Do you have a morning routine that sets you off on the right foot and makes you excited for the day ahead?
Then, this post is for you!
I am NOT a morning person but I kept reading these articles about successful people who jump out of bed and are so productive right off the bat. I wanted to be like that!
My morning routine used to consist of me grudgingly waking up and glancing at the time to see if I could squeeze in a few more minutes of sleep. I checked emails and social media on my phone before I convinced myself to roll out of bed. After making the bed, I would watch TV until it was time to get ready for work. I usually drank a protein shake for breakfast in my car.
Sounds great, right? The most productive thing I did was make the bed!
Out With The Old
I decided it was time for a change.
Now, I wake up, make the bed and sometimes slip in a quick workout. Then, I head off to the shower. When I’m dressed, I get some breakfast and go to work. I usually plan my schedule the day before using Google Calendar so I know exactly what I need to tackle.
The only major variation in my routine is whether I’m working out or not, but my day always starts pretty much the same.
Why Do I Even Need A Morning Routine?
1. Mental Readiness
As I mentioned, I used to start my mornings off scrolling through social media, usually Instagram. I would spend my first precious minutes looking at other people getting on with their perfect lives and I usually found myself thinking “If only, I could be like that.”
Well, I certainly wasn’t going to accomplish anything lying in bed and the photos on Instagram are staged. People’s lives really aren’t as perfect as they seem in the photos but of course, no-one really tells you that.
Shameless plug: By the way, follow me on Instagram, if you haven’t already.
So now that I skip the social media, I can focus on my own life. I know what I have to accomplish that day and I’m ready to get on with it.
2. Physical Advantages
As much as I dislike exercise, I must admit I do feel a lot more energetic after. I can use this energy to carry me through the toughest task on my to-do list which I usually tackle first.
Some people use mornings to pray and to meditate or practice gratitude. On those mornings where I’m just not feeling that great, I think about three things that I’m grateful to have in my life. Doing this helps me to realize that I do have things to be thankful for even when life is not going the way I want.
4. “Me Time”
If you have kids, it can be difficult to find time throughout the day for yourself. Mornings can be just the relief you’re looking for. Wake up before the others in your household and use that quiet time to do whatever you want. Read, soak in the tub or write in a journal. Just do something that makes you feel good before your kids wake up and chaos ensues.
Tips To Improve Your Morning Routine
Before I get into how you can create your routine, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Ignore the outside world
Until you’ve got everything you need to accomplish done, limit distractions such as phone calls, email, social media and TV. It may not always be possible to cut off interaction with the outside world but give it a try.
Some people like to watch TV in the morning. It is so easy to get drawn into an exciting news segment or funny story on a morning talk show. Then, before you know it, time has flown past and you’re late for work. I assure you, the news will still be there later and you can always watch that funny segment online.
Phone calls, email and social media can disrupt your routine and get you off schedule. They can also interfere with the positive mood you are trying to create to get you through the rest of your day.
2. Prep as much as you can the night before
You will find your mornings get a lot easier when you complete certain tasks before you go to bed. The following is a list of tasks you can complete the night before:
- Prepare breakfast
- Make and pack lunch
- Place frozen items that you will use for dinner in the fridge to thaw
- Choose your outfit. Ensure it is clean and ironed
- Pack your bag
When you limit the number of things you have to wake up and get done, you will have a more relaxed morning.
3. Tidy up as you go
Your morning routine is fabulous. You got everyone fed, dressed and out of the house in one piece and on time. When you return home in the evening, your house looks like a tornado landed. Dishes are piled in the sink and the bathroom has seen better days.
It doesn’t take much to tidy up as you go. After breakfast, wash the dishes that were used or load them into the dishwasher. Put your makeup and toiletries back where they belong and wipe the bathroom counter and mirror. These small actions mean you won’t be greeted by a messy home when you return. Leave time in your schedule for cleaning up.
Are You Ready To Create Your Own Morning Routine?
1. What would you like to do?
In order to create your morning routine, you first have to know what you would like to include. So grab this free Morning Routine Planner printable and a pen.
Use this first printable to make a list of everything you absolutely need to accomplish. Make sure you include all the essentials like showering and eating breakfast. If you have children, add all the tasks you need to complete to get them ready in the morning as well.
Next, write down all the activities you would like to add to your mornings. Try to keep this list realistic though. You don’t want to wake up at 3 a.m. just to get everything done.
2. How much time do you need?
Now that you know what your morning routine looks like, determine how much time you need to get it all done. Write down realistic amounts of times that will be dedicated to each task on your list and then work out the total time required.
Prepare for things to go wrong. If you have kids, include extra time for the inevitable “I don’t want to wear that” or “I don’t want that for breakfast” meltdowns. Even if you don’t have children to throw a wrench in your smoothly running operation, there are plenty of other things that can go wrong. It’s always a good idea to add 15-30 minutes extra to make sure you have enough time.
If you need to arrive at work for 8 a.m. and your trip there takes you one hour, then you need to leave the house no later than 7 a.m. Use your task list total to work backwards and figure out how early you need to wake up to accomplish your morning routine. If your tasks will take you an hour and a half total, then you need to set your alarm for 5:30 a.m.
3. Fine Tune Your Routine
Use this free Weekly Morning Routine Checklist printable to write down the tasks you will do every morning in the order that you want to complete them. Also, record the time you should start each activity. As you start your new routine, check off each item on the list. Repeat this as many times as you need until your routine becomes automatic and you don’t even need to think about it anymore.
You may need to make small changes along the way and that is fine. If you find your routine is no longer working for you after a while, then draft a new one. Life is never static and your routines need to grow and change along with you.
Tell me what you (plan to) include in your morning routine.