It’s normal for us to want a change from the everyday. We need to shake things up. But sometimes it’s hard to get your morning routine back on track, especially if you’re not naturally a morning person.
Why do it at all?
One thing that can really help turn things around is to remember why you wanted a morning routine in the first place. Taking a break from your morning routine can help you remember this.
Do you love sleeping in? Sleeping in is one of the major perks of taking a break from your morning routine, especially if you’re not naturally a morning person.
But it’s not without sacrifice. If you find yourself really missing the benefits of your former routine, maybe it’s time to get back on track.
Enjoy the break
Really, deeply enjoy the break from the routine. Stay up really late and remember what that feels like. Wake up without your alarm. Ease into your day. If you can.
Being away from home makes it so easy to abandon your morning routine, sometimes out of necessity. If your routine is normally complex and long, abandoning your routine is definitely something you can expect.
What do you miss?
If you’re really enjoying the break from your routine, start paying attention to what you miss. There’s usually a reason we start doing a morning routine in the first place, especially if mornings are not normally our thing.
What is it about your morning routine that you are neglecting? How badly do you miss it?
Here’s an example. I love journaling in the morning, every morning. When I don’t do it, I feel unsettled and scattered, and like there are too many things to carry around in my brain.
When I sleep in, especially if there are other people around, taking the time I need to focus my thoughts on paper can be difficult to justify. When I don’t journal, I deeply miss it.
So, start to pay attention to what you miss. If you hate working out in the morning you may not miss that part of your routine so much. But if you workout in the morning to keep aches and pains away, your aching back might make you realize this is really the thing you miss.
Focus on one thing
This is how things can start to turn around for your morning routine. Once you can identify the thing you’re missing, find ways to work in that one thing.
You might be able to do this even when you’re on holiday. Let’s use the journaling example again. If journaling is super important to you, maybe getting up just 30 minutes earlier (and setting your alarm to do it) is not such a big deal.
You can even try it for a day or two and then allow yourself to skip it for a bit. Then compare how you feel.
This might be enough of a reminder of the benefits of this activity that you’ll have an easier time getting the morning routine back on track.
Re-implementation option #1: Baby steps
Sometimes we need to ease back into things. If you try this option, the key is to really lean into that one activity discussed above.
Find ways to get more consistent with the daily implementation of that favourite activity. That’s the easiest way in.
If you love to journal, find ways to make this such an enjoyable activity that you’ll be sure to work it in. Renew your appreciation for the benefits of the activity, and take care to appreciate those benefits.
When you can remember how much better you feel when you do that one activity you’ll be much more likely to continue it regularly.
Re-implementation option #2: Jump back in
Sometimes we need a much bigger disruption to our more relaxed approach. If your usual morning routine is long and complex, this is an opportunity for you to dial in your strategy.
Many morning routines are a mix of things you love to do and things you feel you should do. You may find it beneficial to concentrate on the “must-do” items, and let the other activities flow.
For example, I hate working out in the morning, I absolutely hate it. If I don’t do it in the morning though, I won’t do it at all. But I love the way it makes me feel after it’s done.
So, when resuming my full routine, I’ll make sure I have all my ducks in a row to ensure success the next morning to get the exercise in. This means using the day before to make pre-emptive decisions about setting up the workout.
Set out the workout clothes, make sure the workout location is clear and has all the needed equipment, and decide exactly what the workout will be. Then you have fewer excuses when you get to that point in the routine.
Pro tip: concentrate on the transitions
This is really the gold when you want to get your morning routine back on track. Anyone can throw together a list of stuff they want to do in the morning, but how do you actually do the things?
Ok, pay attention. The key is to figure out how to get from the end of one activity into the start of the next one.
This is crucial if you’re super groggy in the mornings. Decisions are morning routine killers. Have you experienced this? The next time you get stuck in your morning routine, see if it’s a moment of decision.
So, predetermine as much as possible, including how you move from one thing to the next. Do a mental walk-through the evening before.
Here’s an example from my own morning routine:
Exactly how do you get from turning off your alarm to making the coffee? What do you do during the brewing of the coffee? How do you get from the end of journaling to the start of the workout?
Here’s a handy document to help you get through your routine. Pay special attention to the “automations” section.
Reassess and try again
It’s normal for your morning routine to have some hitches. If you get stuck, pay attention to what exactly stopped you (hint: probably a point of decision).
Take a moment that day to assess this little stall and figure out how you’ll avoid it the next morning. Did you forget to place your running shoes the night before and then you couldn’t find them? That’s a guarantee to abandon a workout.
Did you run out of time? Or maybe you had too much time and found yourself with your nose in your phone when you could have been doing something else.
Have a look at how it went and reassess. Sometimes what used to work for us needs a tweak, and having a break from it gives you the opportunity to look at the routine with fresh eyes.
Appreciate the opportunity to be a beginner again
When trying to get your morning routine back on track, you may find that what you actually need is a routine tweak.
Use the break from the routine as a chance to re-evaluate your approach. You may find that a different season or changing parameters in your life might necessitate a revised routine going forward.
Starting something new gives you the chance to be a beginner again. Take a close look at the transitions, evaluate what’s working and what isn’t, and have the courage to try something new.
Then if you don’t like, try something else.
Let me know how this is going for you
Are you having trouble getting your morning routine back on track? Have you successfully re-implemented your routine? What’s working? Where are you getting stuck?