I started a new morning routine last week and I’m feeling really confident about it. It’s a simple routine but it’s helped me feel way more productive.
My new morning routine for 2021 includes four steps: teeth, face, dress, and read.
Charles Duhigg covers the concept of keystone habits in his book The Power of Habit. As he explains, keystone habits are “small changes or habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives.”
Keystone habits are essentially habits that lead to other habits. They’re gateway habits. Build healthy keystone habits and you’re building a healthy lifestyle. We’re all in for that, right?
I used the keystone habit principle to figure out my morning routine. My new four-step morning routine of teeth, face, dress, and read has helped me go from peaceful mornings to productive days. So let’s break down exactly what I do in my four-step morning routine!
I brush my teeth first thing in the morning. Simple enough, right? It’s not as if I didn’t brush my teeth every morning prior to this new routine. I simply added it in whenever I remembered to do it — sometimes after coffee, sometimes after laying in bed scrolling through my phone. Now it’s the first thing I do when I wake up to jump-start the day.
Next up is morning skincare! I wash and moisturize my face. If 2020 was about developing a better skincare routine, 2021 will be the year I stay consistent with my skincare routine. This is an activity I may or may not have gotten around to before this routine. By building it in here, I’m starting the day by checking off a daily goal. I’m taking better care of my skin day-by-day.
Next up is getting dressed. Depending on the day, “getting dressed” might look a little different. Some days it means getting fully dressed because I have appointments outside the house. Other days it means adding socks and a bra to the pajamas because it’s a writing day. Whatever the day calls for, I’m transitioning from sleep and relax mode to work and life mode. I also have a theory that wearing shoes with ties helps you be more productive. Maybe it’s just a mental trick, a signal to my brain that we’re ready to go and do whatever you need to do!
Next up is reading. After getting dressed, I take some quiet time to read. Sometimes it’s passages from the bible, other days I’m engrossed in a business book and I want to dive a bit further. The point is quiet time and reading for 30 minutes. The only stipulation here is I can’t read in bed. It’s too easy for me to roll over and slip back to sleep.
Now that I’ve brushed my teeth, done my skincare, gotten dressed, and read for a bit, I feel ready to start my day. Progress begets progress. By doing this four-step morning routine, I feel motivated to keep going.
That’s not to say my day won’t get derailed even after I’ve perfectly completed my morning routine. On one recent morning, I did my four-step routine and was ready to sit down and begin work when one of my kiddos rushed in announcing he needed books and articles on Renaissance art. It was a mad scramble! Chaos on top of chaos. That’s life!
I’m excited to keep going with my new four-step morning routine this year! Let’s see how long I can keep this going and how well these keystone habits help me build healthy habits throughout the day.
What about you? Do you have a morning routine? Any keystone habits that help you feel more productive throughout the day? Share below!
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