I was introduced to morning routines when I met my husband ten years ago. He had one. And, I actually thought it was more of a funny thing than an amazing thing. His routine may not be the one that any of us follow, but he sure has one:
- He sits in his recliner for one hour drinking coffee while reading news on his iPad.
- He makes the bed.
- He makes his coffee for the next day.
- Then gets ready for work.
- Oh, and he works out every other day, which requires waking up early enough to add that in. 90 minutes!
As for me, I look back now on my 20 years raising three kids and running my own business, and I have no idea at all how I survived or advanced anything without a morning routine.
What do most of us do? We roll out of bed after hitting the snooze button a number of times, debate with ourselves about whether or not we’re going to squeeze in a workout, head to the coffee maker, drink our coffee, head straight to the shower, then move to hair, make-up and wardrobe.
I remember wanting just enough time in the calculations of my routine that I could make the kids breakfast, gather them up in one place, then drive them to school. Everything else above pertained to me almost to a tee.
Then, off to work I went.
Every morning felt like a whirlwind.
Today, I’ve discovered, morning routines are key, not only for the start of a productive day, but also in the design of a positive, productive life.
I was late to this party. I didn’t realize that all around me for years, women were waking up and weaving in time for lemon water, journaling, yoga, meditation, reading, and getting their to-do lists in order. Many had signed up for the 5:00 am club to squeeze more into their morning. I. Was. Oblivious.
Are you intrigued? Perhaps you already have your morning routine, but if you don’t, here are some considerations for considering a morning routine of your own.
Five Considerations for Your Morning Routine
1: Understand the importance of a morning routine.
A morning routine is a set of activities you do in the morning to enhance your physical, spiritual and mental state.
Morning routines help you get an earlier start to your day with less wasted time. You’ll increase your likelihood for feeling fantastic at 10:00 am with an “Oh my gosh, it’s only 10 o’clock? I can’t believe how much I’ve accomplished!”
Some of the other benefits include:
- “Me time” before others in the family start needing you.
- An opportunity to organize your day for heightened efficiency and less anxiety.
- An increase in your self-discipline.
- Feeling better about yourself. Seriously, you will feel happier and more confident if you get your day started productively.
- Perhaps this could be left unsaid given the one right above this, but let’s add: women see a drop in anxiety and depression.
- More growth and development. You’ll learn things you simply never knew before.
- Greater success in your life.
2: Establish a go-to-sleep wake-up sleep schedule
As a starting point, consider waking up 30 – 45 minutes earlier than you currently do to schedule time for some much-deserved positive routine in your morning.
Make sure you pair this with going to bed earlier in the evening. I know way too many women who settle into mindless TV watching and social media scrolling…into the late hours of the night…then have difficulty waking up in the morning.
“Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.”
Stop to think about that for a moment.
And, think about seven hours of sleep at the very least for healthy living. I always run the math. I typically get up at 5:30. So, I’m sure to be in bed at 10:30 pm. My evening routine starts at 10:00 pm. (That can be another topic for another day).
If I can’t get to bed until 11:30, then I wake up at 6:30 and adjust my morning routine. We don’t have to be perfect.
Oh, and one other thing. Be really careful about late-night snacking. Try to minimize going to bed feeling yucky and waking up feeling the same. A good 12-hour fast will complement your focus on a good go-to-sleep wake-up routine.
3: Be realistic
Set yourself up for success. If you currently don’t do anything aside from wake up with just enough time to jump in the shower and get ready for work, start small.
I’ve read of so many people who have a very comprehensive routine that involves running, weight lifting, yoga, journaling, reading and writing. Great for them! You don’t have to go all in.
Unless that’s how you’re wired and what you love to do.
You can think about the quantity of activities in your morning routine, as well as the length of time spent:
- If you currently don’t do any physical activity, start with 15 minutes, not 60.
- If you don’t write in a journal but would like to, start with one thing you’re grateful for each morning.
- If you don’t currently read personal-development books, set a timer for ten minutes, not 30.
4: Get your morning routine things ready the night before
You will launch your morning routine one decision at a time. Your first decision is to not hit the snooze button on your alarm. If you do that (and I get it, I have plenty of times!), you’re already setting yourself up for a rough start.
Sleeping through nine snooze minutes until the next alarm…well, that will go by very quickly. You can do a really nice stretching routine in nine minutes. Do not give up this valuable time simply because it’s difficult to rouse your human body from a sleep state.
Okay, back to getting things ready!
Once you’ve made the decision to jump out of bed immediately, your next decision might be to leap right into your workout clothes. If you have them laid out next to your bed, you’re making it very easy. Way easier than digging around in the morning darkness with your phone flashlight.
You see, you don’t have to decide at that moment to work out, you simply have to decide to put your workout clothes on. Make it easy. From here, the forward momentum you’ve started will help you.
If your routine involves a nice big glass of water, put it on your nightstand. Wake up, put on workout clothes, drink your water as you’re walking toward the kitchen.
When you finish your workout, on to some personal development or spiritual work. Have your house tidied up and your reading/journaling/writing space ready! (this is a big one, because I know we like to start our day flitting about the house making everything perfect).
If you have kids, have the lunches made the evening before. And it’s even better if they’re the ones who made them. Sometimes the mother hen in us leans us toward this perfect-mom syndrome. When we do too much for the kids, however, we’re actually hurting them. Help them establish routines, as well.
Okay, you get the point, right?
The above were examples. Obviously, you’ll build your own.
5: Establish some do’s and don’ts for yourself
These are a few that are on my mind. As you build your morning routine, I suggest you create your own list of do’s and don’ts to help enhance your likelihood for success!
- Don’t hit the snooze button.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a morning. Just get back on track the next day.
- Never miss a Monday. Monday is a great day to reset.
- Don’t have your cell phone be part of the first part of your morning routine.
- Do create some disciplines around sugar and carbohydrates first thing in the morning. As soon as you bite into your first muffin or donut…..you’ve set yourself up for an ‘oh what the heck’ day.
Have fun designing your routine!
My Fall 2019 Women Who Spark Boot Camp starts October 21. Don’t miss this guided Life Planning and Goal Setting Process if you’re looking for a reset for 2020. For more information or to register, go to https://aletanorris.com/shop/boot-camp/. Early registration discounts end on 9/1/2019.
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