TLDR: 10 minutes of walking before 10 am. For mental health, momentum, and keeping the promises we make to ourselves.
When I started working from home full-time 2 years ago, I found myself with a major lack of routine. I was able to stay productive, but my days always felt crammed and rushed because I wanted to fit so many things into the afternoon after working on my computer all morning. During this time I was staying with my parents, and decided to make a concerted effort to move in the morning. I would grab my mom for a morning walk or a workout to get our day started and the more days in a row we did it, the more we loved it. Having a 10 minute anchor in our morning routine helped us self-motivate for the rest of the day -- and so 10 before 10 was born. My mom and I were diligent for the whole summer - we'd shape our whole morning around our 10 minute walk around the block - and it really helped me balance my days working from home.
When winter hit, I didn't care to keep the habit. I also got hit hard with seasonal depression that winter. I did all the research to see how I could to cope with the cold, and realized that being outside was a major part of it, as was movement. Every day when 9:45 am rolled around I would resist, but then remind myself that I was doing it to not only heal myself but to prevent worsened anxiety. So every day I went, and every day I vowed that I would do it again tomorrow.
Now I've been 10 before 10-ing for *years* and it's become so much more to so many people (I love knowing there is an army of 10-ers out walking every morning) -- I'll share my reflections below.
MOMENTUM. Objects in motion stay in motion. If I can get my walking shoes on and have 10 minutes worth of steps in before 10 am, I find more opportunities to move than I do if I skip my walk. Moving feels so good, and sometimes you have to being doing it to remember. Moving begets moving.
HABIT STACKING. 10 before 10 is the backbone of my morning routine. I know that by 9:45 every morning I need to be dressed and ready to get outside, and generally I have things that need to get done before that. Habit stacking is attaching new, desired behavior changes to a well established habit to help it stick really organically -- and let me tell you it works. (If you're interested in this concept read Atomic Habits by Adam Grant)
SELF-TRUST. I realized that by setting this very attainable goal for myself and making the choice to follow through every. single. day. I was establishing trust with myself. Every day proving that when I commit to an idea, task, or goal, I follow through. My mantra has become "I will because I said I would." and I use that phrase as a reminder that I trust myself so much that nothing can stand in the way of my commitments to myself. Self-trust is vital to accomplishing big goals, but is much easier to develop on the small goals.
ACCOUNTABILITY. Even when the weather is terrible, it's raining or freezing cold or I'm busier than ever, I show up and walk for myself. When it gets difficult, I don't quit. I keep the promises I make to myself. Holding myself accountable to this one small task no-matter-what carries over to all aspects of my life: my work, my relationships, and just the mundane tasks of life. Difficulty is not a reason to not.
INTENTION. There's no reason you should go for a 10 minute walk if it means nothing to you. For me, I attach meaning to the task - it's a way for me to be intentional about doing something for myself. It's healing, motivating and meditative. It's an act of self-care. It's a break from computer work and a reward for a productive morning. It reminds me to only do things with a why. And believe fiercely in your why.
CUT THE NOISE. After successfully habit stacking, establishing momentum, gaining self-trust, staying accountable and being intentional, I realized I had silenced all the made-up voices grabbing for my attention and chose to hear myself and drown out all the noise. Getting quiet is hard, but it's the only way to really hear and know what you want.
If you have questions or ideas reach out and let me know what you're thinking :) another favorite part about 10 before 10 is the community that goes along with it <3