Habits over {motivation} | 8 habits before 8am

I am a BIG fan of routines and when thing get on top of me laying out a plan of action is definitely a big part of my go-to self-care toolkit. But creating {or sticking to} new routines is HARD. We so often think we need to be more motivated or have more willpower then beat ourselves up when these start to wane. You may have heard people referring to motivation as a limited resource which will eventually run out. No wonder we find it hard to keep up!

I was watching YouTube the other morning {hello 4:30am wake up call from the toddler}. Sam Ozkural was talking about 10 habits before 10am and how to habit stack which really sparked my interest.

As you know a lot of the actions we undertake everyday are done out of habit – from brushing your teeth to checking your social media and putting the dishwasher on before bed every night.

But creating a new {of breaking bad} habits can be tricky. Habit stacking {taken from the book Atomic Habits by James Clear} is where new habits are created by “stacking” them onto already established habits and therefore making them more likely to stick.

For example : After I {existing habit}, I will {new habit} / After I put the kettle on for my morning coffee, I will practice 3 minutes gratitude.

So although motivation may not always be on your side, building habits can help you be productive and successful without the reliance of feeling motivated all the time.

The key here is consistency. Another thing I really like about Sam Ozkural is how she holds herself accountable to, for example, workout every day. I find how she practices discipline in her daily routine {as well as her business and other areas of her life} really inspiring.

I don’t know about you but lockdown 3.0 has really knocked me for 6 and the constant rollercoaster of change has definitely affected my productivity and get-up-and-go. Our routine has been tuned on it’s head and I’ve been struggling to see the wood for the trees.

I always think I am more productive in the morning {even though I’ve been struggling to get out of bed lately!} So I was really interested to see Sam’s morning routine and how she used habit stacking to get tasks done and set herself up for the day.

Sam advised setting a goal time to achieve certain things by and not to check your phone/social media until after that time. You also want to make sure you pick achievable habits and start small! I decided I wanted to try to get certain things done before 8am which is when I need to get the kids ready for school etc. Here’s what I came up with:

Habit 1 : 6:30am : Wake-up

Habit 2 : Workout clothes and trainers laid out, get dressed

Habit 3 : Fill water bottle

Habit 4 : 6:45am : 10-15 mins exercise

Habit 5 : 7:00am : Shower, skincare, get dressed, make-up and hair

Habit 6 : 7:30am : Make beds, clean up space

Habit 7 : 7:40am : Make coffee

Habit 8 : 7:45am : Drink coffee at table, update planner and / or journal

8:00am : Goal time! And onto school routine / work / toddler time

And of course I may not keep this up everyday {and I don’t intend on beating myself up if I don’t} but this, for me, is a very achievable routine which not only sets me up for the day but also ensures I make that time for myself and find a way of fitting in a few of the tasks which I often feel I don’t have time or the motivation for. I will be aiming to complete these habits 5 days a week and enjoy a more relaxed weekend.

Namely – 10-15 mins exercise {whether that be a run, on the bike, following a YouTube video or stretching}, drinking enough water, cleaning up my space and consistently using my planner. All {in theory} before 8am! And of course habit stacking can be completely customised to suit you. And also changed or tweaked as our “new normal” changes once again. These habits can also be added to to create a whole day’s or an evening structure. For example if you want to change the habit of looking at your phone before sleep perhaps you could start a new stacked habit of brusing your teeth then plugging your phone in to charge across the room.

What habits would you like to add into your day? What habits could you stack them onto?

Published by Ellie Hully

Business Health & Home Pro Clerking

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