So, I shared in my post about my word for 2015, that developing intimacy with God and intimacy with my ideas, thoughts and emotions were a goal of mine this year. I think creating a morning routine that involves prayer, scripture reading and journaling will really help me to find structure and motivation to accomplish these goals.
I have to give credit where credit is due and begin by saying I have been heavily influenced by the words of Michael Hyatt in the process of creating a morning routine. He has so many fantastic resources that I want to list here at the beginning.
He has a podcast and post titled: Become More Productive by Reengineering Your Morning Ritual
He has a post titled: How to Become More Consistent in Your Daily Journaling where he provides a journal template that he uses.
Finally I listened to his podcast titled: How to Develop More Discipline that was also really helpful and gave me lots of ideas for overcoming obstacles associated with the goals I want to achieve.
I highly recommend his blog and podcast.
What I love about Michael Hyatt’s podcast about reengineering your morning ritual, is that he says you have to start by evaluating what your current morning rituals are.
Mine goes like this: wake up to an alarm, press snooze 1-3 times, finally get up and take 10 minutes getting dressed and ready for the day. Then I come into the kitchen and pack lunches for Chris and I, then I make breakfast for Chris and I and coffee/tea. Then if I have time I clean the kitchen (I have gotten in the bad habit of leaving dirty dishes in the sink from the night before), do laundry and straighten up my house or check emails and Facebook. Then I leave for school or work.
Then he says to evaluate it to see if you are getting you the results you want. Most of my mornings are characterized by feeling like I am behind and have to catch up on the housework so I don’t feel overwhelmed when I get home from work/school.
The next step is the determine the results that you actually want from your morning routine.
I want to feel connected to God, aware of my emotions, energized, and centered. I hate feeling like I am rushing out the door or running late without getting everything done that I wanted to at home before leaving. I want to get my mind in the right place to encounter the days events with grace and patience instead of frustration or feeling overwhelmed.
Then you need to make your plan.
I get up at 6am and have to leave the house at 7:30am. That gives me an hour and half to get everything done.
If I get up without hitting snooze, take 15 minutes to get ready, that leaves me 15 minutes to do my prayer/journaling/scripture reading before I need to get in the kitchen at 6:30am. That gives me 45 minutes to make breakfast, pack lunch and make coffee/tea and pack our bags and 15 minutes to eat before I need to leave the house.
So, my goal is to start with 15 minutes a day. I know it sounds really short and it is. But I think it is better to start in small manageable pieces until it is habit and then increase as the schedule allows. I think as I incorporate this habit into my life, I will likely end up waking up earlier in the future to accommodate a longer time spent reading the bible, prayer and journaling. For now I plan to spend 5 minutes on each component.
I am going to start in the beginning of the New Testament for my scripture reading. For journaling, I am planning on typing it on my computer. I am much more efficient typing vs writing by hand, which increases the likelihood that I will keep doing it. Also, I like the idea of having it in digital form. Once I get in the habit I will probably transition to an app like DayOne that Michael Hyatt talks about for my journaling.
The last two steps involve implementing the plan and tweaking as necessary as you figure out what works and what doesn’t.
A big part of implementation will be identifying any obstacles that might keep me from following through on my new morning routine. Because a majority of my mornings include catching up from leaving dirty dishes in the sink or laundry in the dryer, part of implementing my plan will include getting ready the night before. Ideally I will have the house straightened up, and laundry and dishes done. Another thing I can do to set myself up for success is not leave emails or assignments that need to get taken care of on my computer screen. I will close out all applications except for a word document with the journal template to help keep me focused on the task at hand and not reminding myself of other things that need to get done.
Sunday is February 1st so that will be my first day! My goal is to spend every morning in February implementing my new routine! I will check back in next week to give you an update on how things are going :).
I would love to hear from you! Do you have a morning or evening routine? What does it look like? How do you prioritize it and work it into your schedule?