- I set out in January to start to build a sustainable morning routine for myself and my readers to build confidence throughout 2016. As habit gurus Babauta and Covey have taught us, we will be much more likely to succeed at behavior change if we make one small change at a time and slowly build on it. That’s why I am adding one piece per month to the routine. There are 6 pieces in total.Many of you have joined in and I thoroughly enjoy hearing about how these rituals have impacted you. Keep your messages, comments and posts coming! If you are just now stepping into this conversation, you are not too late to build your morning routine! Join us as of this month – don’t attempt to go back and start with the January and February work now, just begin with this month’s practice.
In January’s blog post, I committed to setting an intention every morning in order to bring focus to my day. In February’s blog post , I layered in 10 minutes of meditation every day.
Habit #1 of 6 – Setting Intentions (as of January) Read January’s post
Wake-up time: Before getting out of bed, before even opening your eyes, practice the art of setting intentions for the day. This will help to gain and maintain focus throughout the day. A focused mind is a more confident mind.
Habit #2 of 6 – 10 minutes of Mindfulness Meditation (as of February) Read January’s post
First thing after getting out of bed: Take 10 minutes to meditate! (There are many meditation tools and apps out there. Some of my favorites are Headspace and Buddhify.) A reassuring thought; even if you don’t manage to clear your head of thoughts for the entire 10min., you still get benefits; feeling grounded, at peace with yourself, and unhurried as you start the day.
Now it is time to bring in the third step of our routine. We’re still setting an intention every morning, still going to meditate for 10 minutes and now we’ll also get our bodies moving!
The next step in the Confidence-Building #MorningRoutine2016: 10 minutes of Exercise.
Habit #3 of 6 – Let’s Get Physical!
Throw on sports gear and get outside or stay in your underwear and use the bedroom as your gym. Find a short exercise or stretching routine that works for you and makes you feel great. It could be anything from light stretching to an intense, sweaty workout. You decide! The important thing is that you are getting in touch with your body and getting the blood and endorphins flowing. This is not a replacement for any other exercise you already do. It is just a quick and simple routine that wakes you up and makes you feel good. It will be different for each person. Taking care of the body immediately boosts self-confidence.
How do I find the routine that works for me?
If you like yoga, the Sun Salutation is a great way to start the day. Another option would be to ask an expert such as your tennis coach, doctor, chiropractor, physiotherapist or even massage therapist: “If I exercised/stretched every morning for 10 minutes, what do you suggest I do?” Otherwise, think back to a favorite exercise class. Remember your favorite parts of that class, and write down your favorite exercises. Make your own routine.
For those of you looking to make this your principal exercise, who are looking for something more challenging and are willing to spend more like 40 minutes in the morning, here is a great free app that I use called Freeletics that helps you get an incredibly tough workout with just a few square meters, a few minutes and no equipment. Sworkit is another great app which allows you to build routines like you would build a playlist.
So what is my personal routine?
This morning I got up and tried out my routine. I decided to choose a combination of body weight exercises that I can do with no equipment, no matter where I am. Depending on my energy level, I will vary my routine slightly. For example, this morning Lukas was fighting a head cold so he stuck to the stretch routine from Freeletics. I tried a combination of stretching and exercise that I think will work me for on a daily basis:
First, I moved to the edge of the bed and sat up straight, with both hands on the mattress by my sides and my feet on the floor. I stretched one arm straight up and slowly reached that hand over my head to the opposite side and slowly bent my torso to that side as well to get a full stretch along the side of my body. Then I repeated on the other side.
Second, I did a series of shoulder rolls. Next I fired up Spotify to do the “Sally up” squat-challenge to the song “Flower” by Moby. This is a big challenge and also a lot of fun!
Next I did side planks for 30sec on each side. Then I did 10 lunges on each leg, and for the last few minutes some of my favorite full body stretches. Easy and I feel twice as awake as I did yesterday at this time! I still plan to go to my exercise class tonight. This is just a quick routine to start the day, but does not replace my regular workouts…
By the way, how is the meditation and intention-setting going? I got thrown off and skipped a few days when my routine changed last month. But two things helped me get back on track: 1. Knowing you guys are out there doing this too. and 2. Realizing it only takes 10 minutes to get back on track! So I managed easily to get back into the swing of things. I was also bolstered by learning more about the benefits of meditation when I listened to Tanya Odom’s talk at the Global Diversity & Inclusion seminar in Zurich last week. She added another layer to the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) world that global leaders need to deal with by mentioning Diversity as a factor to be managed. This requires empathy, and our ability to be empathetic nosedives when we are tired or stressed out. Regular meditation can contribute to our ability to be better leaders: more grounded, confident, balanced and empathetic.
It’s Not Too Late To Join in building your Morning Routine for Confidence!
Join me in the quest to further build on your self-confidence by building this routine into your life. Keep in touch!
If this sounds like a good idea that you want to implement too, keep in touch! Let us know how it is going! Get support and post your successes, roadblocks and questions on Coaching Without Borders Facebook page or Twitter page using the hashtag #MorningRoutine2016
By the way, I know what some of you might be thinking… another 10 minutes earlier out of bed?! By the time this morning routine is complete in June I will be waking up at 5am! Never fear…the last 3 should not require you to wake up any earlier.
You may also be interested in exercises to bolster your confidence at any time of day. Check out my post The Best Exercises to Build Self-Confidence All Day Long.
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