Do you have a morning routine? Many people swear by them, some even claim that it is one the foundations stones of a successful life. Others, question them on the ground that they are habitual and can make us mechanical. Over the last twenty years, I have experimented a fair bit with all sorts of combinations, and although I am still exploring the question, I have come to be clearer in making the process both whole and lighter.
The problem that many of us face is that we want to do too much. Personally, I love the morning and want to pack as much as possible before the work and the social day begins. Exercising, meditating, writing, planing, grooming, eating, walking in nature, and the list goes on. If I were to add all the things I wanted to include in a morning routine, it would probably be time to eat lunch by the time I finished it.
Consequently, my morning routine has become an interesting balancing act. The challenge is to create a rhythm and regularity while remaining flexible and spontaneous. My current morning flow comprises of seven steps and to make it more memorable I made up the following acronym C.L.E.A.R.E.R where:
C is for Cleanse
(1) I rinse my face in cold water, clean my teeth and tongue and drink a cup of hot water
L for Lighten
(2) I plan the day ahead and choose my ‘MIT-One’ (#1 Most Important Task) and download all the smaller tasks on my “Peace of Mind passport”
E’ for Exercise
(3) I do half an hour of yoga and pranayama (breathing exercises) and finish with 15 mins of meditation
A for Act
(4) I work on my ‘MIT-One’ for at least 25mins. I rarely complete the task but I start it and usually know what I am going to do on the next time I have to work on it
R’ for Re:focus
(5): I do some eye movements, five minutes of relaxation and a short visualisation exercise to clarify my intentions for the day
E” for Exhale
(6) I go for a short run, a bike ride or a walk to oxygenate my body and to be outside in nature
R” for Ready
(7) I get ready: washing, getting dressed, eating breakfast and doing a bit of tidying before starting the day ahead.
This morning routine suits me quite well, the only issue I have is that it takes about 2 to 3 hours to complete. The trick is to get up early. At first, I used to be frustrated if I could not do it all, but now I am more flexible and feel alright if I miss one or more of the seven steps.
A healthy routine needs to nourish you and make you feel better both in the short and the long term. It also needs to be light and flexible to accommodate the changes of seasons and and the of heart. I invite you to create yours – it may bring more light into your life.