I have spoken before on the difference between DREAMS and GOALS - that was earlier this year - now we approaching the end of March and how’s that all going? I am going to guess a bit hit and miss. Dreams maybe have slipped out of view and goals well, some will be going well and actioned and others may have come to a grinding halt as life takes over. Time for some reflection.
I want to talk about the D word. Discipline. How has it taken until my 50th year to finally make friends with this? Working on discipline has been a project for the past year and has been life changing for me. I now see it as keeping promises to myself, pure and simple. For me, discipline is undoubtedly the bridge between goals and accomplishment. So how do we practice discipline?
There are lots of avenues to explore and lots of literature on this but today I want to focus on one practical step. One of the things I have played with to help me find more discipline is my morning routine .
Years ago I read the Morning Miracle and a couple of other similar books - I loved the concept immediately but the time required made it too easy to find excuses. However, in reality I wasn’t ready to prioritise myself.
But that has changed. I realised that I didn’t need to adopt someone else’s routine, but take the bits based in science and create something that works for me. But what I know 100 percent to be true was that starting your day right is so helpful in feeling in control and getting things done. For me, it has been the secret to achieving in the day.
It is time to make a promise to yourself to wake up everyday and push yourself over and over to do the small things that edge you towards your dreams. It is time to push yourself through your fear and excuses. A morning routine gives you the discipline to carry through your day. How you set up your day is how you end up.
I am going to share my morning routine and encourage you to give it a go or develop your own rules.
Rule #1 I. Step. Away from my phone. Your phone cannot be in striking distance! Turn of the alarm and do not check social media. Do not let the hundreds or thousands of other people on your feeds into your mind. Do not check the news. Keep it about you at this point!.
Rule #2 When the alarm goes off, get up. Most people hit snooze and to be honest, this was the hardest rule for me and still is. There is science behind this one - entering another sleep cycle, even a short one, can make you feel drowsy for the first few hours of the day. Get up and get the day started. Do not check the phone. Turn alarm off and walk away. You are practicing a promise to put yourself first before the world hijacks your mind. I stick a Spotify playlist on that I love at this point. Nothing better than great music.
Rule #3 Make your bed. Complete something straight off. You deserve to come back to a lovely place of calm and order tonight.
Rule #4 Dress like the person you want to be. I my case, I have dream about my vibrancy and health and my commitment is to move my body every single day - usually in the morning - so I dress in my training clothes first thing as a prompt to train. If I am working elsewhere then I think about who needs to show up and pick my clothes accordingly.
Rule #5 I love this one but it sounds so cheesy so forgive me for this. It works - it works on a neuropathway level. Do not leave your bathroom without high-fiving yourself in the mirror - give yourself a “go get em" or a “you’ve got this” or whatever you like - but positive self talk works. I have played with affirmations over the years but have never made the habit stick. This is rapid, painless and honestly, it works. Get over any feeling of this is stupid etc and instead open your mind to positive self talk and try it for 5 days in a row. You won’t regret it.
Rule #6 Get the senses working - I replaced my morning 5 cups of tea with a pot of lemon and hot water because I felt my body needed rehydrating. Something to do with perimenopause I think! Whilst I am yet to love it, it does get the taste buds working. I let dogs out and stand outside for a moment and breath in the air. I listen to birds.
Rule#7 Set your intent. What’s the one thing you are going to make progress on? I write it down the night before and revisit in the morning.
These are the things that set me up for success in a day. It is simple discipline of making a promise to myself and keeping that promise. Dreaming is the easy bit out achieving is hard and it requires discipline Midlife is the perfect time to make friends with discipline. We know the kinds of prompts, aids and routines that will help us accomplish our goals. Time to put yourself first ladies.