April 07, 2020 by John Andrew Williams
Crafting Your Perfect Morning Routine with Christina Dizon
This week, we sat down with CTEDU Alumni Christina Dizon for a workshop on the importance of morning routines and rituals, and how to craft a routine unique to you. Keep reading for more information on how Christina found her own morning routine, and her steps to helping you find your own routine. What is a Morning Routine?
I started learning about the concept of morning routines in 2010. Somehow I stumbled across this website called MyMorningRoutine, and the concept was intriguing. There were dozens of successful people – ranging from doctors to artists, CEO’s and writers – featured in simple interviews, explaining how their productivity was hands down the result of developing and keeping personal morning routines. I think what I found most fascinating is how diverse these routines actually were. While I was intrigued by the thought, I didn’t begin implementing morning routines for myself until it became a way to manage stress.
As a typical over achiever, I was ruled by daily to do lists and monthly goals, and never ending action items. The stress I put on myself for years and years from being a business owner caught up with me and I had to quit my full time coaching job and rebuild my health and wellness from the ground up.
In the midst of that battle, I began to look at techniques and strategies that reduced stress and built hope. Two things happened in this season. I began a gratitude practice which As you know, its one of the primary ways we can build positive emotion. And positive emotion increases our resilience (the ability to bounce back form adversity). But the second piece of this puzzle was built from Hope Theory, which explains that the more you show people what is in their power to control, the more hope they can have. That was why I built my routine. I’ve honestly experienced such dynamic breakthroughs in my perspective with this, that now morning routine development plays an enormous role for clients in my energy and impact program.
A morning routine is important because it becomes the foundation for your day to grow gratitude, and set your mindset for the rest of the day. YOU decide before anything happens in the day, how you are going to face your life. You don’t let yourself sway with the changing tides of circumstances. Instead, you harness the power of the only thing you actually have control of: Your attitude and mindset. Think of it this way: We’ve all had a “bad day” that seemed to be rough from the get go right? Woke up feeling tired and in a bad mood, seemingly weighed down by negativity. As the day progressed, more and more things happened that reinforced that feeling that “it’s a bad day”. And no matter if you want to or not, you can’t seem to shake that impression that you are just having a bad day. Well, in positive psychology, that’s an actual thing. Every time we think, feel, or do something it activates and strengthens a pathway. The stronger a pathway is, the more likely our brain is going to use that pathway again, and again. If you wake up feeling like it’s a bad day, that’s the perspective that will continue to occur in that set pathway.
THIS is why morning routines are so critical: You are quite literally telling your brain, “these are the pathways we are going to use today”. You are determining that “today is a good day”. You are being intentional about how you want to live, vs reactive to the world around you.
At this point in time with crisis and stress affecting us all in some way or another, its crucial that we take these steps. We are essentially building up this neuropathy, growing resiliency, and give us stability and groundedness for ourselves and for those in our lives.
Here are the steps to creating YOUR perfect morning routine.
1. Let Go of Expectations. I think the most important part of a morning routine is to let go of expectations. I know that’s a weird thing to say but a morning routine isn’t about what you “think” you should do. It’s about using that first hour to do the things that make you feel most refreshed. It is about doing things that ground you and reinforce the mindset with which you want to face the day.
2. Decide How You Want to Feel. I have my clients link mindsets and emotions to their morning routine. For the sake of simplicity today, its easy to look back on the negative emotions you’ve been feeling lately and chose the mindset and emotion opposite of that. Fear vs Love, Hope vs Despair, etc. You’ll choose actions that cultivate these. What feeling are you yearning for in your morning?
3. Determine Your Routine.
A morning routine is highly personalized. The first step is to decide what you want to do in this time. A few general items I can recommend would include:
4. Create Your Structure
The goal isn’t to do as much as you can. It’s to do a few things that provide you with a focused, dialed in time to set yourself up to best show up for your life. Once you have your items – again things that really spark joy and refreshment in your heart – you can approach it a few different ways to implement:
For myself, I utilize the latter because I really get grounded by a routine structure. For me this looks like 10 minutes spent on each activity for a time frame of one hour.
5. Set the Time and Commit!
Obviously, committing to a morning routine means you have to implement it during a time you won’t get distracted or interrupted. I recommend getting up 30-60 minutes before you usually do to begin implementing. Interestingly enough, after a few days you may find that it feels so good you actually want to get up earlier to do more. Again, mindset is important here as well. You want to go to bed and tell yourself how excited you are to get up and do your morning routine. It’s supposed to feel like a kid on Christmas morning. You are so jazzed and refreshed by this time you can’t wait to do it again.
At the end of the day, a morning routine is truly one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal to change the course of your life. Perspective can be the difference between life and death, fulfillment and disillusionment, happiness or failure. Doesn’t it makes sense to harness it?
As a Certified Coach and creative consultant for more than 10 years, Christina has a 15 year track record in building successful businesses. She is passionate about her clients growth and progress. Her mission is to support entrepreneurs and purpose driven professionals, helping them create successful businesses and flourishing lives filled with profit and purpose, energy and impact.
What activities are you choosing for your morning routine? Let us know in the comments below!
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You might also enjoy this video that answers the question:
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