Bullish Merit Badges launched a few months ago – long enough for some of you to have earned the first two and be waiting for us to release the next one!
New to merit badges? These are real, physical merit badges that you earn by completing self-improvement (or career-improvement) tasks on a particular topic. Report back when you’re done, and we send you a real merit badge (actually a button) in the mail! The buttons are designed by artist Katelyn Kulak.
Our first badge was the Personal Finance Unicorn Merit Badge.
Then came the Morning Routine Merit Badge. Here are some insights and life improvements shared by those who have completed the badge:
Instead of pinteresting, instagraming and facebooking away my morning, I now rise around 7/7:30, make coffee, walk my dog, practice yoga, meditate, pull a tarot card for the day and then plan my day and answer emails.
My new routine includes commitments to things that I know work, and tweaking things that haven’t been working:Happy morning alarmDrybrushMorning clothesWash face and apply aloeDrink cold waterLeave house and walk to park with bagListen to morning music (John Williams?)Sit in park, light incenseStretch and do a couple sun salutationsRead my personal Book of Inspiration (assembled quotes and images)Looks at my WeekDone task list and long term visionWrite a morning page (Julia Cameron)Meditate for at least 10 minutesWalk home and eat a piece of fruitKiss my sweetie before she leavesTransition to next playlistMake full breakfastSit down to workI am really sensitive to sound, and I realized that controlling my sound environment in the morning improves my day 200%. I also need alone time when the cobwebs are still clearing from my brain. My anxiety about being irritable with my partner has been preventing me from meeting my own needs in the morning. I wasn’t able to think with her around, and because she has a VERY different morning rhythm than I do, I found it stressful to try to have together time in the AM. So now, I simply take myself out of the house, and she knows it’s part of my routine. I come home in time to kiss her goodbye for the day, and we have our together time after work.
I learned that while I thought my mornings were routine, they really aren’t or aren’t always. It’s also clear that I already do all the easy good stuff; prep clothes the night before, eat breakfast, walk, read on transit. So what’s left is the harder stuff! Still resisting changing a few elements around to get out the door earlier. Maybe I don’t want to…and maybe that’s OK.
I started meditating in the mornings for 20 minutes each and cut out Tumblr (at least, in the mornings)
I found that I didn’t need to make dramatic changes to my morning routine, it just needed to be more purposeful. My mornings weren’t bad, but things were just floating in them, and they weren’t making me feel energized for the rest of my day, which is what I really wanted. I started by deciding to make the bed every morning as soon as I get out of it. This makes me feel like I’ve committed to the day and one tiny productive thing has already been done. I also committed to reading every day over breakfast, and I follow that with daily Spanish practice. I added working on my side hustle to the end of my morning routine, and by spending just that little bit of committed time every weekday morning, I now have a solid plan in place for starting my first side hustle, and am working a step by step plan to get there, AND have accidentally come up with a SECOND brilliant side hustle that will be a little more long term, but that I am also excited about.
Are you inspired to design your own morning routine? Register for the merit badge here. You’ll get an immediate PDF download with the requirements for the badge. (You might want to print it out, because checking off checkboxes is really, really satisfying!) There are 8 items in the checklist, beginning with open-ended questions and brainstorming and ending with actually doing your new routine. When you’re done, follow the link in the end of the document to report back to us. We’ll congratulate you and send you your badge!