What if there was a ten-minute practice that would pave the way for your best coaching sessions? A practice that would inspire ideas, elicit flow state, and provide maximum clarity for decision-making. Would you dedicate your time to it?
Of course you would!
So why is it that most of us don’t dedicate the time?
What is it that gets in the way of us acting on something we know would be beneficial?
It usually comes down to two things:
- You’re not clear on your true motivation for dedicating the time to it; and
- You simply haven’t made it a new habit yet.
Get clear on your motivation for creating a new routine
Motivation sometimes hits us when we contemplate the pain of not doing something. The pain created by not doing it then becomes greater than the pain of having to do it.
For example, have you ever had one of those days where you woke up later than planned, jumped urgently out of bed and into the shower, slushed down a coffee and then hurriedly got to work? And for the rest of the day you were in survival mode, feeling like you were a step behind in everything else you did?
The day has happened to you, instead of you taking the time to design how the day will happen for you. There’s a big difference between just surviving the day, and thriving throughout your day.
Feeling the pain of these experiences can be used as motivation to create the opposite: peace, space, clarity, vitality, health and balance. At the same time, you can build resilience to future changes and challenges in life.
How to turn a new routine into your new habit
Remember how long it took for you to learn how to tie your shoelaces? Or to learn how to drive a car? And stick-shift at that!
It took all your focus and concentration to learn the necessary steps, yet with motivation for the desire to drive on your own, combined with repeated practice, you finally got there. Now, you’re able to do these kinds of activities without really having to think about them, right?
These activities have become such a habituated skill for you that you can now do them on autopilot.
The same goes for any new habit that you want to create, including your new morning routine. Just as we would make the time to consistently exercise and eat better if we wanted to get into better physical shape, we need to regularly exercise our mind to point it in the direction we’re aiming for.
Actions produce results. If we want happiness and balance to feature consistently in our life, then the actions towards these outcomes need to be made consistently.
Your new morning routine for a resilient and powerful day
1. Move Your Body
Constriction in the body has a carry-over effect on the way we think and feel. Becoming aware of constriction in the body, and then relaxing any unnecessary tension, will pave the way for a more expansive state of being – in the body, breath, thoughts and feelings.
Take a few minutes to do some light stretches or gentle yoga first thing, either sitting on the edge of the bed or on your yoga mat. Move sure you move your spine in all directions – folding forward, extending back, stretching the side waists and twisting in both directions.
If you’re currently experiencing any physical conditions that might be exacerbated or where physical movement may present a contraindication, consult your physician first.
2. Notice Your Breath
Sit comfortably for three minutes, using the breath in the belly as a focus point for your attention. Be really curious and kind with the way you watch the breath.
Notice the way the sensations of the inhale present in the belly – expansive, spacious, fulfilling. Then notice how the exhale presents in the belly – calming, retreating, trusting. Set a timer so you’re alerted when the three minutes are up, using a gentle bell or gong as your alarm.
3. Set Your Intention
Getting in touch with your honourable, soul-led truth from the get-go will help guide every thought and action that you take from that moment forward.
An intention is best set once you have moved the body and the breath, allowing you to obtain a wise, inner intention without the distraction of constriction in the body, breath and mental layers.
To extract an intention, ask yourself the following question:
When I lay my head down on my pillow tonight, which quality will I have operated with that will make me feel most content?
If your intention is ‘peace’, for example, then naming it and claiming it will allow you to measure anything arising in your inner world (thoughts, feelings) and anything presenting in the outer world (other people, your environment) against your intention.
4. Power Questions
A powerful day is one in which we get to choose the way we respond to everything that unfolds – whether pleasant or unpleasant.
Now that you’ve moved your body and breath and are clear on your intended experience, it’s time to get on the frequency of love and gratitude with these power questions.
‘What do I love more about <insert name/event> today, than I did yesterday?’
‘What do I love more about my job today?’
‘What do I love more about myself today?’
Next, set yourself up for an intention-driven day, rather than being to-do-list driven.
What’s one expansive action that I can take today?
When I ask myself this question, I’ve often found that that one action vacuums a lot of the other actions in with it. Very powerful!
Get accountable - making sure you stick to your new morning routine
Need a little help to make sure that you follow through with your new routine each morning? Download my free eBook here and print off the checklist on the back.
Place the checklist somewhere you can see it everyday (on the fridge, above your desk) so that you remember to complete the routine.
'From Little Things, Big Things Grow'
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Happiness Online with Erin Ashley
Keep the pathway to happiness simple - be guided to move your body, notice your breath, be aware of your thoughts and feelings, and choose kindness.