Recently I realized I’d fallen into a specific morning routine: wake up, roll over, pick up phone and scrooooooll.
It wasn’t always like this. Earlier this year (which feels like ages ago), I was a morning self-care machine.
- Work out
- Go on being super productive.
Then I moved. And it’s been a lot of things – fun, challenging, fulfilling, slobbery. I’m beyond grateful to be here. But one thing became apparent pretty quickly – my morning routine was going out the window.
Without the structure and surroundings I was used to, I opted for the path of least resistance in the morning, which is apparently using my phone as a way to “wake up.” Nothing hits quite like a bunch of likes on Instagram at 7am.
I noticed it was having some other effects later in the day too. I was having a harder time focusing on work, which was REALLY not helpful since we are now in the final stages of getting a new business up and running. That intrinsic “pull” towards the phone/any and all easy distraction was way stronger than it used to be.
And even worse, it was how I was ending my nights too! I’d go up to bed at the right time, but then I’d lay there and scroll on the phone. “Just until my eyes get tired,” I’d tell myself, knowing full well that staring at blue light before bed is a great way to not let your body’s natural production of melatonin kick in. So the few minutes I anticipated staying up turned into 20, 30, 60 sometimes, and I’d wake up tired and cranky the following day, ready to start it all over again (on social media).
Obviously something needed to change. So I did one simple thing:
I moved my phone charger to another room.
I created some resistance between the cue (waking up) and the habit I wanted to get rid of (automatically reaching for the phone when I wake up).
To solidify it, I decided to replace that old habit with something better. I was having a hard time concentrating on work and the things on my agenda that make me feel fulfilled in the long-term. I decided that starting my day with a task that made me a better version of myself would be the best way to set the tone.
Now when I wake up, I get out of bed, use the bathroom, get a huge glass of water, and make our coffee. With water and coffee in hand, I head back upstairs, grab my laptop and spend 30-60 minutes studying. I’m always working on one certification or another because being a better coach for my clients is my number one priority.
Only when that study period is over do I start looking at my phone.
I’ve found that starting my day by working on myself has made focusing on work and managing my time through the evening way easier. I’m less drawn to the quick dopamine hit of social media.
And since the phone charges in the office instead of the bedroom, I can’t scroll through the night. So I’m getting to bed earlier and having an easier time getting up in the AM.
Just that one small change – charging my phone outside my bedroom – snowballed into a huge mental shift. Breaking old habits can sometimes be as simple as making them inconvenient.
- Do you have a habit you want to put to rest?
- How can you make it a little bit harder to follow through with that habit?
- Can you replace it with a better habit?
- Can you make that better habit EXTRA convenient?