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How Changing My Morning Routine Changed My Life

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Every new day is another chance to change your life

It may sound like a cliche’, but changing just one thing about my morning routine has literally changed my life. But, before I tell you about how changing my morning routine changed my life, I’d like to talk to you about “habits.”  There’s a saying that’s been going around for a long time that states if you do something for 21 days, it becomes a habit. Or you can break a habit by not doing something for 21 days. Have you heard this? It’s as if there was something magical about the number “21.”

The reality?

It’s just a number. If 21 were a magical number, EVERYONE would be thin (because we’d all be able to stick to our diets), everyone would quit smoking, everyone would exercise every day for the rest of their lives and everyone would {fill in the blank}.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t see a whole lot of skinny people everywhere I look and I have plenty of friends, myself included, who have struggled with dieting.

21 Day Habit ChallengeMy mom always told my brother, sister and I just how special and unique we each were. I’m sure you’ve probably told you’re children the same thing. I know I have and I believe it, don’t you? Well, believe it or not, there’s even scientific proof! Each and every one of us is unique and we are each wired differently. Some people only have to repeat something for five days before it becomes a habit and there are some of us who have to repeat something for months or a year before it becomes a habit – a part of us.

Habits are essentially a part of who we are.

Did you catch that? Because I don’t know about you, but when I finally grasped that, understood that, took ownership of that, it totally clicked with me – like a little giant light bulb just went off! Habits are a part of who we are. It’s a mindset and something in my mind changed just a couple of months ago.

Light Bulb Went Off with Goofy by The Birch Cottage

I know you all don’t know “my Lenny.” But, he is an incredible man – THE most incredible man I have ever had the privilege of knowing. (Hopefully, he’s not reading this post, because he doesn’t like me to talk about him.) I just absolutely do not know what our family would do without him. He truly is the glue that holds us all together. However, everyone has their flaws and my Lenny’s flaw (although it’s no fault of his own) is his health. Out of respect for his privacy, I won’t go into a lot of detail, but I will tell you that one year ago this past February 17th, my Lenny went into complete cardiac arrest for over 30 minutes. I stood at his ER bedside and watched as the medical team worked on him. It was so surreal. It was as if the world was moving in slow motion. I was suddenly very aware of everything going on around me. Well, against all odds and a whopping 5% chance of survival, my Lenny lives!

I still worry about him, but he really is doing very well. Like I said, he’s incredible! As well as, strong, stubborn determined – but that’s another story. I care about him and I want him to have the best quality of life he can possibly have and I {for admittedly selfish reasons} want him to be around for a long, long time. We want to be that cute old couple you see strolling down the street holding hands. If we are going to be that cute old couple and if I really care about my Lenny, then I need to take steps to make sure I’m as healthy as I can be. I don’t want him to worry about me and I certainly don’t want us spending the rest of our lives trying to figure out how we can do the things we want to do without aggravating my sciatica.

No Diet CokeSo, I decided to do something about becoming that healthier version of myself. I got off to a rocky start and it literally took me a couple of months to figure things out and just what would work for wonderful, special and unique me.  I made changes slowly at first, like cutting back on my Diet Coke consumption and then eliminating it altogether. You can read more about my healthy living struggle journey here.

I was doing the right things, but I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted and I wasn’t completely happy with my choices or solutions until I realized that my healthy living had to be a part of me, not a habit I’m trying to start, or a fad diet I’m trying to make work, but it had to be natural – an extension of who I am. I gave up the diet idea and started focusing on simply eating healthier. Guess what? I started to lose weight! Me! Amazing! My body is VERY resistant to weight loss. In fact, Lenny and I can go on the same diet and he’ll lose 12 pounds in a week and I might lose 1 pound or even gain a couple.  Resistant.

Being Healthy and fit isn't a fad or a trend. Instead, it's a lifestyleSo, I’m eating healthy, natural, whole foods with no artificial ingredients. I’m headache free and feeling good, except that nagging sciatica. Even when my sciatica isn’t flaring up, I’m worrying about when the next episode will occur. I just about always had {did you catch that?} that little burning sensation in my left or right cheek (and not on my face). If you have sciatica, you know exactly what I’m talking about! So, again, I did more research and what I came up with was one simple thing. I changed my morning routine!

How Changing My Morning Routine Changed My Life

I began getting up 45 minutes earlier every morning and practicing Yoga. Yep, Yoga changed and is changing my life.  Although I’ve only been practicing yoga for a couple of months, it has indeed changed my life. I now get up out of bed at 5:45, logon to my computer, surf over to YouTube and practice yoga with my new BFF, Adriene. Adriene is the instructor of “Yoga with Adriene.” I don’t know her, but she has changed my life. I look forward to quirky little greetings and her words of encouragement throughout each segment.

I know I’ve talked to you before about the 30 Days with Adriene, but I just can’t say enough good about yoga. Maybe Adriene isn’t right for you, but if you’ve been thinking about yoga, doing something to take steps towards a healthier you, or just tired of being tired, check out yoga!  Changing my morning routine to include yoga truly has changed my life.


You might also be interested in this article from How Stuff Works.

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