Ann Stewart, Reiki therapist, Kundalini yoga and meditation student and mentor will be the first to tell you that she struggled to stick to a morning routine. It makes you feel amazing: you start your day strong and the rest of it is as productive. But come the next day, you’re exhausted, and the thought of hitting the snooze button is just so tempting…
“For a long time I struggled to stick to my spiritual practices, even though I loved how they made me feel,” says Stewart. “We come up with all types of blocks to starting our day the way we know we should. Some of the things we tell ourselves: I’m not a morning person, I deserve to sleep in, and I’m not feeling well today.”
An inner power mentor, Stewart now helps other women empower themselves and achieve more. “A regular morning routine makes me feel more creative, focused, and my day flows without effort,” she says. “But it’s not always perfect – and that’s OK. When I miss a day, I just start again the next morning, but when I do skip I try to make quiet time for myself during the course of my workday,” says Stewart. Read on for her tips on finally becoming a morning person.
1. Just begin
The only way to change your current morning routine is to start creating new habits. The only way to create new habits is to actually start doing it. Not at the beginning of next week, next month, or next year, but now. Decide on three simple activities that make you feel more centred and connected to your soul. Reading, writing, meditation, and yoga will all create the types of positive changes you are looking for.
2. Do it for 40 days
According to yogic teaching, it takes 40 days to change a habit, and 90 days to confirm that habit. Give yourself 40 days to make sure you set yourself up for success. If you skip a day, begin again at day 1. Make a challenge out of it and remember to have fun. Your subconscious, which directs about 60 per cent of your activities and responses by habit, has to get the message. By turning to your practice repeatedly day by day, choice by choice, the effects will start to seep into the deeper parts of your mind.
3. Know your why
Make a short list of all the reasons you want to create a new routine for yourself. Maybe it’s to gather your thoughts and become more centred. Maybe you want to incorporate exercise in your morning routine to make sure you actually get to it before you’re exhausted at the end of your day. Then list all the benefits you will receive by starting these new actions. This will help you during times when you don’t feel like it, and believe me, those times will definitely come.
4. Keep it simple
When you first start, just keep your routine simple. Start by waking up 30 min earlier than usual. Drink a glass of warm water with lemon. Sit quietly for five minutes and then begin whichever activity you have chosen to engage in for the morning. If meditating for 30 minutes every morning feels impossible, start by committing to just three minutes instead. In just three minutes, you can have an effect on your blood circulation and chemistry.
Making changes in our lives isn’t always easy, but it is possible. Remember to speak to yourself in a loving and compassionate way. Be patient. Working up to creating lasting change is part of the process and putting strategies in place to stick to your commitment will make it easier to achieve.
This article was originally published on Women's Health.