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[Morning] Routines

8.21.23

When I woke up this morning my mind immediately said "I need a new routine", as I drug myself out of bed and shimmied my way to my bathroom to get ready. In that moment, I was a slug, and I wanted to be a chipper butterfly. So what makes a chipper butterfly? Not sure. Though I knew I wanted to start my mornings in a positive motivating manner to shape the rest of my day. I have constantly told myself that routines outside my comfort zone could lead to positive change. Yet time and time again I find myself rolling out my bed in a groggy state, scrambling to get ready. Or even in my afternoons, a winding down routine involving some stretches instead of being a couch potato, doom scrolling on my phone, with the same ole' tv show playing in the background could result in a sweeter slumber. Routine is an eminent role that, if under the right circumstances, can lead to genuine life changes.


The problem lies in not the routine itself but in wanting to change. In wanting to get out of your old habits in order to see progressive improvement in your life. When speaking with a friend, she laid down the law that making time for yourself is a non-negotiable. Taking account and making space for things that make you feel good, and who wouldn't want that? I think for many, routine seems like this scary thing that is only visualized as this series of daunting tasks involving punishing activities for months on end in hopes of a positive outcome; i.e. weight loss or natural hair journeys; when it doesn't need to be seen that way. The mindset of why bother when I know I'm going to fail or end up back in the same place as before develops. We set ourselves up for failure when we think this way.


A lot of this mindset is also programmed and learned from external factors such as our environments. The habits and vocabulary of self deprecating friends and family can easily be adopted by us subconsciously and repeated when we don't even realize we're doing it until we fully listen to ourselves. I routinely do it myself, and my friends often point it out, attempting to uplift me with positive words of affirmations. Keep those friends around. It is hard to get out of that habit when there is no guide, but when you surround yourself with people who try to keep a positive level head it makes the journey less lonely. Social media is also an area that can create a space of self illusion. We are constantly fed these narratives of perfection and the easiness of achieving goals when we really only see the highlight reel of things. We don't know other's personal lives or the support groups they have access to. Comparison to these components can lead to discouragement and the over analyzation of your own environment, leading to questions such as "why don't I have this type of support?" This only distracts you from your goal, the self improvement of YOU. Remember that we all start somewhere, some with more some with less, and with self improvement comes losses and gains in relationships, so you never know who will be in your circle as you go along your journey. So don't be so hard on yourself. Ways to combat this would be to take a break from your screen for a few minutes each week and replace it with another activity you already enjoy, like a morning walk around the neighborhood, doing art, or joining a community sports team.


I'm learning to look at the bigger goal but not to fixate on it to the point that making that one small change doesn't immediately result in perfection. That only leads to self sabotage and imposter syndrome. The idea of routine is to look at it, not in the sense that there's this inevitable doom that arises from doing the same thing over and over, but to incite change. There's this cycling of reoccurring things that happen that can either keep us stagnant or move us forward closer to our goals. When something doesn't work out, replace it with something else that you think could cause a catalyst surge in your day to day flow. Then take it step by step from there. How can I combat each day or how can I improve myself through a manageable consistent basis that will eventually set me up for success? The goal is to see small change, not immediate perfection. It is also vital that we continue to give ourselves grace and forgiveness in all our endeavors, the world is already critical of our every being, you don't need to be one more person preying on your downfall.


So how do you start your day in the morning? Do you have a morning routine? Have you been wanting to develop a morning routine? Where in your life do you want to see improvement? Think about what you want in life, take time to do the research, start small, have a big goal but don't have hit in your mind that changing one thing for a month will get you to that goal, practice patience and consistency and in due time you will be where you need to be. Always remember that the goal is to make room in your life for YOU!


[side note: (no I am not self deprecating, I'm saying this through a realistic standpoint of self examination, mind your business!) as someone who SUCKS at routine and consistency, I'm writing this in hopes I will live up to these standards myself. I realize the reality of setting your alarm clock 15mins earlier or waking up 30mins early to get a small workout in on a Monday morning is easier said than done, but that's why we start small, give ourselves grace, MAKE ROOM FOR US, and hope for bigger!]


Happy New Week!

With Love,

SNA


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