- A morning routine can help start your day on the right foot.
- Beginning your day with gratitude can lead to more positive thinking.
- Add things like meditation, journaling, yoga, stretching, working out, listening to a motivational podcast, or writing goals or growth statements to your morning routine.
For years I had heard the importance of having a morning routine. It was one of those “things” I thought was nice, but not necessary. And it was this belief that I had that stopped me from even trying a morning routine out for so many years. It was one of those, “I’ll try it out one day.” But guess what happened? I didn’t ever try it out! Anytime we keep something in the future, it stays in the future. It wasn’t until I actually started to take action that I realized the impact a morning routine can have.
Beyond the hesitation that this new practice would actually help, another reason that held me back was I had no idea where to even start. I remember thinking to myself, “what do I do in a morning routine?” And when I wasn’t sure where to start, I remember something my coach had told me. Instead of trying to plan out the picture-perfect morning routine, think of one step you know to take.
What my coach didn’t know was how difficult this was for me. I was a planner. I was so good at making plans. Not having a fully created plan was a challenge.
But I had tried everything else and was sick and tired of feeling the way I was feeling, so I thought, “okay I’ll give it a try.”
I had no idea where to start, so I picked something that I had been practicing each day, which was gratitude. I figured I already had a goal to practice gratitude each day; why not combine that with this morning routine practice and see what happens?
And so it began.
With three minutes of gratitude. Yes, you read that right…three minutes. I set my alarm clock for 3 minutes earlier than it had been previously set. And when my alarm clock went off, I laid in bed and said three minutes of gratitude statements until my second alarm went off (the one I was used to waking up to). And that was it.
I didn’t change anything else for the mornings for two weeks. And during those two weeks, I noticed two things. I noticed that gratitude in the morning became easier and I also noticed that expressing gratitude during the day became easier too.
I noticed that the thoughts I was thinking were more aligned with gratitude and not complaining. My thoughts were shifting from “why is this happening to me” to “what meaning can I learn from this?” And once I felt this shift, I was ready for more.
What started out as three minutes of gratitude, over time, turned into 60 minutes of me time. And it’s continued for over two years now. When I start my day focusing on me, and serving who I am, I have learned I’m able to show up 10 times stronger for those I am serving.
Service Delivery Comes Natural to Us
As educators, we are natural-born servers. We serve from our hearts every day. It comes natural to us. What isn’t always natural is to serve ourselves with the same love and compassion that we provide to others each day. And when we serve and serve and serve everyone else, and not ourselves, this can lead to frustration, burn out, or even resentment for those we are serving.
By changing my thoughts first thing in the morning through the implementation of my morning routine, I am able to live by the standard: I serve myself before I serve others. And it all started with 3 minutes.[scroll down to keep reading]
What Else Can I Add?
Wondering what else to add to your morning routine? I coach educators to ask themselves, “how do I want to feel after completing this routine?” Focus on the feeling you are searching for, and then layer in activities that elicit that feeling in YOU! This is how you turn a process that so many people participate in, into a personalized practice for YOU!
Some ideas to consider include:
- Yoga or stretching
- Working out
- Listening to a motivational podcast
- Writing goals and growth statements
The thoughts we hold lead to the feelings we have, which lead to the actions we take. Start each and every day by honoring your thoughts and watch and feel the momentum carry you through even the most challenging of days!
About Lindsay Titus
Lindsay Titus is a K-12 Behavior Specialist with a license in behavior analyst. As a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Lindsay coaches and trains educators on the study of behavior and how to implement evidence based behavior principles in simple and easy ways! With experience as a classroom special education teacher, and behavior specialist in public schools, residential placement, and private settings, Lindsay enjoys working with all educators looking to reignite their passion for education, connect with all students, and conquer challenging behavior in any classroom setting.