ARE YOU READY TO START A MORNING ROUTINE? I LOVE MY ROUTINES AND ESPECIALLY STARTING THE DAY! THEY DON’T HAVE TO BE HARD – LEARN HOW TO START A MORNING ROUTINE YOU’LL LOVE TO DO!
When I first decided to start a morning routine, I was totally overwhelmed. After all, what if I did it wrong? I wanted to get it right, so I researched. And researched. AND RESEARCHED.
Guess what? A year later, I still didn’t have a morning routine and I felt completely paralyzed and frustrated. So I tried something new. Literally. For a few months, I tried out several different methods of morning routines. As it turns out, there is NO one-size-fits-all morning routine!
Even though we’ve all been told the reasons why we NEED to do this routine or that one, if you really want to stick to something, you need to make it your own.
Over time, I found many similarities between morning schedules and some outliers. I’ve chosen what works for me and created this list of 9 elements to help you start a morning routine you’ll love to do.
Choose a time that works for you
Many experts state that you should be up before the crack of dawn. While I don’t necessarily disagree with this idea, I also recognize that it won’t work for everyone. People that work an afternoon or evening shift at their jobs will not be terribly excited about getting up at 5:00, especially when they may not even get home before midnight!
Consider your schedule and your flexibility. The best advice I can give is to choose a time that you’d like to get up every day that works for your lifestyle. I choose 6:00 am for my wake time, but I have the flexibility to do that. The most important thing is to be consistent. Make it a habit.
Once you decide on your waking time, set your alarm. Set it loud and set it to repeat. Place it across the room if you need to. But when it goes off, up you get!
And remember, if you choose an early wake-up time like mine, you may need to adjust your bedtime accordingly. Don’t stay up until 2:00 am knowing that you want to be up in only 4 hours!
Immediately upon waking, you should drink a glass of water. Some people swear by ice-cold water, some hot. For me, I like lukewarm first thing in the morning. It feels like less of a shock to my system. Either way, get some water into your body.
When feeling sluggish throughout the day, you’ll notice that a glass of water helps to revive you. And that’s after only an hour or two without water! Imagine how grateful your body is to get that influx of fluid after 7 or 8 hours without any.
If need be, keep a small pitcher and a glass next to the bed. If this is a new habit for you, make it as easy as possible.
The next six steps can be done in any order. I’ll lay them out the way I do them in my own morning routine, but you can choose to mix them up. The final step, however, should be the FINAL step. Don’t review your day until you’ve completed everything else!
Study and Read
Every morning, I like to open my mind to new possibilities and information through books. No news, no social media, no tv. Books. I keep a list of self-help, wellness and even business books I want to read and I work through them in the mornings.
When you take in information shortly after waking, your mind may process it differently than if you read it later in the day when you’re overwhelmed by everything else happening around you.
Twenty minutes is the longest I read for in the mornings, but some days it can be as short as five minutes. It really depends on the book and how much thought I need to put into what I’m reading. Like the rest of the list, make it your own.
Anyone that knows me well knows just how much I don’t care for exercise. As in – I can’t stand it. So I had to choose forms of movement that give me more enjoyment than just sit-ups or jumping jacks. And NO burpees!
YouTube is a wonderful place to find countless 15-20 minute practices for yoga, Pilates and such. Choose something you love and do it consistently. I change things up once in a while with an early morning walk with my husband, but I generally stick to my mat.
Find what works best for you. If you love high-intensity workouts, go for it! Just be smart and safe about what you choose.
Meditation, Affirmations and Gratitudes
Upon waking in the morning, your mind is generally clear and open to new ideas. Choosing this time to meditate, before the chaos of the day descends on you, makes it easy to ease into this practice.
I like to meditate on my yoga mat, generally speaking, but some days it will be in the comfort of my reading chair, other days sitting on the back deck, enjoying some early morning fresh air. Like all the other steps, find what works for you.
Moving from mediation directly into positive self-affirmations and gratitude is simple and natural. Starting each day being grateful for what you have is a wonderful way to create a positive mindset.
Bonus points if you can be grateful for something that you find challenging! For example – “I am grateful for my husband’s snoring, as it reminds me that I have a loving vibrant partner in my life who shares my home and bed”. Try it – you just might like it!
I have to confess – this might have been the hardest step for me on this entire list! I’ve often admired those that journal consistently and proficiently. For me, I always wondered what to say. But just like everything else on this list, I simply had to make it my own. There’s no right or wrong answer.
Whether free flow, brain dump or guided, journaling is a wonderful release and a tool that you can review. If you are working to overcome a challenge, reviewing your journals can help you to see your journey when you feel stuck. Use your writing time to explore your thoughts and ideas and get creative!
As you get to know me well, you’ll realize that it’s ALWAYS coffee time in our home. But that first cup of coffee in the morning just sets everything right.
For you, it might mean a hot cup of dark-roasted goodness, same as me. Or maybe you prefer tea. Either way, honour it. Make it a part of your routine and ritual. Use a cup or mug that you love. Or cycle through a collection. Regardless of how you choose to indulge in your favourite morning beverage, enjoy it to the fullest.
Shower and Get Dressed for the Day
While this might seem like a no-brainer step, where it falls in your routine can mean success or failure.
I’ve tried moving this step around and I find that if I shower and dress for my workday first, I’m less likely to exercise. I feel prepared to start the workday, so I spend less time on my routine.
Alternatively, by showering last, I’m still in that “not quite awake” zone, where I’m more open to ideas and creativity. But again – and I cannot stress this enough – you do you. If showering first will help you to focus and get out for a walk, go for it! Play with it and see what fits best.
Review your Day – the Final Step
Now comes the moment when you move from your morning routine to the rest of your day.
What does your schedule hold? Are you prepared?
Chances are, by starting your day with a morning routine designed just for you and your lifestyle, you’re going to be far more prepared than in the past.
Allow yourself five to ten minutes to review your calendar and plan your day. Do you need to pull something out for dinner? Any meetings that will keep you late? Be prepared. Be sure to print out your copy of my Week at a Glance Planner and get each day set up just right.
And for even more scheduling tips to keep your household on track, be sure to find out how I keep up with laundry.
At the end of the day, you need to start a morning routine that will work best for you. Make it personal. Make it something you’ll love. But mostly, make it about you!
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