Many of us are guilty of doing one thing every single day that sets us up for failure before we’ve even hit that first “snooze” button: we aren’t taking part in a morning routine. A morning routine is one of the most important ways that you can set the course for a successful day. What should a routine include? Well, it should include anything that’s important to you and will energize you. Some morning routine suggestions could include drinking coffee in the quiet, journaling, prayer time, setting an intention for the day, exercising, or even just taking extra time with your appearance so you feel more confident for the day.
When you think about the power of a morning routine, it makes a lot of sense. I mean, think about it: an athlete doesn’t just wake up one day and start running a race, right? You have to have some prep time in order to get the job done and this is your life we are talking about. Give it the attention it deserves with a morning routine to get you going for the day. Are you motivated yet? Woohoo! Now, keep that momentum going with some tips for establishing (and following!) your own morning routine.
Keep it flexible
This step is especially important if you happen to have children, because let’s face it — the moment your children sense that you are trying to do something that doesn’t involve them that’s also just for you, they will immediately get to work trying to thwart it. If you get up early, the baby will also wake up early. If you plan to wake up and prep a heart-healthy breakfast, someone will wake up demanding donuts. If you plan to sneak out to the gym, someone will puke in your gym bag. You get the picture. Try to choose one or two things that are most important to you (a hot cup of coffee in silence? Time to blow-dry your hair?) and don’t let the stress of your routine going haywire stress you out.
Keep it simple
Some articles might tell you to essentially fit an entire day’s of work in before the sun rises by busting out a workout, squeezing in a shower, slathering on a full face of make-up, prepping dinner in and throwing it in the crockpot, oh, and don’t forget your meditation session and actually getting everyone lunches and out the door. Are you exhausted just thinking about it? Me too! The key to a successful morning routine is keeping it simple, especially if you are just starting out in your practice. Try experimenting with just one activity you could do in the morning, like a coffee and journaling session, a yoga class, or even just quiet time, and mix it up every day until you settle on the one or two things that really energize you. The key is to make your day better, not tucker you out before it’s even 9 AM!
Build in an “off” day
Just like every diet has a built-in “cheat meal,” you need one day in your week that you get a break from your routine. If your morning routine consists of getting up early and exercising, give yourself just one day that you mix it up. Maybe instead of working out, you meditate. Or maybe you sleep in instead. Keeping it fresh and giving yourself that mental and physical change-up will help you stick to your routine and really get the most out of it.
Make it seasonal
I am a morning routine lover, but I am also a sleep lover, so one of the keys to my morning routine has been adjusting it seasonally. In the dark, frigid winter months, I might not want to get up in the freezing cold darkness at 5:00 AM. But in the summer, I have no problem popping out of bed early. Or, the opposite could be true; I might take advantage of beautiful late summer nights and sleep in. The point, establishing a morning routine doesn’t have to be a “one and done” thing. It’s your morning routine and you are allowed to adjust it as both the seasons outside and the seasons of your life change.
A morning routine has the power to transform your life by letting you take the reins from the very start of your day but be sure to keep these tips in mind to really make your routine work for you. Now, homework time: take some time to visualize and write down what your ideal morning looks like and then, implement it!