Last week Maddie and I set out to experience our mornings in a new way. Each day we experimented with doing these items before we picked up our beloved devices:
- Make the bed + open curtains
- Have reflection time (reading, journaling, meditating)
- Get dressed
- Eat breakfast (drinking water and taking vitamins before coffee)
- All without screens
The experimental behaviors were/were not effective and resulted in these feelings and consequences:
- Setting a timer 20-30 minutes for reading, reflecting, and meditating.
- Creatively thinking of how to get dressed in yoga clothes without looking like I just took yoga.
- "Waking the house up" by making the bed, opening the curtains and putting away any little things that weren't in their homes.
- Keeping routine even with a guest in the house.
- Washing dishes and tidying the house from yesterday's mess.
- Drinking coffee before being on my phone.
I am fairly certain this experiment has changed my morning routine forever (ha, ok for awhile). I quickly discovered that I don't drink my coffee fast enough to finish with my breakfast. So most mornings I was drinking it until early afternoon. I also quickly realized something that has radically changed my thinking about "daily possibility".
Because of this experiment I am now washing dinner dishes before bed. Tidying the living room and kitchen, putting dirty clothes in the laundry and prepping myself for the coming day in the evening. During this experiment, I would wake up around 6:30am and by 8:30am I was dressed, my house was tidy, room clean and I was completely ready to sit down for work.
An unexpected result of this experiment was motivation like no other. I was motivated to keep my floors picked up, found myself putting things away after I finished using them, and cleaning the kitchen directly after I had dirtied it. Therefore my home stayed clean giving me space to focus on other tasks that needed done.
The radical change in my thinking was this; I have always considered each day a new day. A day full of possibility to be better than the day before. If I didn't complete what I wanted today, tomorrow I could try again. The problem with this was if I hadn't completed what I wanted by 1:00 pm, I considered my day a fail, that I might as well give up and try again tomorrow. Through this experiment I realized how much of yesterday I was taking into the new day. I would start the next day literally with yesterday's messes. I never completed yesterday before today. So this experiment of morning routines turned into a practice of nighttime routines. A practice of completing each day and then leaving it to move on to the next. It was very powerful for me and because of that, I will continue to practice this morning routine until it no longer serves me.
- Having alone time before even leaving bed every morning.
- Tidying our rooms and dressing before going downstairs.
- Remembering vitamins.
- Drinking way more water.
- Forgetting to post on Instagram for clients since I wasn't on my phone until around 11 am.
- Maintaining the routine while traveling.
- Breakfast without phone
Like Cord, the morning routine motivated a nighttime routine as well. Since tidying wasn't part of the morning ritual, it naturally became an evening thing.
Reflection time was very unstructured for me, and I'd like to have something more intentional. I've started reading The Seeker's Guide, and I'm inspired by Cord to set a determined reading goal each day. I'm reading a chapter a day.
I noticed that Phoenix is a super contented kid when eating, and that I naturally take advantage of the time while he is occupied and content in his high chair to post on Instagram for clients, finish a blog post, order things online, check social media and email, etc. It's a private, quiet time for my brain before the afternoon nap, so I think I'll loosen the no screens till after breakfast idea, to no screen until breakfast.
Getting dressed everyday totally spilled over and made me want to do my hair, shower more often, put on makeup, and get back into regular skincare every day. I'm thinking this may be my next experiment: some sort of consistent beauty routine.
I went to see Cord over the weekend, and forgot my vitamins. Such a bummer because starting the day with vitamins and water upped my water intake all day long. Luckily, we drank lots of water all weekend anyway, but I still missed my vitamins. I did make the bed and open curtains, and got some reflection time on one of the days, but it was less consistent out of my own space.
Overall, I like that this morning routine gets me thinking and doing, before consuming and avoiding each day. Before I even ask, what's my mood? What do I feel like doing today? What has to get done? I just jump into a preset flow that carries me to those questions after I've fed my mind and my belly, and seen my baby boy's face. I'm going to continue for at least another week with the tweaks I've made, and get ready to start a beauty routine experiment next!