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Morning Routine: Setting Clear Goals

Firstly, you have defined your goal, then you came up with lots of ideas. In this third step, it's time to take those ideas and make them into specific objectives.

I'm going to introduce an effective tool called SMART objectives.

This technique is used by many companies to manage performance and to track progress.

But most importantly, SMART is an acronym that helps make objectives easy to implement, which is why it will work very well with your morning routine.

To start, I will explain the different elements of SMART objectives:

The S stands for specific, you don't want your objectives to be too broad, too generic. For example, instead of saying you want to exercise everyday, you can say you will go running or swimming - the difference is that by being specific, you know exactly what you need to do every morning. You don't need to make a decision about which sport you are going to practice, you just need to do it.

The M means measurable - so that you can easily keep track of your progress. Instead of saying you will eat healthily, you could commit to eating one portion of fruit with every breakfast. With a measurable objective, you can easily assess if you've met your objective or not, as you'll always have a clear target in mind.

The A is for achievable. It's time to make sure those big ideas are a bit more practical.

Everyone is different, so you need to consider how much time you can commit to your morning routine. If you have 30min in your mornings, that means that a goal to exercise for one hour is not achievable. And it's much better to do a little bit every day consistently, so if you can exercise 20min every day, but not one hour, that is much better than nothing. Just think of what is reasonable for you.

The R is for relevant. This means that your objectives should relate to the goals you set for your morning routine. For instance, if one of your big goals is to focus on your relationships, make sure this is reflected in at least one of your objectives - For example, you could commit to reaching out to a friend every morning. If your objective is not relevant, it won't help you get closer to your vision, and you're less likely to keep motivated over time.

Finally, the T is for timebound. This means that you should set a clear timeframe for your objectives - it could be: write for 10min every day, or run for 20min 5 days per week. And particularly if you don't have that much time in the morning, this will ensure that you make time for your morning routine when we look at adding it to your calendar.

To recap, your objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timebound. That makes a SMART objective.

For example, if one of my ideas from the previous lesson was, that I wanted to be healthy in the morning, I could end up with SMART objectives like:

  • I will do 20min yoga at home 5 days per week.
  • I will have two portions of fruit with my breakfast every other day.

These will help make your routine as easy as possible for you to practice.

Now it's your turn. Take the list of ideas for activities you want to include in your morning routine and make them into SMART objectives.

Think about:

  • Is this specific enough, or too broad?
  • How can I measure this activity?
  • Is this achievable considering my other commitments?
  • Is it relevant, does this relate to my vision?
  • What is the timeframe for this activity?

Follow this process for each of the ideas on the list. You may find that some of them don't work very well with SMART objectives, so you can choose not to do them, or think of different ways to make them more practical.

So you will start with a list of big ideas and end up with SMART objectives that you could add into your routine.

This step will ensure that your morning routine fits well within your day, so take some time to complete this activity.

At this stage, it's okay if the list is still too long.

When you have a few SMART objectives, you're already halfway through in creating your new morning routine.

In the next lesson, we will talk about creating habits that continue in the long-term.

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Written by

Julia Barbosa