I confess: if someone tells me they really like routine, I quietly wonder if that person might be a little boring, or even a bit too rigid or structured. Where’s the joy in routine? What about fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants decision-making, on-a-whim travel, last minute changes, challenges, adventure? That sounds more exciting.
But then last year, something started to change for me. I was stressed out by the daily grind of work and felt like I didn’t have any “me” time. I began waking up 30 minutes earlier than usual to journal at a coffee shop before work.
I loved it. It felt good to do something just for me. I didn’t look at email or worry about work; I just sipped my coffee and wrote. It was refreshing.
I woke up even earlier. I started doing 20 minutes of yoga at home, then brewing my own coffee and journaling in the kitchen. If I had extra time, I’d work on an essay or do some additional writing.
I got hooked on my morning routine. Even if I was tired, I’d still get out of bed. If for some reason I didn’t get a chance to do it, I felt like I was in a funk, like my morning had been rushed and my head wasn’t clear.
Routine, I realized, empowered me. It wasn’t boring; it was invigorating. It wasn’t that I no longer made spur-of-the-moment decisions or went on adventures. I could have routine and adventure. It didn’t have to be one or the other; it could be both.
Now, I love hearing what other people have to say about their morning routines: what they do and in what order and how it helps them. Routines are exciting in their own rite! Or at least, that’s what I believe now. If you want to feel the inspiration, here are a few gems to read from those feel the same:
- Leo Babauta of Zen Habits lists 10 benefits of getting up early, including quietude (there really is nothing like that morning peace, is there?).
- MyMorningRoutine.com is a whole website dedicated to the habits of early risers, from writers to artists to entrepreneurs. Elle Luna's is one of my favorites.
- Entrepreneur Cathryn Lavery says it all in a recent Medium article: “A morning routine sets the tone for the whole day, and if you do each day right, you’ll do life right.”
Are morning routines worth it? Totally.
by Kelly, Brooklyn-based writer and coffee drinker.