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This week I am going to do a series based on my willpower routine.  This post will explain the routine and its inception.  Tuesday through Friday will focus on the specifics of each day of the routine.

Book Cover

Book Cover from Google images

My friend, Chante, introduced this book to me.  She started reading it and invited me to join her.  It has been a book that I have shared stories from with friends, family, and coworkers.  (A few probably feel like I’ve practically read the book to them word for word because I’ve talked about it so much.)  In only 4 weeks, though, while I’ve been working on my willpower internally, externally something has caused others to provide me with unsolicited compliments or questions.  I have heard from multiple people, “Something seems different about you.  Good different.  What is it?”

It would be selfish of me not to share this with all of you.

(I’m warning you now, this will not be the only post that references this book.  You should probably go check it out from the library, purchase it from your local bookstore <if you can find one> or buy an electronic copy now.)

For now though, I want to share with you my willpower inspired morning routine and a bit of why I created the routine in this way and how the timing of the routine became set.

Here is the routine:  Each day starts at 6am (on a workday):

Monday:  25 minute workout followed by 5 minutes of meditation
Tuesday:  25 minutes of prayer followed by 5 minutes of meditation
Wednesday:  25 minutes of goal setting followed by 5 minutes of meditation
Thursday: 25 minute workout followed by 5 minutes of meditation
Friday: 25 minute of writing a blog post followed by 5 minutes of meditation
Why I created the routine:
The book suggests that we test/strengthen our willpower muscle, and this routine is both a willpower test (or strengthener) as well as a way for me to fuel my mornings.

The routine is varied because I couldn’t decide on what one thing to focus.  Should I focus on losing weight? (Answer: yes)  Should I focus on getting back on a budget?  (Answer: yes)  Should I focus on my reconnecting to my spiritual life?  (Answer: yes)  Should I focus on my blog? (Answer:  YES!)

Hmm … this probably shows all of you one area in my life where I may need more willpower (focusing on just one thing).  However, I am choosing to embrace my lack of singular focus.

Monday and Thursday are the days when I focus on taking an action towards my goal of losing weight.  Tuesdays I focus on my spiritual life.  Wednesdays I focus on my goals – such as creating a budget that works for my life with my husband, my work goals, and my goal of losing weight.  I need a day and time to touch base and determine what is working, what is not, and what can be tweaked.  Fridays I focus on my blog.

The meditation is an addition that the book suggests.

Why 6am?

I was complaining to a coworker the other day about not having enough time to work out.  I admitted that I knew what I was really saying is that I was not ready/willing to carve out time in my day to workout.  She looked at me and said, “Stop whining.  Get up in the mornings and do a 25 minute workout before work.”  Of course, I scoffed at this answer, pouted because “I wasn’t whining”, and came up with some excuse about not wanting to wake my housemates.  I had to have some reason why her suggestion just would. not. work.

Then, I was doing my willpower homework (each chapter includes willpower experiments that you are supposed to try out for a week), and I decided to create a plan to work on those areas in my life where I wanted focus.  I wrote out my long term goal(s), broke those down into steps, and continued to break those steps down into something that seemed manageable and not overwhelming.

One thing kept nagging at me while I was creating the plan.  That thing was a voice in the back of my head saying, “When do your think you’re going to add this plan to your day?  You already wake up at 6am and don’t go to bed until 10, 11, midnight or sometimes later.  You already don’t work out consistently.  You sometimes don’t take time to eat, let alone do these other things that aren’t at the bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs.

If you were to ask my husband what time I get up in the mornings on a workday, (until this past week) he would not have said 6am.  My alarm goes off at 6am every work day, but my feet often don’t hit the floor until 6:30 and sometimes it’s 7:10.  I’m fooling myself if I think hitting snooze for an hour is the best use of my time (wouldn’t it make more sense just to set the alarm for 6:30 and get 1/2 an hour more sleep?)  So, I set my plan to start at 6am.  My day starts with a willpower exercise:  can I make my feet touch the floor?

I’ve done it for a week.

For an added amount of accountability, I text my friend Chante to let her know if I was successful in completing the morning routine.

The first week was not perfect.  I have my reasons, rationales, and excuses.  I’ll be adapting the plan so that my alarm goes off at 5:50 so that there’s a greater chance that I might actually start the routine at 6am.

Do you have areas in your life where you feel you are lacking in willpower?  Are you trying to lose weight but finding yourself never quite following the new diet?  Are you looking for new motivation to work out more consistently?  If so, this book will help you do that.

Do you have a morning routine?  A routine that helps you wake up? A routine that provides you with the fuel you need to get through the day?  Maybe you don’t have a morning routine but you have an evening routine?  Maybe you have both.  If so, I’d love to hear what you include in your routine and how it benefits you.