13. Boundaries and Morning Routines

Morning routines

Are you more productive in the morning if you start out your day with a routine? But getting into the habit of that routine has been a challenge for you? Well you are not alone and this episode is for you!

Jessica loves to stay in her warm, cozy bed and has a hard time motivating herself to get going. Sound familiar? In this episode Mary talks with Jessica about how to get a morning routine in place that works for her and get her day off to the right start.

Main Episode Takeaways

  • Deciding why you really want a morning routine
  • Determining a good morning routine for you
  • How to decide if something is what you really want to do
  • Discussing “The Miracle Morning” and adapting it to work best for you

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Mary: All right, I’m here with Jessica and we are gonna talk about boundaries. Hey Jessica. 

Jessica: Hi Mary. 

Mary: Thanks so much for being here with me today.

Jessica: Yes, thank you for inviting me. It’s my first podcast, so I’m super excited and nervous, mostly excited.

Mary: Awesome. Nothing to be nervous about. Just excited. So introduce yourself to us. Tell us a little bit about you, and then we’ll go ahead and start talking about boundaries. 

Jessica: Yeah, so I’m Jessica and I teach yoga, and it’s not like, oh, yoga woo yoga. It’s like a grounded yoga, very applicable for how people live. So most of the people who work with me want to improve or maintain their health because they’re in their forties and older and they’re like, oh, my body doesn’t move or feel the same way as it used to do when I was 20. I can’t go hiking all day and then realize that, ah, I’m really sore the next day. Or my balance is off and I’d like to be able to balance when I get older and have people not need to take care of me. So figuring out that stuff and how to apply it to their life in a meaningful way. 

Mary: Awesome. Well, thanks for being here. Let’s talk about boundaries. When you think about boundaries, what’s the hardest part for you? 

Jessica: So boundaries with other people is a lot easier for me than boundaries that I set for myself, with myself because it’s like, oh, I have this boundary and I can choose to do it or not. Mostly with self-care, it’s like I know this is good for me and I should be doing this, and I know it feels good when I do it, but if I don’t have someone else to do it with or don’t set an appointment with someone else. It’s a whole lot harder for me to do than if I schedule a massage. 

Mary: Awesome. Yes, definitely. I think it is for most of us. Most of us, that setting boundaries for ourselves, with ourselves is kind of that last layer of how do we follow through and actually honor our boundaries. So I’m so glad we get to talk about this today. So give me an example. Can you think of maybe the last time or even the worst time where you had a boundary with yourself that you struggled to follow through?

Jessica: Yes, the hardest one for me is my morning routine, because it’s super hard for me to wake up in the morning. And I know that when I do stuff in the morning and take that time to journal and pray and move and sit, I feel so much better than when I don’t do it, or even when I shortened it. So when I was having that hard time, I was like, okay, what’s one less level that I can do that’ll make it easier for me? And still kind of get, kind of the essence of that self-care portion. Like, why do I wanna do this self-care thing in the morning?

Mary: Mm-hmm. So let’s answer that. Why do you wanna do self-care in the morning?

Jessica: I like having like my mindset set instead of, you know, I like having some me time in the morning instead of like directly going into email or directly going into, oh, let me see all of these messages that I got on my phone or whatever. Like I like having that time for me and it makes the rest of my day so much more meaningful. Like I feel more connected to what’s important to me than what’s important to other people.

Mary: Yes, me too, girl. I am with you. Because I have had periods of times where I’ve had really good success on like consistency with my morning routines and then times where, I don’t know, I just get out of the habit and it feels like, I know better. I want to be doing these things, and sometimes it’s a little tricky. I’m also not a morning person. I would definitely identify as a night owl. In fact, when I was in college, my best studying hours were 10:00 PM to 2 AM. 

Jessica: That’s when I’m most productive. 

