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Today, let's embrace unexpected nonroutine moments as part of the routine itself!
Starting the day with gratitude creates clear space for new possibilities to emerge.
When we start our morning with gratitude, getting out of bed will become that much easier, as our day is instilled with meaning beyond what is on the to-do list. Not to mention the wealth of health a consistent gratitude practice brings; including more positive emotions, a stronger immune system, better sleep, a deeper sense of connection to all things, more appreciation for others, and more enjoyment all around.
Head of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion at TripActions, Director's Fellow Alumni of the MIT Media Lab, college lecturer, author.
The very first thing I do [in the morning] is focus on gratitude and on three things I'm thankful for. I practice gratitude on a daily basis.
How about you?
What are three things you are grateful for right now?
Ran out of coffee? Favorite morning robe is missing in action? A loved one is reaching out for support?
Morning routines hardly ever play out exactly as we want them to. So the way we respond to ‘disruptions' in our morning flow is an essential element to consider and prepare ourselves for.
endurance athlete, motivational speaker, author, coach, and consultant
There is enormous power in nailing your morning routine, but there's even more power in adapting to it when it doesn't happen as we'd like. Routine aids us in being our most productive, but change helps us expand our comfort zone. Both are positive.
How we adapt to the unexpected is always our choice, (if we choose).
The more rigid we hold on to our precious morning routine, the more likely we will create unhelpful resistance when the inevitable unknown sneaks past our courageous boundaries. This can either dishearten us from committing to our routine altogether, or we can ensure the rest of the day doesn't suffer unnecessarily by choosing to adapt with intentions like acceptance, grit, and grace.
Co-founder and CEO of Buffer
I used to allow missing an aspect of my routine to negatively impact my whole day. I now see life as a continual fluctuation of routine, with change being the only constant. If I fail, I know that I need to take away one or two layers of my routine, and get down to the basic pillars: good sleep, a mindful start, and exercise and water.
In times of distress, feel your feet on the ground and take a deep breath.
The body can quickly get wound in a stress bundle when we're reacting habitually rather than responding mindfully. Interrupting stress response patterns is where the magic is! And it can be as simple as noticing when the body tenses up with fear and resistance (shallow, upper chest breathing and contracting muscles is part of the typical stress response) and pausing to take a deep breathe (or two). If a bigger reset is needed, a 10-minute nap or meditation works wonders!
Sarah Kathleen Peck
writer, designer, researcher, and long-distance swimmer
In college, I had a major swimming competition coming up, and for reasons outside of my control, I didn't sleep the night before, as I'd had major asthma attacks all night from chemical imbalances in the pool in Chicago. I went to my coach the next morning, haggard, and said, I feel TERRIBLE.' He told me to lie down for thirty minutes and to visualize that I'd gotten the best rest of my life, and that it was a champion day, and then come back.
When I came back he said, ‘Here's the thing. If you had perfect circumstances, you could own this race. You could win. The bigger challenge is winning even when you're down-even when you're fatigued. Get out there and fight, despite the circumstances. He taught me that no one has perfect circumstances, and you're allowed to go on and do incredible things even if you're not feeling perfect about it. Often we get so wedded to a routine that we forget that things can all go haywire and you can still do an incredible job.
If you feel like you didn't meet your morning routine expectations today, that's okay. Tomorrow is a new day!
Each day is another wonderful opportunity to inch closer towards living in more alignment with our desires and intentions. We learn how to grow by falling short. As our own toughest critic, we get to practice forgiving ourselves endlessly and continue celebrating our successes and failures throughout it all.
author and speaker
I have a choice: I can choose to beat myself up over the fact that I am not following my usual routine, or I can give myself grace. I'm working on doing a better job of giving myself grace because life happens and it's okay if we don't always do everything we'd hoped or planned to do. The best thing I can do on those days is to remind myself to just do what I can.
If your morning routine feels like it's falling apart, simplify it to one or two things.
This may be your meditation session, sipping coffee in silence, or adding one colorful swirl to a canvas. Let creativity get you back on track by indulging in the little things like a brief walk outside, standing up and stretching, jumping up and down, and breathing deeply.
CEO of Stark, product designer, and cookie connoisseur
Not everything goes according to plan, but it's usually not the end of the world. If something derails my typical routine, I try to get the most important tasks done more than other miscellaneous ones. I just have to prioritize, then all is well.
How about you?
If you could stick to only ONE thing in the morning, what would it be?
Not only is okay to step out of a well-paved routine sometimes … it's also encouraged!
Releasing old habits that are no longer serving us and trying new things requires us to veer off the trail from time to time. Consistent feelings of “falling short” of our morning routine might mean it's time to shake things up!
designer, author, and lecturer
Routines are like any set of rules. They can be helpful in giving us a sense of constancy, but at times, breaking them can be extremely liberating. Being a slave to a single routine can prevent spontaneity and unexpected discoveries.
Getting bored of the same old?
Consider creating a few different routines that you can choose from each morning. Focus on not being rigid. Shake things up from time to time, and have fun with it.
writer, designer, and Senior UX Researcher at GoDaddy
If I start failing to do a certain part of my routine, this is usually a sign that I need to change things up. No routine will work forever so I always keep an eye out for ways I can improve my routine or make it more efficient.
There is no right or wrong way to release what no longer serves you.
The most effective way to perform a releasing ritual starts with YOU: The best, most effective ceremony is all about tapping into your own intuition and letting your heart guide you.
Here are some fun ways to play with releasing:
- Open some windows to let in some fresh air while acknowledging what it is that is no longer working for you.
- Burn some incense as you reflect on the ways this transitioning way of being has served you in the past.
- Give your morning space a good cleaning as you acknowledge what thoughts and feelings arise.
- Spend time journaling about what you would enjoy in place of what you are releasing.
How about you?
What are you ready to release so that something bigger and better can come fill it's place?
Feel free to come back and share it with us in the comments below or on our private Morning Routine Activity Feed.