Victor Hugo took a public ice bath on his roof every morning as part of his daily routine. Maya Angelou got up at 5:30, had coffee, then went to a hotel room to write. Anna Wintour arrives at New York’s Midtown Tennis Club at 5:45 to play one hour of tennis every morning.
Morning routines are a fascinating topic, and I’m always intrigued to hear how others structure the early hours of their days. However, what I’m the most curious about is how people manage to actually stick to their routines. How did Victor Hugo find the motivation to take an ICE BATH *cringe* every single morning?
Since I shared my tips for starting a routine last week, let’s talk about how to actually stick to a morning routine once you’ve created one. After all, a morning routine can be great for your well-being, but it can feel like such a struggle to implement.
In this post, you’ll find five tips to help you stick to a morning routine so you can make part of your daily life instead of a well-thought-out plan.
Overcoming My Struggle With Routine
I’m the kind of person who used to love planning out an ideal morning routine, but following through with it was a totally different story. Because of this, I always told myself that I suck at sticking to routines.
I would try to wake up at 6, but every day I’d turn my alarm off and feel completely exhausted. I’d go back to sleep, forget about my planned-out morning routine, and later wake up at 7:30 feeling completely guilty about it. I always blamed it on my inability to stick to routines.
Shifting My Mindset
Eventually, I took a look at my daily schedule and saw that I had routines without even realizing it. I went for a daily walk, always ate breakfast before work, and watched YouTube while doing my makeup. I’m sure if you look closely, you’ll realize that you have a few daily routines of your own.
I also figured out what I need to keep myself accountable to my routine. After reading Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before, I now understand my preference for starting and sticking to habits. I learned that I’m a Questioner, which means I need a solid reason to do something before making a commitment. If I’m going to stick to a routine or start a new habit, I need to know why. You can take Rubin’s quiz here to find out what your habit style is.
Finding My Motivation
So what’s my motivation? My morning routine keeps me sane. Even if the rest of my day goes to crap, I can feel good knowing I did a few things in the morning to take care of myself.
By identifying my motivation and habit style, I realized that it was possible for me to stick to a routine. I just had to find the right balance.
How To Stick To A Morning Routine
Though I’m not perfect in any way when it comes to my morning routine, I’ve learned what I need to do to stay on track with it. After finding a few strategies that have worked for me, here are some ideas for making your morning routine stick too!
- Shift your mindset
If you think you suck at sticking to routines, I encourage you to look at what you’ve done in the past. In college, I was SO good at sticking to my morning routine because it had to fit around my class schedule. Once I remembered that little fact, I realized that routine was a possibility for me. I just had to figure out how to make it work again.
You most likely have routines in your life now that you aren’t aware of. If you come home from work every day, make dinner, and watch Netflix, that’s a routine. It may not be the one you dream of, but it’s still proof that you can stick to something.
Have the self-confidence that you can stick to routines in your life. You’ve done it before, and you can do it again. Once you get over this mindset block, sticking to a routine becomes a lot easier.
- Be patient with yourself
If your plan is to wake up at 5:45 to start your morning routine but you wake up at 8 right now, you might want to slow your roll for a second. I know it’s easy to get excited about trying new things, but making a lifestyle change takes time and patience.
Changing the time we wake up can be one of the HARDEST changes of all, so you have to be realistic about your timing. Take it one step at a time so that you’re not frustrating yourself when your perfect morning routine isn’t happening as planned. If you want to wake up earlier, try doing it in 15-minute increments. Gradually work your way backwards until you can wake up at a time that feels reasonable without skimping on sleep.
- Keep a habit tracker
Lately, I’ve been using a habit tracker to keep a record of my morning routine. There’s something so satisfying about checking off boxes when you’ve completed a task. Plus, I’m more motivated to keep up with my morning habits if I see a row of checked-off boxes. I love to keep a streak going!
- Remember your motivation
In order to stick to something, you need a clear PURPOSE for doing it. If you’re only starting a morning routine because you see other people doing it, you’re unlikely to make it stick.
Instead, figure out what’s important about a morning routine to you. Is it to reduce stress in your life? To fit activities you enjoy into your schedule? To start your day with more energy? Whatever it is, write it down on a post-it or notepad and put it on your bedside table so you’ll see it when you wake up.
- Try again…and again and again
Travel, meetings, calls, events, and late nights can throw us off from our morning routine. If you have days where you lack the time or energy to follow your morning routine, try again the next day. If there’s a day where I have to skip my morning routine, I try to get back into the swing of it as soon as possible. Trust me, it’s worth the effort to get your momentum back as soon as you can.
What helps you stick to your morning routine?
There you have five tips to help you stick to a morning routine! The most important things to remember are: know your motivation, take it slow, and keep trying. It may not always be fun or glamorous, but it’s worth it! Leave a comment below and share any morning routine struggles or wins you have!