Mary: Me too. It’s so crazy, but I can’t do it anymore. I just think age and children and responsibilities and, you know, I have to like, not be up so late anymore, but if I did I would take a nap. So like on vacation, my favorite thing to do is to take like a siesta after lunch. And then I have plenty of energy to stay up past midnight. It’s my favorite schedule. If I didn’t have life responsibilities, when I don’t have life responsibilities, maybe I’ll do it again. 

Jessica: Maybe you could move to Europe or something. They take a siesta after lunch in the Mediterranean. 

Mary: They do in the Mediterranean, I think in South America countries too. Anyways, maybe I’m just living in the wrong country. But for now… all right, so that morning routine you want to get up because it primes your brain. And it prepares your soul, it prepares you mentally, spiritually, to be able to go about your day the way that you want. That’s a great reason. Yeah. If you were gonna say that in like one sentence, I want to wake up and have this morning routine because… what would it be? 

Jessica: I was gonna say, so I don’t feel like a hot mess, but if I’m going to make it, if I’m gonna make it a positive statement, I want to have this morning routine so that I could feel more intentionally like me throughout my day.

Mary: I’m gonna write it down. I want to have this morning routine so I can feel intentionally like me all day. I love it. I would put that on my like, bedside table or my bathroom mirror or somewhere where I would see it, you know? So I would remember like, oh yeah, it’s morning. I wanna wake up and do this morning routine so I can feel like myself and be intentional about being me all day. So maybe that’s one tip that we could take away here. But let’s talk a little bit about what gets in the way of the morning routine. How come you’re not getting up?

Jessica: Because I don’t like getting up. 

Mary: Are you sleepy? 

Jessica: You know, I wake up by myself even before my alarm. The hardest part for me is getting out of bed. It’s so warm and cozy in there. 

Mary: It is. And it’s cold outside where we live. 

Jessica: Right. So, I mean, I do stuff in bed, like I will do movement in bed with like my upper torso. Yes. I have a in bed yoga routine. 

Mary: Okay. I’ve never heard of that. That’s fascinating. 

Jessica: Mm-hmm. And then I also will journal in bed but I don’t do as much like full body movement in bed. That requires me to get up and out. And then I won’t be able to do like cardio in bed unless it’s like having sex. But then that’s, you know, not a whole hour’s worth of stuff. I don’t, maybe, it could be, but anyways. 

Mary: Yeah. So you don’t wanna get out of the bed?

Jessica: Yes, I’d like to get out of bed. That’s the crux of the matter. 

Mary: Okay. So what could help you get out of bed? 

Jessica: Well, if I have an appointment for something, I’ll get out of bed. I’m pretty much run by appointments. 

Mary: What if your appointment is with yourself? 

Jessica: That one’s harder. 

Mary: That one’s harder.

Jessica: I’m like, oh, I could push this appointment because Jessica wants me to rest.

Mary: Oh, Jessica wants you to rest. 

Jessica: Jessica wants me to take it easy. 

Mary: Yeah. Let’s talk about the mindset. Can we go there? 

Jessica: Yes.

Mary: Okay. So let’s say for example, you wake up or the alarm wakes you up either way, and you have this morning routine that you want to do so you can feel intentionally like yourself all day. But what are you actually thinking? Like, tell me your thoughts in that moment. What’s going on? 

Jessica: Right when I wake up? 

Mary: Mm-hmm. 

Jessica: I wake up on my own but I think, oh, you know, it would be nicer if I could just go back to sleep , or it would be nicer if I could just lay in bed.

Mary: Okay. it would be nicer? Is that what you think? 

Jessica: Yeah. Or, oh, it’s so warm in here. I don’t want to be cold. 

Mary: Okay. You don’t want to? 

Jessica: No. 

Mary: Okay. Well, which is interesting because, when you think it would be nicer if I could just stay in bed, what’s the emotion that you feel? 

Jessica: Warm, satisfied, happy. 

Mary: Say it again. 

Jessica: Warm, satisfied. Happy. 

