Morning Routines & Habits For Success
Creating and starting a morning routine sounds great and all, but the idea of implementing anything in the morning that may require you to get up an hour earlier to do all these great things will probably make you want to go right back to bed. We read and listen to some truly great suggestions and we love the concepts, but the reality is most of us won’t change a thing. This is the truth about most advice we receive on any topic.
Don’t get me wrong, It’s not that it can’t or won’t work, it could very well be that it simply doesn’t work for you. Any routine or habit you want to change or create must take into account your individual circumstances (personality, lifestyle and challenges).
We have all set great intentions to do something. Whether it was that new diet, hitting the gym or the grand morning routine only to throw in the towel a short later, now what? You get frustrated, feel bad for yourself and give up because you couldn’t do it the way you were told you had to, that you failed. News flash! You didn’t fail. You just found something that didn’t work for you. That’s okay. And now you can take some time to find something that does. What works for others will not necessarily work for you.
There IS a perfect morning routine out there for you that will make YOU happy and lead to a more successful productive day.
With that said, I’d prefer, rather than give you a specific all encompassing set you up to fail morning routine, to offer you options. You have the ability to choose what fits your life, your personality, your motivations, your goals, your desires and your unique circumstances.
Here are some suggestions for Mind, Heart, Body and Spirit.
Some options to create a positive mental space in the morning include:
Set goals. Try writing a small note or put up Post-it notes every morning with just a few things. They are the few most important goals you have for the day. This gives you something to focus on and pretty easy to achieve.
Make a list. Get it off your mind. If there’s something you know you need to do, write it down. Make a list so you can free your mind for more important thinking.
Create a plan/schedule for the day. When you know you’ve got a hectic day ahead, a little planning can go a long way. Have a look on your calendar and see what’s there – integrate your goals and your list of to-do’s so you have a plan of action.
Read something that feeds your mind. Whether you have 10 minutes or 60 minutes, you can read a few pages or several pages of something you enjoy.
Some things you can do in the morning to help your emotional well-being include:
Express gratitude. Say it out loud: What are you grateful for? Expressing your gratitude helps; ranging from how it improves relationships, physical and emotional health, sleep, mental stamina, energy and overall happiness.
Hug your kid, spouse or pet. Hugging boosts your oxytocin levels (the love hormone), increases serotonin (elevates mood and creates happiness), strengthens the immune system, boosts self-esteem, lowers blood pressure, balances the nervous system and releases tension. Put simply, hugging makes you feel good.
Connect with a friend, family member or anyone who makes you feel joyous, happy and connected. We’re not taking more time out of our day or adding something to our to-do list, we’re including it in something that already is happening in our daily routine.
Identify what makes you feel good. What brings you happiness, joy or excitement for the day ahead? What makes you feel grounded or connected on a deeper level? Get more of that!
All those things we think about that we can do with our body or physical space. This might include what we eat or drink, how we move and anything that has to do with our physical selves.
Get moving. Get the blood flowing. We all know the benefits of exercise. This might be a run, hike, trip to the gym, yoga, stretching or finding your own short workout. Remember, what works for one person will not work for everyone.
Drink water. Before you reach for that first cup of coffee, reach first for something that hydrates you.
Eat a good breakfast. What does that mean for you? A protein smoothie? Great. Avocado Toast? Awesome. Oatmeal? Fantastic. Eat a healthy, ‘real-food’ breakfast to get you going.
Clean your physical space. When your physical space is cluttered, your mind often feels the same way. Tidy up your workspace. Get the clothes in the hamper. Whatever makes you feel more settled in your physical space, is worth the effort.
This can be anything related to you and a feeling of inspiration.
Meditation. While some may be excited for this, thinking “I love my morning meditation practice”, others might be feeling a sense of stress reading yet another article about meditation.
Be in nature. Find a place you can sit or walk and just be. Take a walk in nature and you’ve got physical and spiritual needs covered all in one go!
Religious study. Check your local community for a religious group nearby or read your favorite religious text.
What to keep in mind
1. A healthy morning routine starts the night before.
Getting quality sleep is essential to starting your mornings off right. Make sure you get the recommended 7-9 hours (or whatever works for you).
Get off your electronics at least an hour before bed
Make sure you have a comfortable pillow and mattress.
Set a consistent sleep routine, reduce outside noise and sleep in a well-darkened room or wear an eye mask.
2. Keep it simple.
Find one or two things (three max) that you feel will work for YOU to get you on a roll. Start with a quick win and work your way up from there.
3. Take a test drive.
Once you’ve settled on a few concepts that you think will work for you, try them for a few days before you decide if it does/doesn’t work. Like with any habit, you need at least 21 days to create something that sticks.
4. Set a reminder.
Put something in place that reminds you of your morning routine. Put a Post-it on your bathroom mirror, a note on the fridge or a physical symbol to remind you what you’re doing.
Find ways to integrate your morning routine into what you’re already doing, rather than adding more on your ‘to-do’ list.