Mornin’ sunshine, what will you choose for your day?
Annoyed, I rolled over under my tangled comforter.
One eye squinting open like a pirate, I fumbled to push Snooze, right below the 8:30am. Even in my half-dreaming state, I knew that if I pushed Stop, I could end up sleeping for another few hours.
Aw, shit. It’s 10am.
I had just repeated that snoozing cycle for the past hour and a half in 8-minute increments.
This morning was supposed to go differently. I was supposed to wake up bright and early, write in my journal, do a solid yoga sesh, make myself a delicious breakfast, and get an early start to my work day. At least, that’s the routine I was testing out for the week.
But there was so much resistance.
It was like my body didn’t look forward to that routine at all and decided to give me the finger instead 🖕. So, I sprawled out in my dimly-lit room, feeling defeated as the sunshine banged on the rouladens.
Scrolling through Facebook, checking my Instagram notifications, responding to my Whatsapp messages…
Great… lost another day.
I saw how this could pan out. Since my morning routine was botched and I lost 2 hours to my dream about jumping down flights of stairs and instacomments of “Stunning shot! DM us for a feature” from random accounts, I would eventually go to the kitchen, eat a bowl of cereal, filter through spam emails while eating, get lost in the world of catching up on Slack updates, and probably find myself finishing a Youtube video around noon. Realizing I should probably shower and get to work so I wouldn’t have to work til 1am the next morning, I’d drag my feet to get ready. Everything that followed would be laced with a little regret.
This was all too familiar. I’ve had many days like this before.
And I’ve also had days not like this. And I knew how those felt.
So now I had a choice — what did I want for today?
I put my phone down. I wanted a good and productive day. I deserved it. People around me deserved to interact with the best version of me. My work deserved my best self. Now, it was up to me to make it happen.
I decided to be kind to myself with the help of a little gratitude. Immediately, I thought of 3 things:
I’m thankful for the fact that I just woke up in Croatia, and am living in a place where the beach holds hands with the blue sky and greets me every day.
I’m thankful for my team at about.me for letting me work remotely so that I can live in cool places and work from wherever inspires me most.
I’m thankful for my brother — he’s my unicorn, as my photo posted to Facebook in honor of National Sibling Day would suggest.
And then I felt a shift.
I chose to have a good day — it wasn’t too late.
The one thing that really gets me going, no matter what time of day, is a good workout. But that was immediately met with disapproval and temptations to do otherwise. The thought wasn’t enough.
I remembered back to when I first created the habit of working out after reading the book I’m still obsessing over, The Power of Habit. (This book, by Charles Duhigg, changed my life in SO many ways..if you haven’t read it yet, read it)
Working out was one of my keystone habits.
Doing a workout, even when my brain told me I didn’t want to, was one of those habits that led me down a path to a different string of positive habits. So I knew it was the answer to changing the course of my seemingly lost-cause day.
But I needed something to get me started. Getting started is always the hardest part.
One way to get started is to take one small action that would trigger the routine of whatever it is you’re trying to do. The action that I knew would always get me to go through with a workout was putting my workout clothes and shoes on. This would lead to: taking a sip of water, grabbing my phone, turning on my music, opening whichever workout app I needed, which would create the proper environment for me to be active.
So, I dragged myself out of my blanket nest, brushed my teeth, and got my clothes on — fighting those arguments and excuses against going through with the workout along the way. But, sure enough, as soon as I laced up my shoes, I was ready to go and my body followed suit.
💥 Just like that, I changed the course of the rest of my day and set it up to be a nice, productive one. But this was because I had previously spent some time (about 3 months) creating this habit of working out to get myself into a better mindset.
I’m not saying that working out in the morning is the answer to a great day.
For some people it’s something as simple as making their bed or taking a shower. For others, it’s writing. This wasn’t the case for me…writing as soon as I woke up kept me in a physically stagnant state that made it more difficult for me to get “up and at ‘em” afterwards. I learned that today, and will probably go back to my previous routine of working out first thing in the morning, until I feel like it’s not working or I want to try something else.
Ultimately, the kind of day you have is going to be up to you. It’s your choice.
The key is finding what works for you.
Not sure how? I’ll share the step-by-step process I followed in another post soon. Stay tuned 💡