Mary: Happy. Right? Okay. When you think, I don’t wanna get out of bed, how do you feel? 

Jessica: Not excited. The opposite of excited . 

Mary: Mm-hmm. And how often do you just stay in bed versus actually get up?

Jessica: Mm. It depends. Maybe like 50 /50. 

Mary: Okay. Have you ever heard of the Miracle Morning? 

Jessica: Mm, I’ve heard of it. I haven’t read the book or anything. People say It’s great. 

Mary: Yeah, so I read the book a couple years ago and there are a lot of good concepts in it. I wouldn’t say that I follow it very strictly, but I have kind of adapted it to my own version of the Miracle Morning that works for me, which is what I would encourage people to do if you are looking for a morning routine. But one of the things that he talks about is like you get up out of bed, you wash your face, you brush your teeth, right? So you have like mint in your mouth and water on your face and it kind of helps you to like wake up. What do you think about that?

Jessica: It’s interesting. Well, one thing that makes it interesting is because I have a sink inside my bedroom. My sink is inside. Yeah my house is set up interesting where the sink is outside of the bathroom, but it’s inside the bedroom and the bathroom and the bedroom are connected. Anywho. I don’t like the idea of brushing my teeth that early in the morning because then it makes my breakfast taste weird. But I do like the idea of having something that will wake me up a little bit more. 

Mary: Hm. Okay. 

Jessica: Does that make sense? 

Mary: Yeah. What about the idea of choosing like a cozy spot in your house that’s not the bed?

Jessica: Well, my cozy spot in the house is, that’s not the bed for when I do stuff is downstairs in my yoga studio. I know, so that means I gotta walk down, get out of the bed, walk downstairs. But I have a space heater that looks like a fireplace that I turn on, and I just sit next to that with my tea and do everything in the morning that way.

Mary: Is that something you would want to do?

Jessica: Yes. It worked really well for me, like before I went on vacation and then my schedule, got all whackadoodle during vacation and now I haven’t actually picked it up again for months. I know. 

Mary: Yeah. So what would you need to say to yourself in the morning , if you wanted to get up and go sit in your cozy chair and do your morning routine?

Jessica: I don’t know. I’m not sure because I mean, thinking about sitting next to that fireplace, that’s not a real fireplace. So it doesn’t produce like the fire, smoke and soot is with my tea is like really appealing to me right now. I guess I’m just not thinking about it when I’m waking up. Like I don’t know what I would say to help me remind myself because having sticky notes all over the place is not…

Mary: doesn’t work for you?

Jessica: Helpful for me? No. 

Mary: Okay, so you want to go downstairs and drink your tea in your cozy chair?

Jessica: Right, but I don’t think about it when I wake up. That’s not what I think about. 

Mary: You think about, I wanna stay in this cozy bed.

Jessica: Right. 

Mary: All right, so is it okay for you to stay in bed? 

Jessica: I think yes, to an extent. I don’t have the same feeling when I’m in bed as I do when I am in my studio. I don’t light the candles. I don’t do the incense. I don’t set the intention around everything. It’s just way more intentional. And then when I pray during that time, it just feels better when I’ve done all of those other things. I mean, I understand, I can pray anytime during the day, but it feels a lot better in the morning when I haven’t thought about anything else. 

Mary: Okay. Okay. So you want to be downstairs. It would be nicer if you were downstairs? 

Jessica: It would be. You’re good Mary.

Mary: Thank you.

Jessica: You’re welcome. 

Mary: It would be nicer to be downstairs?

Jessica: It would be nicer if I was downstairs than inside my bed. 

Mary: Right. Why would it be nicer? Tell me why that’s true. 

