A simple morning routine can change your life. You set yourself up for success for the day and for life, if you are consistent with it.
My life has been so much more productive and fulfilled since I started creating and implementing a simple morning routine. It gives me purpose first thing in the morning and sets me up to succeed that day! I also feel so accomplished when I'm done!
I'll share with you what works for me and give you some general tips. BUT, everyone's morning routine will be different! We all have different life circumstances and different goals, so don't compare your morning routine to someone else's. Do what will move you forward. That's all that matters!
The Evolution of My Morning Routine
Growing up, my mornings consisted of eating breakfast, getting dressed, brushing my teeth, packing my school lunch and heading off to school. I'd say this is a pretty typical morning for most kids!
Not much changed when I moved out and went to post-secondary school. In fact, nothing changed. But it did the job of getting me physically ready for the day.
After finishing school, I decided to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Missionaries follow a strict morning routine, and that's where I really started to see the benefits of having a plan for your mornings.
Every morning, I woke at 6:30am, said my morning prayer, exercised, showered/got dressed/did hair and makeup and ate a healthy breakfast. At 8am, I studied the scriptures for an hour, and then at 9am, studied the scriptures with my companion (another female missionary who I was assigned to work with) until 10am.
As you can see, I took care of my body's physical needs (physical activity, cleaning, grooming and nourishment) and then had plenty of time to ponder, reflect and study spiritual things, great for the mind and soul.
After our study together, we would head out for the day at 10am. We weren't saying "What should we do today?" as we walked out the door, because the night before, we had already finalized our plans. So there was no delay, we could get to what we planned and not waste any time thinking about it.
Now, I didn't maintain this intensity of routine after returning home from my mission, but there are key principles that I have applied that have made a huge difference and some other things I have learned since then that have changed my morning routine.
My Current Morning Routine
Six years later, I'm now married and have a little girl. My morning routine varies a little from day to day, but I still accomplish what I want to in my mornings and it sets me up for a good day. I love that all before 9:30 am I can be ready, done my cleaning for the day and jump right into my other plans! It always feels great! Here are the basics of it:
7:00 am: Get up (immediately upon waking- this is important!!), make a cup of warm lemon water and feed baby
7:15 am: Exercise
8:00 am: Breakfast
8:30 am: Get ready for the day
9:00 am: Complete my cleaning task for the day (I have all my cleaning divided up so everyday I do a little)
9:15 am: Vacuum the high traffic areas in the house
9:30 am: Get started on my to-do list items for the day (planned the night before, during breakfast or while getting ready)
Again, it doesn't always happen like this! But it's what I aim for and just having the structure to follow helps me get going.
Why Establish a Morning Routine?
To quote my husband, who is very passionate about morning routines, "That's a dumb question. What you do in the morning sets you up for the rest of your day. If you want a better day, have a better morning. If you want a better week, have a better morning. Want a better month, have a better morning. If you want a better year, have a better morning. If you want a better LIFE, have a better morning." It WILL help your health, productivity, clarity of mind and happiness- ALL aspects of your life will be improved!!
How Long Should My Morning Routine Be?
This really depends on how much time you have in the morning. As a stay-at-home mom, I am pretty flexible. However, when I was working full time, I had to shorten my morning routine, since I didn't want to have to rush through it! So pick an amount of time that you think is reasonable and schedule it to be that long, knowing you will need to be flexible with it at times.
What Should I Do In My Morning Routine?
There are a couple of activities I would definitely recommend, but you need to do what works for you and do what you most value.
Get out of bed IMMEDIATELY - It doesn't even have to be early! As I mentioned before, getting out of bed right when you wake up is key. I remember listening to a radio talk show when I was about 12 (one of those random things that I just always remembered!) and the expert who was speaking said that if you lay around in bed after waking, you are WAY more likely to feel tired and groggy throughout the day. Plan a time when you will get up and GET UP. Put your alarm on the other side of the room if you have to. It will get easier as you see the benefits.
Hydrate - Whether it's warm or cool water, your body has been without water the whole night, so get some water in you! I like warm lemon water because it's a gentle wakeup to my insides. Cold water always felt like it shocked my system, so I switched to warm. I don't know anyone who likes plain, warm water (me included), so I add a splash of lemon juice.
Physical activity - This doesn't have to be intense! Just get your body moving and get the blood flowing! After having my baby, I wanted to get into the habit of exercising again, but it felt so intimidating! My husband suggested doing something that I felt was super easy, so I wouldn't dread it. I found a yoga instructor on YouTube that I liked and did one of her 10 minute morning yoga videos every morning for about 3 months, until I was ready to up the intensity.
Breakfast - Everyone has different needs when it comes to breakfast, so do what works for you. I have always felt so energized after having a nourishing, real food breakfast in the morning. Grab my free ebook with my 5 favorite breakfast recipes with soaked and sprouted grains!
Something to uplift or focus your mind - I often listen to a podcast as I'm getting ready. You could also meditate (I'm not into that, but a lot of people are and have great results!), or even just take 1-2 minutes to visualize what your ideal day would be. One thing that the yoga Youtuber I follow always says, is to pick one word to be your intention or focus for the day. If you do this, you will have clear direction and you will make your day a successful one!
How Do I Plan My Morning Routine?
You need to start SMALL when you want to make a change that will actually stick. Don't jump in all at once; you will likely fall short of your plans and become discouraged. Make a list of things you would like to accomplish every morning and choose one thing to work on at a time. Once that thing becomes second nature, work on the next thing. Don't focus on perfection, focus on PROGRESS, no matter how small. That's what truly matters.
A Morning Routine Will Help You Live Intentionally
The bottom line is, if you want to be purposeful with your time, creating a simple morning routine is the best place to start! When you make a plan and accomplish it first thing in the morning, it gives you momentum to keep going and accomplishing all that you need and want to do!
What Change Will You Make to Your Mornings?
Pick one thing that you will work on from now on to improve your mornings (and life!) and comment down below to let me know what it is and your specific plans to accomplish it! My goal is to incorporate my scripture reading back into my morning routine, so I plan to do that as I'm nursing my baby right after I get up. I can't wait to hear how the changes you make to your mornings improve your life! (I KNOW they will)
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