the morning care kit
what we’ll cover:
The first thing we’re going to do is to build a simple morning flow that you’ll be following for the next 7 days - and possibly beyond. I’m hesitant to make you commit to an indefinite or arbitrary number because a big part of building a consistent practice is checking in to make sure that it’s serving you, during this time of your life. If it’s not working, we’ll change it. So for now, let’s assume you’ll be trying this flow for only the next seven days.
First, I’ll give you a 60 second overview of how to design a habit. You might’ve heard of Pavlov’s dog experiment. In the late 1800s, a Russian psychologist, Ivan Pavlov, would ring a bell before feeding dogs meat. Over time, the dogs would start salivating as soon as they heard the bell ring, even before they saw any meat. This response of salivating to the bell is a learned habit.
When you examine your own behaviors, you’ll see that all of your habits have three parts: a prompt, the habit, and the reward. This applies to neutral habits that are already engrained in your day - such as getting dressed, taking a shower, or grabbing your keys on the way out - as well as to habits you’re trying to break, such as impulsively checking social media, road rage, and even downward emotional spirals. Habits are so much more powerful and effective than to-do lists because they feel effortless. They’re automatic. Our days are already made up of hundreds of habits, that, once strung together, form how we go about living our lives.
To start building your morning flow, first consider this. What is the feeling you’re intentionally trying to create within yourself through this morning practice? Is it feeling grounded? Calm? Energized? Inspired? Connected? What do you need most to help you get ready for your day, right now?
Now, take a look at the habit index at the bottom of this page, or at the habit boxes in your paper kit.
First, we’re going to decide on a prompt for your target habit. Think to your morning and what you do in those moments right after you open your eyes. Do you turn off your alarm? brush your teeth? Make the bed? Take a shower? Whatever prompt you pick, this is what I call the anchor habit. It’s already engrained in your day. Tomorrow, right after you do this anchor habit, you’ll know that that’s the signal to do your new habit.
Next, we’ll pick your target habit. What was the word you settled on for how you want to feel everyday? Let that intention word guide you. From the list you see, pick one habit to start practicing every single day. As you build your morning routine, you can always add on more habits. But unless you already have a consistent practice - in which case you can just build on what you have - I’d like for you to keep it simple.
Last but not least, choose a reward. I’ve made give you a list of rewards off the top of my head, but you can use your imagination. A reward is anything you do that brings you a small dose of pleasure. Keep it small, realistic, and consistently doable, no matter what your mood is or how the weather is outside. It could be as small as listening to your favorite playlist, reading a few pages of a book, or coloring in a heart in the 30 day log of the paper kit version of this course. I like to pick something I already do - like eating breakfast, or making a cup of coffee - and make it even more pleasurable by adding something special - like reading poetry, or listening to music.
Try to pick a reward that is consistently positive. For instance, checking Instagram probably isn’t a great reward unless you can rely on it to consistently make you happy every single time.
Now that you’ve identified your prompt, habit, and reward, let’s build your morning flow. If you have the paper kit, cut out your habit pieces from the colored rectangles and arrange them on the sheet labeled “morning care flow.” If you’re following along the digital course, take out a sheet of paper and draw your morning care routine as simple flow chart. You’ll see my example below.
Take this chart and tape it somewhere you can see everyday. This is your essential roadmap for the next seven days.
Okay, that’s it for today! Today is the longest lesson of the course - so great job for completing the lesson. Tomorrow morning, try out this morning flow as soon as you wake up. Sometime later in the day, you can listen to my Day 1 audio guide, in which we’ll set intentions for your morning care practice, and align your goals.
get out of bed
make the bed
turn off alarm
care for plants
take a shower
care for animals
listen to music
listen to a podcast/radio
watch a video
Choose a prompt
Choose a habit
Choose a reward
Draw out your flow, or build it via the paper kit
Tape it somewhere you can see
Tomorrow morning, try out your morning flow
Then, listen to the next lesson (day 1: set intentions)