Jessica: The energy is different. Like the energy downstairs is different from the energy upstairs. Like the energy upstairs when I’m in my bed is like, oh, I’m sleeping. This is the sleeping place. Sometimes I have a lot of ideas when I’m sleeping, so, but the energy downstairs, it’s like, Hey, this is my time to connect with myself. This is my time to connect with God. This is my time to process physically, mentally, emotionally, and it feels better. It feels like I’m held more in that space in my studio than when I am sitting in my bed. Because, if I am doing like some type of mental processing in my bed, that’s also like the place, if I like, have some type of mental emotional breakdown, I go cry on my bed in my room. Which has a different feel if I have like some type of mental, emotional, spiritual breakthrough downstairs. Like the breakdown slash breakthrough feels different from the downstairs area than it does from the upstairs area. Like the sensation of the breakdown slash breakthrough is heavier upstairs than it is downstairs. Does that make sense? 

Mary: Yes, for sure. For sure. So it would be nicer to be downstairs. 

Jessica: It would be.

Mary: Doing your morning routine and starting your day with intention. Yeah. So if you thought that it would be nicer to be downstairs… 

Jessica: I would probably go. 

Mary: You’d probably go?

Jessica: I’d probably go.

Mary: I’d be like, wouldn’t it be nice if I was downstairs? You could sing a little. 

Jessica: Yes, I could sing that. Would you like put that on a recording? And that will be my alarm.

Mary: You could probably buy the alarm off of iTunes or something. I dunno how that works. 

Jessica: Oh, but it wouldn’t be you, Mary. 

Mary: Oh, it has to be me? Okay. So if you thought it would be nice to be downstairs, would you be more likely to keep that boundary with yourself? 

Jessica: Yeah I would. 

Mary: Yeah. Morning routines, they’re hard for me too, but they really are important. I can tell you that, times when I have been functioning my best, I’ve been on track with my mornings. Yeah. 

Jessica: I agree. 

Mary: All right. Well, what’s your questions? 

Jessica: Oh, I know. I have been trying to make these YouTube videos for myself. And they’re not really for me, they’re for my YouTube channel. That I feel like would be valuable. And people have asked me questions about it, like I’m trying to do one pose with like some different modifications and stuff. So it would be valuable. I could reuse the stuff. I just don’t wanna do it. And I don’t know if it’s because I’m putting too many preliminaries before the actual filming or if it’s because I’m like, I’m tired and I don’t wanna do it. Or if it’s because I just don’t wanna do it.

Mary: Okay. So what’s the reason why you’re not doing it?

Jessica: I think it’s the first one. I’m putting too much stuff before that where it’s like, Hey, I have to do these things before I do the video. Like I have to write out this script before I do the video to make it make sense and make it linked to all this other stuff before. 

Mary: That’s not the reason. Nope. No, that’s not the reason why you’re not doing it. It’s because you tell yourself, I don’t wanna do it. It’s because the story goes on to say, I just don’t wanna do it and I don’t wanna do it. Right? So just like you thought you didn’t wanna get outta the bed, then you think you don’t wanna make the videos. So you have to have a compelling reason to do something, especially if there’s discomfort involved. 

Jessica: Yeah.

Mary: Like multiple steps or you know, maybe it feels vulnerable to video or whatever that is. So the reason you’re not doing it is because you say you don’t wanna do it. Like you tell yourself you don’t wanna do it.

Jessica: Mm-hmm.

Mary: So do you wanna do it? Like, we gotta take a look at that. Do you actually wanna do it or not? 

Jessica: Not really. Not really. 

Mary: Okay. Well, if you really don’t wanna do it, then maybe just give yourself permission not to do it. 

Jessica: Yes. I don’t know what to do with this YouTube channel anymore though. 

Mary: Oh, well, do you wanna do a YouTube channel?

Jessica: I don’t know. Sounds like a good idea. I wanted to do it at one point. 

Mary: You did? What was the reason why you wanted to do it before? 

Jessica: Hmm. I mean, I still kind of wanna do it now. I still use it. So I point people to the videos that I already have as resources. And I think the reason that I would want to do it now is to kind of show people, Hey, this is kind of what it’s like to work with me and go from there. And also to have, you know, that type of resource library that I can pull from and give people stuff that’s like super quick answers to things that I get questions for. 

