Let me paint you a picture of my typical morning routine, also known as occasional chaos. I get home from the gym around 6:15 am. I usually have two hours until I need to leave for work. At that point, I create a mental list of everything I want to do before I leave. Make last minute edits on a post, pack a lunch, throw in a load of laundry, shower, get dressed, straighten my hair, do my makeup, make coffee, email a client, and perhaps, a few more odds and ends. It’s almost always an overwhelming and unreasonable morning to-do list. This tends to leaves me scrambling around at the last minute, with several things undone.
After years of this morning routine, I noticed a trend. The things left undone in the morning always seemed to be the things that were most important for my current goals. For example, if I was working to eat healthier, I’d always seem to run out of time before I packed my lunch, leaving me rushing out the door with no lunch. Later, I’d end up grabbing fast food or eating a combo of granola bars and pretzels to hold me over. Miss. If I was working to stay on top of my chores more consistently, I’d leave the load of laundry undone, coming home to dirty clothes and disappointment that I hadn’t stuck to my goal. Miss. The things I was currently trying to change were the very last things to get attention and therefore, the things always left undone!
Can you relate? If so, here’s a simple tip for your morning routine. It stops this pattern in it’s tracks. Do the thing connected to your goal FIRST. No matter how long your list, no matter what else you want to get done, start with the thing that lines up with your current goal. Then, no matter how rushed you are, you make sure you stick to the behavior that fits with your goal.
Trying to save money and cut back on trips to Starbucks? Brew your morning coffee first thing. Get it ready to go in your travel mug before you do anything else.
Wanting to walk at lunch or after work? Pack your tennis shoes in your work bag before you fix your hair or make your coffee.
Trying to eat healthy snacks between meals? Pack balanced snacks before you get dressed or throw in a load of laundry.
Doing the most important thing first in your morning routine ensures that you give time and attention to your goal. Whatever time and energy are leftover can go toward other stuff. Try to do it the other way around, and well, you’ll be wandering off track.
Making this simple change to my morning routine has made a HUGE difference in my life. I may still be rushing out the door, but now it’s with a healthy, homemade lunch and my site posts ready to go. The load of laundry that didn’t get done or the stray hair that didn’t get straightened? Eh, it wasn’t the most important anyway.
PS: Want another easy way to stay on track with your goals? Check out this post; it’s something I talk about all the time with clients!