Guest blog: Flourishing Pantry – putting a spring in your morning routine
When Lea gave me the theme “Put a spring in your step” for this guest blog I wasn’t quite sure where to start. Scratching my head I did that geeky web-hooked thing of googling the phrase in hopes of inspiration.
There was all the usual advice: get some fresh air, keep active (yawn), through to the slightly more bizarre break into dance spontaneously, or eat something crunchy (?!). With all this out there already, how could I put a new spin on spring?
Then it came to me, actually after one too many sherbets and a long walk home (more on that later!). Something I’ve wanted to write a blog post on for a while is a morning routine. The perfect time to put a spring into your step every single day, no matter the time of year.
Now I have seen some quite frankly ridiculous morning routines being promoted by some health bloggers. I guess they’re promoting products. But skin buffing, elaborate oils, hours of yoga and complicated breakfasts… seriously? Who (in the real world) has time for that?!
What I’ve found has really worked for me in the mornings is short simple tasks that can be turned into habits.
At the start of the year I downloaded an app called Streaks. It basically gameifies creating daily habits: a simple interface to check off tasks you want to do every day, motivating you to achieve longer and longer streaks. A little star appears when you’re on your best streak. Complete all of your 6 daily tasks in one day? IT TURNS THE SCREEN GOLD!
I’m not selling an app I promise. What I’m trying to say is I learned breaking down goals into tiny manageable tasks:
a) makes them easier to do (you’ve been told that a hundred times before I know)
but more importantly:
b) made me want to bash those tasks out as soon as I could!
Now I am not a morning person. Trust me. My work colleagues will testify that I am forever sloping into the office late, I am always the girl running for the bus and I love love LOVE my bed. Springing out of it? Fat chance.
But having these little tasks has made me SO much more inclined to start the day with structure. What started as 6 tasks I needed to do throughout the day has turned into a really manageable morning routine.
I didn’t want the tasks still hanging over me, incomplete during the day. Instead when I got them done first thing I had this massive sense of accomplishment. A real “can do” feeling! If I can get that all done in the morning, what else can I achieve today?
The four tasks I can now do comfortably pre-9am are: take a probiotic, start the day with a hot lemon water, meditate for 15 minutes and practice some Spanish on Duolingo. Maybe that doesn’t sound a lot to you early birds, but I’ve been amazed at how quickly I can do all this on auto-pilot now.
My two other daily goals are doing some form of exercise and walking 10,000 steps. I would LOVE to get a work-out into the morning and I think this is next to build into my pre-9am routine (but a tall order for a bed lover like me!). The 10,000 steps usually take me all day, so that can wait until later – hence that long walk home the other night!
Adjusting your lifestyle and especially your diet can sometimes feel totally overwhelming.
So why not break it down a bit? One recipe at a time. One meal prep evening at a time. One piece of advice at a time. Whatever it is you want to achieve, split it into easy-to-do tasks to check off every day – maximum six so its achievable. And see how, as you build a routine, you find ways to get these things done earlier and earlier in the day to get that great feeling of accomplishment.
I love Lea’s Can Do message and I really think building a great morning routine can help you get that attitude just when you need it: to spring you into the rest of the day.
So enjoy the start of this new season! And please, let me know what you think.
Do you have a morning routine you stick to? Or habits you’re trying to build in at the start of your day? I’m looking to change up a couple of my goals now I’ve built others into a routine, have you got some inspiration for me?