How to Build a Successful Morning Routine
If your morning automatically fast-forwards to you sitting with a rushed cup of coffee on your way to work, this article is for you! If you're looking to build onto your already amazing morning routine, you'll also learn how to squeeze more time for yourself in your day!
You know you should have a morning routine. Everything you’ve read about starting self-care and starting the day off on the right foot says you should have a morning routine. But where do you even start? What exactly is the perfect morning routine?
We’ve all been at this point! Not only do you feel completely trapped by your time constraints, but you may not think that your schedule can support a morning routine. I used to say these few things all of the time before I found the true value in it.
I know you may have said these to yourself about starting a morning routine:
“I’m too busy!”
Your schedule may be jam packed, but is it because your day may be weighted too heavily in the morning?
For these schedule-hogs, write down how much time they eat up each morning. This will help you determine if they can be shifted to another time or can be divvied up through out the week. Asking for help and delegating are a huge part of starting a successful routine.
Sometimes, we can feel guilty for saying no to things or take on more because we feel the need to prove ourselves, but that’s the farthest from the truth! When you write down your schedule, make sure to include everything.
If you’re not sure, or fear you’ll forget something, keep the list on-going for a week to get a true result. If your mornings are weighted differently or have fluctuating tasks, plan your routine for the most jam-packed morning.
When you set yourself up for success with your own schedule, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your morning routine will settle into place.
“I’m already juggling so much, I can’t focus on anything else!”
Listing out what you feel is the most burdensome in the morning can be a lifesaver! If you’re feeling overwhelmed with what’s on your plate, list out your current schedule from most time-consuming to least time-consuming.
When your list is in place, see what you can shuffle around or break into smaller pieces. Breaking tasks down into smaller bits can let you shuffle your schedule around more as well as see what you can delegate out. Sometimes, you can even cut tasks out completely that aren’t needed anymore!
This is also a good time to start asking yourself if you truly need all of these tasks and to-do’s right smack-dab in your morning. Are they improving your life or are you just putting your nose to the grindstone because that’s “just how it’s always been?” When you’re looking at your list, ask yourself: “Does this help me or hinder me?” “Am I doing this because it’s something I enjoy or will help me achieve a goal?”
Don’t feel obligated to keep on a set path if it doesn’t align with your current goals, they’re always changing and evolving, just like you are!
“My schedule is always changing, I can’t really plan anything!”
I have been here SO MANY TIMES! And I can hear myself saying this over and over again in the past. Getting yourself into the mentality of “just try it” can really help you begin that shift from “I can’t” to reality.
When you “just try it,” you can invest without signing on the dotted line. This is so helpful when you have an ever-changing schedule due to work, school, family, or anything else that is out of your control. With setting up your perfect routine, tell yourself you’ll try it for two days this week.
Let yourself be successful by not setting yourself up to fail. Once you’ve accomplished two days in the first week, try three for the next. Let yourself try it out in bite-sized pieces so you’re not letting yourself down when someone else’s schedule doesn’t work with yours!
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Using Building Blocks
In my own journey and following other’s success stories, there are quite a few building blocks that you can use to construct your perfect morning routine. You can do all of them or you can pick and choose, whichever can fit in your schedule!
I am passionate about working with people who don’t have “normal” schedules because that’s all I’ve ever known. Accomplishing any planning or any set routines can be tough, but it is so super-sweet when you make it work for you. Using the building block method let’s you customize what works in your day and on your schedule. Plug in what you feel will work for you, rotate them, do what you want with what you see fit.
Your morning routine should set the mood for the rest of the day. How many times have you wished your day could just start over? If you start building a morning routine you actually enjoy, think of how many days you can save yourself that question!
With these few building blocks, you can do all of them, some of them, or maybe start yourself out with one and add more later. Don’t feel obligated to add all of them and set yourself up for self-sabotage. Start small and make progress, not perfection!
Calm Before the Storm
Staying in bed for a few minutes after your alarm can be exactly what your mood needs to start the day. If you’re like me, I hate being bombarded with tasks right out of bed. The solution? Lie in bed for a little bit, take this time to be mindful of yourself.
How are you feeling today? Are you sore? Happy? What’s your mantra for the day? Ask these questions to yourself in these quiet moments before the day really starts. If you’re prone to dozing back off in the morning, set another alarm to safe-guard from oversleeping!
Tip: Set an alarm for yourself that isn’t a fire-alarm or something obnoxious. No one wants to start their day with an airhorn. There’s a lot of great “build-up” alarms that are fantastic for waking up to. These alarms start out soft and get a little louder as it continues. Perfect for those who are deep sleepers!
This is my go-to and really, what started me on my journey towards my current morning routine! Even when I couldn’t find the time to do anything else, I would read an article while I was waking up. I’d have my cup of coffee and paged through a few blogs to get my day started off with positivity.
If you’re working towards big goals, reading positive affirmations in the morning will help you connect back to your why. Little pick me ups when the journey gets tough!
If you’re even more pressed for time, I have been really digging an audiobook chapter in the morning while I get ready. I fire-up my wireless speaker and have it run while I get ready for the day.
Audiobooks are amazing to start the day with and can be a lot more calming than turning the television on. If you haven’t had a chance to check one out, Audible is a great place to start and it gives you access to literally every book under the sun.
(Psst - my favorite section is the under $10 section, they have the best deals pop in every now and then!)
As of right now, I’ve been listening to The Self Care Solution which focuses on the energy aspect of self-care and to really make the most of your time during the day. A must listen/read for a deeper understanding of self care.
For the first 30 minutes of your morning, staying unplugged can get your mood uplifted. Who wants to be bombarded with news or Facebook right in the morning, anyways?
This one is tough but start small and work your way down. Unplug for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, so on and set yourself up for success each week.
Low Impact Work Out
I can’t stress enough how much yin-yoga has helped start me on a path to being physically healthier. Focusing on your breath, as well as stretching can really do wonders for the start of your day.
Pressed for time? Squeeze in even just a 10-minute session for yourself while you’re getting dressed. I can’t count how many times I’ve had to do a few forward folds in the shower because I was pressed for time. Yikes!
There are plenty of other low impact routines out there, but just getting a few minutes in each day can really set you up for success and even boost your serotonin along the way! Who doesn’t want a pick-me-up of happiness in their day?
Prepping your meals the night before is a huge help when you’re pressed for time in the morning. For me, my breakfast meals are kept simple due to a heavily weighted morning schedule. If you’re like this too, a simple breakfast may be up your alley.
Two to three ingredients without any extra prep is perfect for those jam-packed mornings. Even if you’re not a big breakfast par-taker, just something to let you sit before you rush off is a great tool to keep your mornings under control.
If eggs and toast aren’t your thing, melba chips and hummus are great for sensitive morning-stomachs with some green tea to give you some pep!
These are just a few building blocks to get your morning routine up to what you need and working with your own schedule.
I can’t stress enough how just a little progress can lead to big, positive impacts! Taking little bites at a time will lead you closer to attaining your perfect, customized morning routine.
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