You woke up on the wrong side of the bed. You look in the mirror and hate what you see. Then you look at the floor to see all your work and your papers lying all over the place and you dread the day ahead. You snap at your family and those who you love most, and your moodiness affects them as well. ‘What a terrible day‘, you think to yourself, and you walk out the door.
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Think about how amazing it could be to turn that situation around and set yourself up for a great day, rather than being adversely affected by the VUCA that you encounter on a day-to-day basis.
Having a morning routine is crucial for helping you to be alert, productive, and maximize your success throughout the rest of the day.
For the past year, I have consistently practiced a routine which has been very beneficial to all aspects in my life (school, training, well-being, etc.). I hope to give you some inspiration and ideas of habits to incorporate into your morning routine as well.
- Start Everything the Night Before
Anything that you’re able to do the night before in order to save you time in the morning will be very helpful, and will leave you more time for the most important tasks the next morning. This can include anything from prepping your meals, laying out your clothes, organizing your work space and/or materials, setting your alarm, or even writing out a list of tasks to complete for the next day so that you don’t forget. Aim to get between 7-9 hours of sleep which will provide you with energy and strength.
2. Wake Up Early
You’ve probably heard this one quite a bit, but that’s just to show how important it is. Getting up early allows you the time to get a head start on your day and gives you the opportunity to complete your routine without any rush. Sleeping through your alarm and leaving the house ten minutes after you wake up can be extremely stressful. Giving yourself the time in the morning to prepare yourself for the rest of your day will start you off on a more relaxed note. I wake up between 6:15 and 6:30 am because this gives me 1+ hours to do everything I need to do before I leave my house.
3. Start Off In Gratitude
I like to open my blinds and appreciate the beautiful backyard I have the opportunity to wake up to each day. I’ll take a few deep breaths and grab my pen and journal and take a seat somewhere comfy. I like to write between 3-5 things I’m grateful for, and 3-5 goals for the day, making it unique every time. Then I’ll write about any thoughts, observations, or questions I have. I like to devote time to reading and learning as well so I’ll pull out a book or an article and read for about 10 minutes. This is a good way for me to relax, think, and focus my mind in the right place.
4. Get Moving
If it’s not too cold I will go for a walk outside, but it is commonly below freezing when I wake up so I stay indoors and do a 7-minute workout. I follow up with 10-15 minutes of yoga, and an additional 3-5 minutes to meditate. I drink between 16-24 oz of water afterwards to replenish. I feel more energized, less stressed, and clear-minded for the rest of the day.
5. Tea Time!
I love this time of the morning because I get to sit by the kitchen window and play with my dogs while sipping on a calming and delicious cup of hot tea. I also take this time to write out some tasks for the day, and I further reflect on the insights and goals I set for myself earlier
Ah! The most important meal of the day. I conclude my routine with a nutritious and filling breakfast to last me through the entire morning. Some typical morning meals for me are smoothies, oatmeal, and fresh fruit with kite hill yogurt. (See this post for some of my favorite easy breakfast recipes!)
Like any good habit, it will take around 30 days to form a routine and become fluent with it.
In developing your morning routine, begin by taking 5-10 minutes each morning to give time to yourself and eventually work your way up from there. Any morning routine can guide you towards living a happy, healthy, and successful life, and consistency is key.
A productive morning routine can set the tone for the day and ultimately change how you approach your tasks. There isn’t one specific habit that outweighs the others, therefore it is up to you to find what works best for you.
Do you follow a certain morning routine? What habits help you to be most productive?
If so, I’d love to hear all about it in the comment section down below!