HelloMornings Tip: Create The Habit

Announcement: Please put next Tuesday 3/22 on your calendar. We’re having a #hellomornings Twitter party. We’d love for you to join us!

(This is one of my favorite posts, written in January of last year. I hope it encourages you…)

Wax On, Wax Off

Photo Credit

If you’ve read the ebook Maximize Your Mornings (It’s free. Download it here.), you’ve probably already started a morning routine or you’re really excited about getting started. Maybe you’ve set your alarm for 5:30am, printed out your “Read the Bible in a month” plan and are looking forward to start training for a marathon. Great!

Now go sand the deck.

“Umรขโ‚ฌยฆ.Kat? What are you talking about? All I know is that, starting tomorrow, I’m going to get up at 5am EVERY day.”

Wonderful. Now go paint the fence.

“Huh? That doesn’t have anything to do with my “Read the Bible in 30 Days” plan.”

That’s ok. When you’re done with the fence, wax the cars.

“Where’s the unsubscribe button? I think this Kat lady is looney. By the way, starting tomorrow, I am going to do The 30 Day Shred EVERY day on the ADVANCED level.”

Let’s Take A Stroll Down Memory Lane…

Some of you may remember the scene from Karate Kid when Daniel was so eager to learn Karate and how to kick and punch that he grew frustrated with his mentor, Mr. Miyagi because all he made him do were simple chores, like waxing the cars and painting the fence. So Daniel confronted Mr. Miyagi and discovered that through those chores he learned muscle memory habits which, apparently, translate easily into high level martial arts.

(Good to know. Next time someone tries to attack me I’ll be sure to “swiffer the kitchen” or “change the diaper” and take them down.)

(RSS readers, click here to watch the video.)

My Point

I’m sure many of you are just itching to be early risers and have super productive mornings. But when developing a morning routine, we need to FOCUS on the HABIT.

It’s easy to be distracted by cool stuff like kicking and punching or, in our case, getting up at 5:30am, running for miles or praying for hours. Everyone loves radical change. It’s fun. But right now, those measurements are distractions from our true goal – the HABIT of waking up early to get with God.

A habit is something we do automatically and it is acquired slowly through small simple changes. It isn’t cool, flashy or impressive. But once we’ve practiced it enough, it becomes automatic. It becomes easy to get out of bed in the morning and to bounce back into our habit after sickness, vacation or other disruptions.

How To Create A Habit

Habits are created slowly and gradually.

If you’re just starting a morning routine, I encourage you to review your plan. Is it doable? Is it sustainable?

No matter how ambitious you feel, I encourage you for the first week to get up no more than 15 minutes early.

Set your alarm back 15 minutes. Spend 5 minutes reading/praying. Spend another 5 minutes exercising (pushups, squats, situps) and spend your final 5 minutes planning your day. Every week, move the clock back 15 more minutes and extend your time in each area.

It might seem too simple, too easy, but that’s kind of the point. An early morning routine isn’t supposed to be torture. It something you look forward to and enjoy.

Keep it simple to create the habit.

Leave a Comment



  • Marti says:

    You know when you are talking with a girlfriend and she says something that is just perfect, just what you needed to hear, and you just look at her for a minute, and then give her a hug and say, “I love you!”


    I love you! ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Thanks for some timely and well-put advice.)

  • Kat says:

    Well, you’re VERY welcome!!!

  • Melissa says:

    Bless you! I have been feeling defeated the last mornings because I haven’t been up at 5:30 or 6:00 or even 6:30…. a complete 180 from my “whew hew” success the first two weeks of committing to getting up early (and having a fabulous time of it). Yet somehow, I’ve just not been able to pull it off. Your comments remind me that I need to just back up, regroup, and try again (though perhaps with a more realistic wake up time).

    Thanks — I’ll remember this post and this re-commitment in the morning ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Belinda says:

    God knew I needed to read this today. I read your e-book and have been lurking on here for over a month. I’ve been reading the Bible and praying but I’m still working on getting up earlier and exercising. God has obviously put getting into action on your heart to share. Keep it up Kat and thank you for being obedient to share! Isn’t God so gracious and good to us? Praise Him!

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you! To put it simply I have fallen off the wagon. Time to get back on by setting the alarm clock back just a doable 15 minutes.

  • Lollie says:

    I started at 10mins earlier and today I was at 20min earlier:) I am having trouble finding the “Read your Bible in a Month” plan. Do you have a link?

    • Kat says:

      I don’t actually know of a 30 day plan. I was being (unsuccessfully) facetious when I said that. My bad!

      I do think Google should turn up several 90 day plans, though. Sorry about that.

  • Joyce says:

    Third time’s a charm. I am finally getting it. I am still not up as early as I’d like, but it is before the kids, and they love seeing me with a smile for them in the morning instead of me rubbing my eyes and pulling the covers over my head. Baby steps for sure, but now I don’t hit snooze (as many times), and it makes the whole day go smoother even if I didn’t get to bed nearly as early as I want to (again, DST totally kicking my butt this year…).

  • Bible in a month plan made me snicker ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I was already struggling with not getting up early enough, and then daylight savings time happened and took another hour!
    I will stop trying to make big drastic changes, and focus on 15 minute ones!
    Thanks for the reminder!

  • Messy Wife says:

    Thank you for the reminder. It is true that after a few days of great experience from getting up early, I quickly slid back to wake up when the kids are awake. I should try smaller changes tomorrow!

    My other problem is, I still have to get things done after the kids went to bed and go to bed late. I cannot seem to accomplish enough during the day with the toddler getting into things. Is there any tips on how to slowly train her to play on her own for short period of time? Or, I am just wasting too much time on the 80% like you said in your newer post?

  • I like your idea of 15 minutes. I just wonder, where in that 15 minutes do I fit in my #hellomornings twitter check-in? lol. Seriously, this is great advice. Tomorrow instead of aiming for 5 (or 4:30 like yesterday), I’ll be happy with 6. And save the twitter for later, I bet.

  • elizabeth says:

    this is wonderful. can’t wait to start my monday morning (tomorrow!!) fifteen minutes early!! this is how ANYTHING and EVERYTHING begins… in just fifteen minutes. can’t wait to read more!

    • Joyce says:

      Elizabeth, That is great! I always recommend taking baby steps. Take a look at some of the Hello Mornings resources under the Resource page in the tabs on the top of the page. Have a blessed morning!