The Magic of a Morning Routine

by Carol Hess on May 16, 2011

One of the pieces in my self care puzzle that seems to be firmly in place these days (thank you, God) is my new morning routine.  No matter what may be happening in my life on any given day, I seem to stick fairly closely to the morning structure I’ve set up for myself. 

Of course my tendency is to minimize this accomplishment because that’s what I do.  I focus on what I haven’t achieved rather than what I have.  What can I say?  I’m difficult to please – something I definitely need to work on. 

So, in the spirit of focusing on the positive and giving myself a well-deserved and all too rare pat on the back, I’m going to acknowledge my new morning routine for the true progress and achievement it represents.  In fact, it’s downright magic. 

It is a significant step in the direction of self care for the following three reasons. 

First, it sets the tone of my day and gets me started down the right track.  I’m a little less likely to jump the track and make unhealthy choices the rest of the day.  My routine, especially the prayer and meditation part, is a kind of centering or grounding in what my priorities are for the day. 

Second, my morning routine is a structure, and I do much better with structure in my life.  Too much loosey goosey, wide open flexibility, and the next thing I know I’ve spent the entire day on the couch watching reruns of M.A.S.H., The West Wing, and Sex and the City. 

Not that a day doing that isn’t a terrific treat and maybe even exactly what is required from time to time.  But a steady diet of it isn’t healthy.  A steady diet of anything isn’t healthy – the old too much of a good thing. 

And, finally, my morning routine is so significant to my self care and adopting a healthy lifestyle because it represents a commitment, a promise to myself.  In the past, I’ve welched on numerous commitments and I’ve broken countless promises to myself.  And that’s resulted in two things:  I haven’t gotten where I wanted to go, and I’ve learned not to trust myself.  Both are killers. 

Every day I follow my morning routine, I am taking one step closer to where I want to go.  It’s that all important single step with which all journeys begin.  And perhaps most important of all, I am starting to trust myself again, to know that I am a woman of my word.  I am acting with integrity in my most important relationship – the one with myself. 

Do you have a morning routine?  What does it look like?  I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours!  :-)

Here’s a question to ponder and not necessarily answer in public unless you want to.  What is the status of your relationship with yourself?  Are you in integrity with yourself?

by Carol Hess

6 comments

Categories Healthy Lifestyle, Self Care

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Ana May 17, 2011 at 1:14 am

We can only be free within a structure, that’t my personal believe. So I congratulate you for establishing and keeping a morning routine! It does make a tremendous difference in our lives. Mine is: Wake up and thank G-d immediately for bringing me back from sleep to life, getting myself cleaned, dressed and ready to go, prayer and meditation, breakfast – usually oatmeal and blueberries and off to the gym. Voila! Off to a great day!
Keep it up Carol!

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avatar Carol Hess May 17, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I love that, Ana — “We can only be free within a structure.” One of those profound, paradoxical concepts that I like to twist my brain around. I think you may be absolutely right.

Who knew we would share a HUGE thing in common with our morning routines — yours in Hong Kong and mine in Maine. That huge thing in common being . . . . . . wait for it . . . . . . blueberries! They are the foundation for the smoothie I have for breakfast. :-)

Actually, all kidding aside, the other thing we share in common in our morning routine is making that connection with our Higher Power — being thankful, praying, meditating. It plays a crucial role in the kind of day I’m going to have.

Thanks for commenting, Ana. It’s always great to hear from you.

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avatar Linda S Fitzgerald May 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Carol,
Psychologically, emotionally and spiritual I’m in integrity with “me”. However, I could do a whole lot better with diet and exercise. I work my brain 24-7; but the bod is grossly out of shape and I love white chocolate Reece Cups more than I like a flat tummy.
For many, it takes a health scare to get us to consider our physical well-being as important as our inner self’s well-being.
Have a great weekend – Linda

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avatar Carol Hess May 20, 2011 at 4:23 pm

You brought a smile to my face, Linda, with your remark, “…I love white chocolate Reece Cups more than I like a flat tummy.” I’ve decided my destiny in this life does NOT include a flat tummy. My mother told me I was born with a spare tire, and I know I will die with one — just so long as it’s only one spare tire and not four!

I guess there is always room for improvement somewhere — physically, psychologically, spiritually. And that just means we’re works in progress. It doesn’t mean we aren’t still in integrity with ourselves where and when it really matters.

Thanks for stopping by at Star Polisher, Linda. And you have a lovely weekend yourself. Hopefully it will include some Reeces Cups! :-)

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avatar Monica Dennis May 25, 2011 at 12:21 am

In integrity with me? Hmm. Not sure how to answer that because like Paul said in the Bible (pretty sure it was Paul since he was flawed personified), that I should do, I don’t and that I don’t want to do, I do! So I am honest with myself for sure. I need more structure but I hate it with a passion so I may take awhile to allow something to become a routine. Like the structure I finally put in place to get some routine things done in my business and now, about 3 weeks later, I am still trying to make it a habit. I didn’t even constrain myself with the plan. It’s totally doable. I just have to DO IT when I told myself to do it (I send myself reminders because I lose thoughts as fast as I get them.) Shoot, if I did what I should I would have read this post a long time ago because my email would stay under control because I would make sure to do a little every day. I take God on the run with me as I go to work and sincerely thank Him for the blessings of my busy life being the way it is because I clearly remember how it is to hate some supposedly necessary aspect of it, and to not have my own home yet, and to not have kids I actually like and not just love, and to not have a husband who doesn’t complicate my life, etc etc.

I do still have aspects of myself I want to express so maybe that’s not being in integrity? But I’m not in denial about the fact that I’m not ready to release those aspects yet and I will at some point.

OK, Carol I need to get back to that overflowing email. You’re so distracting! lol! I kid. :-)

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avatar Carol Hess May 27, 2011 at 10:02 am

I can majorly identify with the overflowing email challenge. I’ve got it going on right now thanks to 2 days out of commission. Remember the good (and bad) old days when email didn’t exist?

I think being in integrity is a moving target and we never get there completely. “Progress not perfection.” And I don’t think anyone on the planet is fully expressed until maybe the day they die, so I’m letting you (and me) off the hook for that one! :-)

I’m a big fan of structure probably because I happen to like it. I think I was programmed as a child to embrace it because both my parents were structure people. But if you dislike structure, then perhaps there is something else you can create that feels more like “you.” I don’t know what that is, but I bet that wise woman inside you does. And I don’t think you can be going too far wrong, Monica, since you’re taking God on the run with you. (Loved that way of putting it!)

Great to see you here — whenever you can get here!

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