Hi friends! Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Hope you had a great one. I have some adventures to recap later today, but for now, I’m sharing with you How I’ve Learned To Create A Meaningful Morning Routine to help me in achieving my goals that truly works magic (when you put the routine to use) that I’ve been practicing to get you where you want to go next in your journey.Whatever journey your on, it’s easy to get distracted, throw in the towel, or feel like you’re never going to get there. Believe me, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve wanted to throw in the towel numerous times.
But, you don’t have to let that happen to you!
How I’ve Learned To Create A Meaningful Morning Routine
For most of my childhood and adult life, I’ve always been a morning person. I can’t help it. Unless for some reason I couldn’t sleep the night before, I usually wake up before the chickens do or as some say the crack of dawn. Which is pretty early. But I never really had a routine because I was always rushing out the door for work or focusing on getting the kids fed, ready for school and out the door than myself off to work. By that time, I was wondering where my morning went. Even on the weekends I would wake up early, have my coffee, fiddle around but I didn’t enjoy it. I felt unproductive. Felt like I was trying to play catch up and there was never really enough time to get things done. This type of routine will take its toll on your physical and mental well-being and majorly impact your productivity. That’s why I’ve learned that A morning routine sets the tone for the whole day, and if you do each day right, you’ll do life right.
One of my ongoing goals that I’ve been practicing for a while now is to get into a good morning routine in order to set myself up for the day. The first step was to create good habits. I read an article post by Cathryn Levery and she really opened my eyes to many things I’ve been doing wrong in the morning. Everyone has something that they do in the morning and their day to day life is a lot different but since I was brand new to creating this meaningful morning routine, I followed hers as a guideline. I’ve learned to start Habit Stacking, which is a way to build a new habit into your life by stacking it on top of something you’re currently doing. For example, before I brew my coffee in the morning (current habit) I will brush my teeth in the morning than I will drink a cold glass of lemon water and get ready to work out for 30 minutes. I’ve discovered the personal ritual I have set up for myself has helped put me in the right mindset and offset any morning procrastination.
In her article, Cathryn Levery writes another great reason to create a morning ritual it is to avoid mental fatigue. We only have a certain amount of energy and willpower when we wake up each morning, and it slowly gets drained away with decisions. This is especially true if you’re making hundreds of small decisions in the morning that mean nothing yet will affect how you make decisions for the remainder of the day. Try to have the first hour of your day vary as little as possible with a routine.
I believe she is right when she states knowing exactly how the first 90 minutes of my day looks like is powerful, as it helps me feel in control and non-reactive, which in turn reduces anxiety and ensures I’m more productive throughout the day.
Here’s how I’ve changed my morning routine for the first 60 minutes:
First 60 Minutes Of My Day
- Wake up and drink a cold 16 oz glass of lemon water. Sometimes I’ll do warm but I prefer cold to jump start my metabolism. After 6–10 hours without any liquid, you need to rehydrate and wake yourself up. Drinking water is a great way to kickstart your metabolism, especially when it’s ice cold.
- Brush teeth and get work out clothes on. No instructions for this.
- 30-Minute Workout. No more procrastination, just get it done! Shake off grogginess for the day ahead. I feel so much better afterwards. You could even do light stretching. A great way to get a handle on where you are and the progress that you have made is to keep a daily record of your workouts, this can be in the form of run times, or on days when you hit the weight room. Happiness and motivation will come to you when you look at your previous numbers and realize how far you’ve come.
- Take a
mildly warmcold shower. (3 mins) Now Cathryn Levery recommends taking a cold shower. In the winter months, in the sierra foothills, I just can’t seem to get myself do this. But she states you feel so energized and alive. If you’re considering it, be prepared for discomfort at first, but also look forward to feeling more refreshed and alive than you have before. Also, it has numerous health benefits. This morning, I may just give it a try. I’ll let you know how refreshed and alive I feel.
- Get dressed and meditate (personal development). (20 mins) The most important part of my routine and day is clearing my mind so that I can gain focus for the day. I’ve never meditated before but there’s nothing more inspiring than reading energized positive words each day. The Headspace app she refers to sounds interesting but I may try some other things to meditate and relax my mind. This 20 minutes of reading also has been huge for me. Not only is it enjoyable, but reading books on mindset, personal growth, and business also inspires me in the beginning of my day and gets the creative juices flowing. I was so inspired last week, than I wrote a blog post every single day except Sunday allowing myself a day of rest.
- Make coffee. (sometimes I’ll do the dishes too but I’ve been trying to clean up the kitchen the night before) Eat Breakfast or make my breakfast smoothie. There’s mention of bulletproof coffee in her post. Right now I’m sticking to black coffee with a splash of almond milk and limiting my coffee to no more than two cups per day.
- Planner Pages. (15 to 20 mins) This part of my morning routine was established more recently in late January and is a creative process. It’s an activity of writing in my Erin Condren Planner each morning. It’s not blogging or anything that I will ever release to the world. It’s a stream of consciousness of whatever is on my mind, essentially a brain dump on ideas for business, life, and other decisions. As well as reviewing my previous week and writing in what I’d like to accomplish in the upcoming week which set up my next step.
- Daily Goals. (5 mins) Each morning I write down my goals. First, I write down a long-term goal that I’m working towards. I write this down each day to keep me mindful of my direction so that I don’t go off track. Then, I write down the day’s targets, which are what 3 things I need to accomplish to move me further toward my long-term goal. In the back of my Erin Condren Planner, are my notes from my #30DayPushChallenge and my Getting Health Plan with mini goals. I review these each day before writing down my goals for the day. Goals shouldn’t be seen as impossible tasks. You will be amazed with the how much your life can improve by setting goals that are constructive and challenging. Be sure to follow these guidelines so that you can become more successful in creating goals for every aspect of your life.
- Day planning. (3 mins) I break down my day in 30 minute increments, enter any wake up team calls or appointments I have, and then schedule out my tasks for the day. I always put the most important as she does (coincidentally usually the least enjoyable) first so that I ensure it gets done. I try to never book any meetings or appointments until late in the afternoon if I can help it because my mornings are my sacred hours of peak productivity.
Then I begin working.
It’s extremely hard sometimes, but I don’t look at my phone, email, facebook, or twitter until after I’ve completed that first big task of my day. Prioritize your goals and tasks first before looking at email so you don’t go into reactive mode as opposed to proactive mode.
My morning routine now takes just over an hour. Knowing after my blog post is written and published is a great feeling of accomplishment and will help me in the long run of reaching my goals. It’s holding myself accountable. I completely agree with Cathryn and can’t stress enough to you the importance of a great morning routine, as it will set you up for a successful day — and life. With that said, what she recommends or what I do isn’t for everyone. I’ve been experimenting these past two weeks with a few different things after following her routine as a guideline and figured out what worked for me. You should do the same. Soon you’ll know what things work for you, and you’ll enjoy starting your day. And find yourself more productive.
The only way to improve and accomplish great things is by starting. You’ll find that constantly thinking about doing something can be more stressful than actually doing it. Half of the work of achieving a goal is mental. Simply starting will create the positive motivation that you need to succeed.
Challenge yourself by setting out to accomplish something that you have never done before, but don’t make it impossible to complete within your time window. It is important to know your limits and push them in a way that is not going to hurt you or burn you out. Setting a goal that you can’t achieve by your deadline will only cause you to become frustrated when you do improve, but not to the level that you set.
This is How I’ve Learned To Create A Meaningful Morning Routine. I’d love to hear about your morning routine if you have one. What does the first hour of your day look like?