The Importance Of Morning Routines For Nurses

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I have been on a hiatus recently and can think of a million reasons why I have not been able to consistently create new content. I read a recent article on The Art of Manliness where they mention, “you are your morning routine.” This got me to thinking about my current morning routine and how it has become a disarray over the past six months.

To my credit, there has been a lot of changes in my life lately. Good ones, by the way. Every day that would go by and I was not able to discipline myself enough to create content for NursingLifeBackToHealth.com made me cringe. When I read the article mentioned above, I knew it was due to my lack of a solid morning routine.

Without a routine and a schedule to keep me accountable, I found I would quickly lose track of time and become very inefficient. Fortunately, my wife does most of the care for my son who is now fourteen months. I have total respect and consideration for all you mothers out there. I know having a morning routine can be very challenging, especially if you are a single mother.

My morning routine on my days off focuses on the goals I have for myself and what is important for me to achieve that day. They consist of:

·         Growing in my relationship with Jesus so I can be a great example, leader, and disciple              my wife and child.

·         Spending quality time with my wife and child. We usually walk and talk together for 30              minutes in the morning to achieve this.

·         Keeping my body fit, so I stay strong and walk the talk as I write about on this blog

·         Growing intellectually by reading the Bible, nursing, nutrition, and leadership, to name a            few. I usually try to do this for two hours on my days off. This allows me to gain new                    ideas and insights to share with you through this blog.

·         And, of course, writing and creating great content for you.

After this, I focus on making sure my school work is done, doing miscellaneous errands, and going out to the grocery store or taking my wife out on a date.

My morning routine before going to work a twelve hour shift usually consist of coffee, preparing my food for the day, devotions, writing for 30 minutes. Sometimes if I am behind on my workouts I will do a little weight lifting in the morning. I know, but sometimes it is easier to get something done when you are up against a time constraint like going to work.

One thing I have been doing in the evening and after it has cooled down (since it is hot as can be here in SC) is rewarding myself by working on the house and making sure I have done the honey to-do-list. The problem I had before was doing this stuff around the house and not getting to the more important stuff first (the big rocks). Therefore, I was either too tired, or it just did not get done because I ran out of time that day.

I found if I do not complete my main goals I can sometimes get irritable because I feel like I missed an opportunity. This may sound weird, but when I achieve the goals mentioned above, I feel accomplished and balanced. I feel like I am taking care of my health, focusing on my family, growing my mind and giving back by creating great content for you.

I realized that the reason my life seemed to be in more of disarray is that my morning routine was in disarray. The task I would complete were the ones that were the easiest and the ones I liked the most. These were usually not the important things I needed to be doing to move my life forward. It was just like shiny object syndrome. That was what I would decide to do on my days off from being a nurse.

Distraction would eat up my time that was not blocked out and protected.

Have you ever heard the analogy about the big rocks, little rocks, and sand fitting in a jar made popular in Steven Covey's books? Well, the way it goes is if you put the small rocks and sand in first the big rocks will not be able to fit. However, if you start with the big rocks (the foundational things that will move your life forward) and put them in the jar first the small rocks and sand will filter in between the big rocks and allow everything to fit.

I have included a video here of the demonstration.

So, how can you take action on your dreams, passions, and health goals this week? Be intentional about blocking out time for the important, foundational, sometimes hard, tasks you need to be doing to move your life forward. I gave some examples of what that was for myself. Everybody’s will be different. If you are finding that you are unable to meal prep, workout, go for a walk, or do some other health-related activities due to not having enough time. It is probably due to not making it a priority, blocking out time for it, or being intentional about getting it done.  Decide today you are going to put it on your schedule and you are going to plan to get it done. There is a famous saying out there, “What gets scheduled, gets done.”  We all know this from being nurses. 

If you are intentional about your health goals day after day, then you will reach your ultimate health goal in the end. I am not saying it is easy, but it will be worth it. I can promise you that!

What have you struggled with including in your morning routine? I want to hear about your challenges and successes.  Please share in the comments or message me with questions.  I hope you have a healthy week, and remember, make your health a priority before it has to be.

Nurse Brian