Building a Morning Routine

The start of a day is so ripe with potential. The sun is slowly making its ascent across the skyline, and through the shuttered windows of sleepy homes. The grass is slightly dewy. The water is still glass, and the birds begin a melodious chatter. A coffee aroma fills apartments, and slippered feet pad down the stairs.

The potential for greatness is all there, laid out for you every day. The difficult thing is harnessing that potential – soaking it in and letting it drive you through those days. There’s coffee to make, and emails to read, and facebook to check, and texts to reply to, and instagrams to heart, and dirty dishes to ignore… and then suddenly its homes to leave, and work to get to, and busses to catch, and people to call…and it’s lunch, and you skip it for take away to meet a new deadline, and reply to some emails, and watch some dumb youtube videos for half an hour because you’re ‘so busy you need a break’…then it’s 3pm and you slump hard against the relentlessness of your day, sneaking chocolate and gulping a coffee….and it’s 6.30 and you’re out the door again only to be looking for busses, and scrolling through facebook, and liking instagrams, and replying to texts…and eating dinner in front of netflix and complaining and desperately hoping that by some absolute miracle, tomorrow will be different. And after several more hours of ignoring yourself, immersed in small glowing screens, you slump into an exhausted sleep and…

This scary cycle can define me over and over… and I am aiming to stop it, by harnessing the mornings. There is magic in morning routines, I’m convinced of it. I found small magic in watering my small pot of succulents in the mornings. And I found small magic in drinking chai tea, alone, outside on the balcony before the roads fill with cars and commuters and chatter. There’s always magic in five minutes of writing, with pen and paper.

But I so quickly fall out of the habit of harnessing that magic. There’s sleep ins to have, and group fitness classes to get to, and phones to scroll through, and scroll through and scroll through. However – it is time to reintroduce some structure to my mornings. To harness the magic, one small burst of sunlight at a time.

My first baby step is to spend three minutes alone, outside, with no sound, no music, no conversation, no phone, and no distraction. In time, I intend to build in plant watering. And one page of journalling. Stretching. Meditation. But I want this to stick, and I only see it sticking by going one step at a time. So this first step of harnessing the morning is by just letting myself recognise and embrace the greatness of the moment I’m in.

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