals, Routines and Regularity – A writer’s guide to mornings and how to survive them.

It can’t be 6.30am already…

The alarm goes off. You bury your head further in the pillow while reaching for the snooze button. At least it seems to happen that way on screen, particularly to Hugh Grant, with several expletives from his characters along the way.

And so you convince yourself you’re just not a morning person, resenting the moment that heralds a new day. You loathe that point when your feet hit the floor and you instruct your body to resist gravity. It’s time to stand up and do something, something you can’t quite focus on just yet.

Sleep hygiene

How to start getting out of bed. Have you ever heard of sleep hygiene? It’s that thing you do to make sure you’re ready for bed at the same time every night: habits, routine, getting your body used to being tired at the same time each night. And none of that blue light from your iPhone right before, or worse still, in bed. A good read before bed can sometimes be just right – pure Goldilocks!

Good routines before going to bed lead to good routines when you wake, starting with two full glasses of water in the morning. And that thing you have to focus on when you stand up, make it fun. Stretching, yoga, a walk, 10 minutes to sit with a coffee and look out of the window.

The art of the possible

If these things sound impossible because you simply don’t have time in that busy schedule of yours, then you’re fooling yourself. Rule number one for morning routines is to set yourself up well because no one else is going to establish a routine for you.

Sure, you might have to be in the office at a certain time, but everything you do up until that point is under your control.

Juggle your time

Get your calendar out, colour code your morning activities. For example:

Green – eating

Blue – bathroom time

Red – getting dressed

Yellow – meditation, yoga or stretching

Purple – waking and feeding children and pets

Orange – writing your three goals for the day, three morning pages

Spend some time shuffling them around on your screen to find out which order is best. Stay in your ‘jarmies’ until the last minute if that works, just make it fun. Your morning routine belongs to you – how you choose to spend that time is yours.

Choosing a different life

It may take a week, a month or more, but the conscious choice of how to select and change the way you spend your first few hours each morning can impact your whole day, your whole week, month, year and ultimately your life.

Make a change today. Even if only part of it works the way you thought it would, something in your life will be different. It’s amazing the things we can control but never do. Good luck and Carpe Diem!