The importance of a morning routine cannot be understated. Unfortunately, the thought of getting out of bed in the morning is enough to make most people cringe.
Sure there are a few people that are able to simply jump out of bed as soon as the alarm goes, and get on with the day. For most of us however, there is usually a snooze of the alarm, a bit of ignoring and generally leaving it to the final second before getting out of bed.
Mornings do not have to be painful. They do not have to be negative.
They should be enjoyable. They should be productive. They should set the tone for the day ahead.
If you can create a morning routine that works for you, then you will immediately be ahead of the game and start the day on a positive note.
A wonderful morning routine will go a long way to establishing the type of day that you will have.
What is a morning routine?
When the alarm first goes off, our mind and body are being flooded with a million different things.
- Did I sleep well?
- What were those weird dreams?
- Why did my phone buzz so much overnight? Was it work?
- Argh I have so much work to do today!
- I am already stressed about the day, it is not going to be good
The list could go on and on.
Establishing a morning routine means that you can break away from those stresses with a consistent set of activities/tasks. The aim is to do these in the same order, every day, no matter what.
Because it will allow you to program your brain and mind, quickly moving past a bunch of emotions that might alter your headspace unnecessarily.
Benefits of a morning routine
Mentally preparing for the rest of the day
How you spend the first part of your morning will go a long way to determining the rest of your day. If you feel stressed, angry and tired, expect those feelings to stay with you for the whole day. If you are able to put yourself in a positive, alert and happy headspace, there is a higher chance that is how your day will pan out.
If your morning routine allows you to complete some small, but significant tasks, you will head into the day in a good rhythm. Even something so small as making the bed immediately gets your brain in a problem-solving space. If you can ensure that your morning routine means that you are achieving something valuable then you will head in to every day wanting to build on that momentum.
Gain control, reduce stress
More often than not, our stress levels increase because we feel that we are losing control of a situation. If you start the day with a morning routine that gives you a bit of clarity about the day ahead, you will go into it knowing what is expected and how to get it done. Conversely, if you wake up late, skip breakfast, rush to work and are running late, the feeling of control will almost be gone and you will be stressed before the real day has even begun.
Create habits & improve energy
If this was the only benefit of creating a morning routine, then it should be enough to convince you to have one! Who wouldn’t want to have more energy throughout the day?! Our bodies thrive off routine and if you wake up the same time every day, you are programming your body in a certain way. If you can program your body to wake up every morning at 6:30am, then it will modify its sleep patterns accordingly. It must be noted that you should also be going to bed at the same time every night to allow for the routine to be created!
What morning routine would work best for me?
This comes down to trial and error. It comes down to how your normal day looks. Finally, it comes down to what you think you will respond best to in the long run. There is no point trying to force something on yourself if you do not think that it can be done long-term.
Factors that need to be taken in to account:
- What time do I need to start work?
- What time am I going to bed?
- Am I looking to exercise, read, meditate?
- How much time am I able to commit to this? (recommended no longer than 60 minutes)
Once you have been very clear on what your desired outcome of the morning routine is (it could be exercise, reading, planning, goal setting etc), it is simply about putting the plan in to place.
A few examples of a morning routine
It is perfectly understandable to not know what type of morning routine would suit you best, or how to even go about it. Below are a few example that you can use for a bit of inspiration.
The goal oriented morning routine
- Wake up.
- No phone for first 45 minutes of the day.
- Time to set some goals!
- Write down 3 key tasks for the day ahead.
- Write down 3 potential challenges for the day ahead.
- List 5 things you would like to achieve by the end of the year.
- List 5 things you would like to achieve in 10 years time.
- Write down the #1 thing you need to get done today for it to be considered a success.
- Review the above over breakfast and attack the day.
The exercise oriented morning routine
- Wake up.
- No phone, no email, no news.
- As soon as possible, shoes on and outside/do an at home workout/gym session.
- Heart rate high for 30-45 minutes.
- Shower and breakfast.
- Attack the day.
The mindful morning routine
- Wake up.
- No phone, no email no news.
- Meditate/stretch/yoga for 30-45 minutes with some calming music on in the background.
- Shower and breakfast.
- Attack the day.
Alec Draffin’s morning routine (Owner Authentic Personal Training)
- Out of bed between 4:30am – 5:15am.
- Cold shower, big glass of cold water.
- Daily gratitudes in the car on the way to the studio.
- Listen to a few up-tempo songs.
- Have breakfast in the studio 15 minutes before first member & run through key tasks for the day ahead.
Too often the way that someones day ends up is entirely dictated by the way in which it starts. Sure there are always going to be events and circumstances out of our control, but we can also choose how to attack those. If you are able to establish some strong habits around your morning and create a great routine, then you are giving yourself a really good chance of having a great day.
Give yourself 4 weeks of trying to create a solid morning routine. If you are not feeling more energised, positive, alert and productive, then you can always go back to what you were doing before. There is no harm in trying!
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