Mary: So there’s not a right or wrong about whether you wanna do it or not. I don’t want you to feel any judgment for yourself or for me, or for anyone else, right? You would just get to decide what you wanna do and what you don’t wanna do. But when you have those thoughts about, no, I don’t think I wanna do it, your reason for doing it has to be more compelling than your reason for not doing it. Does that make sense?

Jessica: Yes. 

Mary: Like in the morning routine example, your reason for wanting to get up and get outta bed and go downstairs was more compelling than your reason for staying in the bed? 

Jessica: Yes.

Mary: So you like that reason better?

Jessica: I do.

Mary: You like that reason better because you wanna feel intentionally like yourself all day. So your reason for doing videos has to be more compelling than your reason for not doing videos. You have to like it more. It’s not a right or wrong, you just have to feel more aligned with it, right? So what’s the reason you want to do it? As a resource for your clients or potential clients? Tell me more. 

Jessica: Okay. I like the idea of having something to show the people who could potentially work with me like, Hey, this is kind of what it’s like. And also mostly because I want something that’s searchable. Because I don’t want to have to continue making videos all the time. I want to have something that is searchable that people ask me for, so I can use it as a resource. And when people who don’t know me start asking these questions, they can find you know, this resource and get like a quick little in and see, oh yeah, then and there’s more.

Mary: So it’s evergreen content for you?

Jessica: Correct. I don’t wanna continue making videos for my entire life.

Mary: Yes. So you might feel more motivated if you thought something like, I’m gonna do this now so I don’t have to do it a hundred times later. 

Jessica: Yes. 

Mary: Or I wanna make this video so that, like you gotta fill in the blank. What is the so that… 

Jessica: yeah. Right now I’m not finding something like Uber compelling. I don’t have tons of energy and now I can do this other stuff. 

Mary: Yeah. So that happens to all of us, right? We think we wanna do something, and then when it comes down to it, we maybe don’t wanna really do it. Right? So you had two options in that scenario. One option is; give yourself permission that you don’t have a compelling reason, it’s okay to decide not to do it. That is a form of self-care. The other option is if I decided that I wanted to do this when I was thinking out of my frontal cortex, not when I was tired when it came time to do it, and I have a compelling reason, right? Like getting up and getting downstairs and doing the morning routine, then I just expect myself to feel some resistance when it’s time to do it. I’m willing to work through that resistance because it’s how I’m going to accomplish my goals. 

Jessica: Yeah. 

Mary: So you got two options there, and either one is totally okay. So what do you wanna do about the videos? 

Jessica: I think it feels better for me to do the videos but not put all of the front end work on it. So like I’ll just have a list of things that I want to get done and do it that way. Instead of doing like, I’m gonna write all the scripts for it and then put out all of these things and then do this whole list of things. So it feels a lot better to just do that one thing instead of like the five things before the one thing. 

Mary: Awesome. Awesome. And why do you wanna do that? 

Jessica: I want to do it so I can have evergreen, searchable content and I’m not making videos all the time. I’d rather be teaching than making content.

Mary: Yes. You’re gonna create evergreen, searchable content. One time?

Jessica: One time. 

Mary: There you go. Awesome. Okay. How was this for you? 

Jessica: It was good. 

Mary: Yeah. What’s your takeaway? 

Jessica: Mary’s awesome. 

Mary: Thank you. 

Jessica: You’re welcome. In order for me to do something, this is funny because I told someone about this before we talked, it’s just nice hearing it again. But in order for me to do something, I don’t really wanna do it has to be connected to something that I want even more, or it has to be connected to like a super compelling reason. 

Mary: Yes, yes. We have to have a compelling reason if we wanna get the results that we’re looking for. Awesome. Cool. Well, thank you so much, Jessica. I appreciate you talking about boundaries with me.

Jessica: Yeah, thank you. 

Mary: All right. We’ll see you later.