My biggest downfall in the self development sector is that my morning routine is not great. Other people that I work alongside wake up at dawn, get a long workout in, and do a full face of makeup. I, however, have learned how to get up at exactly the last moment to get to class, work, or whatever else I have planned for the day.
Now that I’m a graduate, my magical ability to leave the house six minutes after waking from a deep sleep is not nearly as impressive. Brushing my hair is not as “up in the air” for going through an entire day as it was for sitting through a power lecture. Truth be told, those tendencies signaled to the world that I didn’t see lectures as a priority. I didn’t even realize how important a morning routine could be when it came to mental health, preparedness, or quality of life.
I listened to an amazing podcast by Rachel Hollis that talks about supercharging your morning. My jaw dropped while I listened to all the things that she could fit into her morning before her day even really started. Here I am, always complaining about not having time to get my work done, when people like Rachel are tapping into that 6am hustle.
I’ve been experimenting with a morning routine since graduation. I’ve listened to podcasts like Rachel’s, read way too many blog posts, and had a lot of rough mornings. Through all of that, I’ve compiled a list of things that are essential for an amazing morning routine:
Wake up at a consistent time
I used to always use the excuse that my work schedule was consistently changing so that I couldn’t get up at the same time every day. Like I said above, college classes don’t prime most of us to be morning people either.
Simply rising at the same time every day will build a habit in your muscle memory. Eventually, you probably won’t need an alarm, because sleeping past that set time doesn’t feel “right” in your bones. In Rachel’s podcast, she talks about getting up with the sun, but you don’t have to jump from a noon wake up to getting up at dawn. Rather, find a time that works for you, your lifestyle, and serves you the best and stick to it. You deserve that consistency.
- Here are some tips in how to start that process:
- – Use your alarm as an actual alarm – no snoozing!
- – Set yourself up with at least 8 hours of sleep the night before
- – Jump right into your routine so you don’t fall back asleep!
Don’t reach for your phone first
Technology is the lifeblood of my business. My phone is my alarm clock, list of reminders, and primary contact for everyone in my life. Between my Mac and my iphone, is about 20,000 photos that I sort through before posting every blog. So, not instantly reaching for my phone in the morning has been a hard pill to swallow.
When we grab our phones, even if we every intention of being productive, we usually end up on social media or playing a game. Responding to emails usually turns into mindlessly scrolling through Twitter which is not a way to start out of a productive day. Rather than spending your first couple minutes staring into a phone screen, use them to get out of bed, get yourself together, and clear your mind! Avoiding your phone for even 10 minutes can cut out some of the chaos that technology automatically gives us.
I’m clearly not a dietician. Throughout our lives, though, we’ve been told the importance of breakfast. Whether it was as an advertisement for a sugary cereal or by your middle school health teacher, it’s common knowledge that a well balanced breakfast sets you up for a good day. While sleeping is used to rest our minds, it’s also used as a period of fasting. The term breakfast literally comes from us breaking the fast that we’ve had overnight. So, whatever you’re choosing to break that fast with usually plays a big part in what you’ll eat throughout the day. If you reach for a super sugar breakfast, you’ll probably crave it at lunch and dinner as well. If you opt for something with fiber and protein, your other meals might look a little healthier too.
In general, it’s so important to get something in your body to start your day. Calories, carbs, and vitamins are what fuels us throughout the day. Without breakfast, we’re drawing from whatever we ate the night before which will definitely lead to a burn out.
Make your bed part of your morning routine
You can tell how productive my day is going to be by walking into my workspace. During COVID19, that workspace has been my childhood bedroom with ALL my gadgets stuffed into it. If my bed isn’t made, though, I’m not at my optimal level. I’m not working at 100%. A consistently unmade bed can also mean this in my life, but it’s always a signal that I’m not ready to be working at 100%. Making your bed is a super simple way to clean up your environment and manually remove some of the chaos that we encounter in our day to do. While other moments of uncertainty can not be avoided, we want to prepare ourselves by tackling all the ones that can be!
Make a list.
Bloggers love lists. I mean, for God’s sake, you’re reading one right now. For me, a list has been immensely helpful in ticking off the important stuff and remembering the not-so-important stuff. I typically scribble down lists in my bullet journal, which has become my absolute ride or die. But, if to-do lists aren’t really your thing, there are many other lists that can increase productivity and be a little more entertaining.
- Morning list ideas:
- – 5 things you’re grateful for (I do this!)
- -10 goals you have for your future self (I do this too)
- -Affirmations, or really nice things you’d like to say to yourself and remember throughout the day
- -Habit tracker – this one can get as complex or simple as you want it to, but it’s really interesting to look back and see what habits you think you’re doing that aren’t actually getting done
- -Bible verse/quote of the day
Not only are these things going to inspire you to put a little pep in your step, but they might get your important head muscle working too. Writing lists like that can be everything our brain needs to wake up and be ready for whatever the day throws at us.
You are reading the blog of the biggest night owl around. I’ve gotten very comfortable with things that should be done in the morning being done before bed.
Like every other habit we build in life, though, morning routines take time, patience, and repetition. There are mornings when 8 a.m is not going to feel great. There are even more mornings where your list will have three points on it. But, you have to keep going. Routines are built when habits have formed in our brain. Sometimes, that means completely reteaching ourselves to be early birds, rather than night owls we’re prone to being. If you don’t have enough time, energy, or structure in your day, here’s one question: What is YOUR morning routine?
What would you do to supercharge your morning? What are you doing that’s totally working? Let me know by sliding into the DMs of any of my socials below – I want to hear from you!