Morning Routine Wins the Day


Yes, I admit to following a daily regimen that some may call being in a rut; but I much prefer its discipline, the empowerment it confers over my many infirmities and the peace it affords in keeping chaos at bay and getting things done. I believe the passions must be made obedient to the mind. Or as Epictetus put it, “One person likes tending to his farm, another to his horse; I like to daily monitor my self-improvement.” Virtue doesn’t fall upon us out of the blue. We must toil at it.

Since I’m writing about routine, Amy Landino has written a wonderful book on its potential for transformation, Good Life: 5 Simple Habits to Master Your Day and Upgrade Your Life. Her thesis is that a good morning creates a good life; in brief, beginning your day with a sound routine can promote well-being.

Movement: Do something to move your body. You can be ambitious and hit the gym right away. I prefer just a few simple stretches and massaging the muscles on my face. When you move your body a little, you wake up.

Mindfulness: It’s too easy to pick up the phone or turn the TV on when you don’t have anything else to do. Instead of resorting to those things, start with a practice that helps you generate your own original thoughts or ideas. Meditation works for some people.

Mastery: Focus on something that you’ve been meaning to get around to or that you’re passionate about. Have you been wanting to learn a foreign language? Start the day going through flashcards or using a training app. When you make time to master something, you aren’t allowing yourself to stay stuck on the hamster wheel of the everyday.

That’s it, a simple routine with large dividends. Allons-y! Go for it!

–rj

About RJ

Retired English prof (Ph. D., UNC), who likes to garden, blog, pursue languages (especially Spanish) and to share in serious discussion on vital issues such as global warming, the role of government, energy alternatives, etc. Am a vegan and, yes, a tree hugger enthusiastically. If you write me, I'll answer.
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