Today I’m going to talk about something thats been near and dear to my heart since I’ve started blogging: Morning Routines.
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I’ve always been a morning person, but for some reason I tried to fight it for the longest time. For some reason, nights just seemed so much more interesting than mornings did! What I didn’t realize was that mornings can be so exciting, too, if you do them right! I think part of the reason people tend to dread mornings is because they dont do them right!
When I decided that I “wasn’t a morning person”, I would stay up late, and then set my alarm for about 30 mins before I had to be at work. I would rush out of bed, get dressed, do something to my hair, and usually grab a handful of cereal on my way out the door. Of course I hated them!
Now, not everybody is going to be a morning person, but everyone can learn to love mornings (even if your mornings start at 11 am!)
Heres my actual morning routine that taught me to embrace mornings as my favorite part of my day! Some of this is inspired by the book, The Miracle Morning (a must read!)
5:00 am- Alarm goes off
I use a real alarm clock because I dont like touching my phone first thing in the morning! Theres no worse way to start your day than by seeing pictures of Jane in the Bahamas, or reading about the most recent world crisis. I like to make the morning my “me time”.
5:01- Push snooze
I know, it sounds crazy. But, what I do is I snooze and then I lay back down and think of as many things I’m grateful for as possible in that 5 minute period. If you think you’re going to fall back asleep, I would recommend sitting up for this!
Gratitude is so important because it is the exact opposite of seeing pictures of Jane in the Bahamas. It instead forces you to focus inward, and feel joy first thing.
5:05- Drink water
So important!!! We tend to be dehydrated right when we wake up, and its a nice refreshing way to get up!
I love doing yoga because it is a workout that I can change based on how I’m feeling. If I’m energized I can do some power yoga. If I’m kinda sleepy I can do a slower routine. I love the fact that it integrates your whole body, and that it is quiet enough to not jolt you awake! But, even if yoga isn’t your thing, you must do some form of exercise in the morning! It gets the endorphins going and helps you work out the kinks before heading into your workday!
5:45-6:00- Coffee and breakfast
I love to make myself a coffee with all the fixings. I have a milk frother so I usually whip up some creamer and pumpkin pie spice while my coffee brews. Its delicious and my way of rewarding myself for exercising. When I first started waking up early, this was my main motivation for getting out of bed! If its not coffee, do give yourself something to look forward to in the morning that is a treat for you!
While I drink my coffee and eat, I let my mind think. I usually will reflect on things going well, things not going well, and I’ll take a second to remember my goals and reflect on my progress towards them. This gets my mindset in the right place.
I’ve always loved the concept of meditation, but I’ve had a hard time doing it the traditional way. This kind of “breakfast meditation” is a great way to get some of the benefits without the harder parts that tend to scare people away from meditating!
This is also the time I take to visualize my goals and put some thought towards attracting them. I’m a big believer in the Law of Attraction, and I think its so important to make it a part of your morning routine!
6:00-6:10- Set my goals for the day
I then sit down with my Mind Journal and write out my top 3 goals for the day. If you’re like me, your day gets pretty hectic (another reason a calm, controlled morning is so great!). But, I like to name off THREE things that I will do that day. Its short enough that I know I can get them done, no matter what comes my way. It also ensures that I get my goals for the day finished 100% because I’m not rushing after a huge t0-do list.
6:10-6:20- Check my phone
Now you think I’m insane! Yes, I seriously go an hour and 10 minutes in the morning without my phone. But, let me tell you, this makes all the difference in whether your morning is positive or not! I used to spend so much time on Kylie’s snapchat story and instagram and facebook and I would develop this dull headache. Has that ever happened to you before? That headache is miserable.
Going for a whole hour or so without your phone first thing ensures that I’m focused solely on me, how I’m feeling, my goals, my intentions, and getting myself ready for my day. I sounds selfish, but it is important that you take the time to tune into yourself, distraction free. It also limits the amount of negativity entering your mind first thing in the morning!
Even then, I generally keep it to just my personal and work emails, and then I’ll check everything pertaining to my blog. 99% of the time I dont look at social media because I lose track of my time!
6:20-6:30- Do something that makes me feel productive
Now that I have all the internal stuff taken care of, I like to start my “actual” day by checking a box right off the bat. Sometimes this will be paying a bill and sometimes its just scheduling a few pins on pinterest. But that feeling of accomplishment helps you start off with some good momentum!
6:30-7:00- Normal morning “stuff”
This is where I get dressed, water the plants, do my makeup, pack my lunch, etc. I like these types of things to be the last things that I do before leaving for work because they have the least serenity! I do usually listen to music that gets me pumped up while I do them, though!
7:15- Leave for work (usually)
I generally start my work day at 7:30, and by then I’m focused, driven, and able to fully focus on the tasks ahead of me! If I dont work in the morning, this is when I start running errands, writing blog posts, or waking up my boyfriend!
The rest of the day is usually a free-for-all and less in my control. Thats why I like to have my mornings completely designed and executed in a way that is 100% consistent and 100% under my control. The effects on the rest of my day are absolutely mind-blowing. I have more clarity, more energy, and things tend to go my way. Its crazy.
So, why do I design my routine like this?
You may have noticed that I ramp up my mornings from the calmest activity to the least calm. This allows me to ease into my day instead of jumping in head first without a plan. It also integrates some care for my body, my mind, and my soul. Hippie stuff aside, I think its important to listen to your body and mind and take care of them before you start demanding things from them. Cause seriously, our bodies and minds do a lot! And you’ll find that what you give to them comes back to you tenfold!
In my favorite book, The Compound Effect, the author talks about golfers, and their pre-swing routines. Jack Nicklaus was known for his pre-swing routine. A psychologist studied his routine and found that he never varied it by more than one second. It was literally the exact same. Every. Single. Time. And, he found success.
On the other hand, the same psychologist observed Greg Norman during his poor performance in one Masters. He found that his routine got faster and faster as the round progressed and the nerve kicked in. Varying his routine made his performance more unpredictable because it stunted his rhythm and halted his momentum.
So, if golfer’s pre-swing routines can have such a big effect on the performance of golfers, how much more important are our “pre-swing routines” as we start our days!
Just a thought!
Make it yours
Of course, not everyone is a morning person! You may never want to have a 5 am morning ever in your life! But, no matter what time you start your morning, consider making it more intentional!
Put down the phone, integrate some gratitude, and set some intentions before you head into the chaos! It can and will affect everything that happens after it!
You can start with a routine similar to mine, and then tweak it to fit your needs as you go!
Do you have a morning routine? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!