Do you have an intentional morning routine? I constantly see questions asked on Quora about morning routines and find it interesting that most people don’t seem to have one. If you work a regular 9-5 job you probably have some sort of routine to get up, get dressed and ready for work, make your commute and start work but do they make the most of their time in the morning? In this post I’ll be discussing my morning routine, why I do these things, and how you can implement them easily. I work from home so I don’t have a commute but I will have some tips for those of you who do in another post.
I’ll be honest, this is difficult sometimes. The weather has recently gotten colder and that makes me want to stay in my nice warm bed. If you are going to heed any of the advice I give in this post, please make it this on; break the bad habit of hitting snooze. When you create a morning routine, you make an intentional plan to do those activities for a good reason. Hitting the snooze button already puts you behind and that is not a good way to begin your day mentally. After sleeping in a bit, you already need to rush to catch up or cut out some very important activities altogether. Make a plan to get up at a certain time and stick to it. There is a famous book by Admiral William McRaven (buy it here) and in it he talks about making your bed every morning so you will start the day with an accomplishment. But before you can even make your bed, you have to get up and getting up when you plan to will be your first win of the day. Make your bed too and you’re already a winner.
My Morning Routine Part 15:00 – alarm goes off, get out of bed and straighten my side without waking my wife up.
5:05 – stretching, shower, and get dressed
5:45 – let the dogs out, drink a glass of water and make my coffee
Get Your Body Ready
I’ll be honest, I’m not a super health conscious person but I do try to work that into my routine. Stretching in the morning helps me to feel awake and gets the blood flowing. I don’t do anything strenuous or complicated, just some basic stretches for my legs, back, and arms. It only takes a couple minutes to get your body warmed up so don’t omit this from your routine. The next thing I do for my body in the morning is to hydrate. Once I’m downstairs after showering and getting ready, I drink a full glass of water while my coffee is brewing. Not only is the water good to get your digestive system moving in the morning, it just seems to make me feel refreshed. Lastly, I want to clarify a bit about the part of my routine that is similar but different from most other people. Coffee. I drink decaffeinated coffee. Now I know people will call that blasphemy but I have given up caffeine and do not need it to feel awake in the morning. In fact, since omitting it from my diet, I have more energy throughout the day than before and don’t crash. I know that many readers will just skip this part but if you want to make a drastic change to your morning routine, switch to decaf and get away from caffeinated drinks.
Get Your Mind Ready
Everything I have mentioned up until now is probably stuff most people already do in a similar form but I find that not enough people focus on getting their minds ready. Journaling is an excellent way to document the thoughts and ideas from the first hour of your day. I know that many people out there may not be open to the idea of journaling and trust me, it took me a while for me to open up to it too. There just isn’t anything as powerful to personal development as journaling. Writing can help you organize your thoughts and feelings and prepare your mind for whatever comes during the day. I use GrowthDay for journaling because it provides the prompts for you so if you are not sure what to write, it guides you through Morning Mindset journal prompts which are a great way to set intention for your day.
My Morning Routine Part 26:00 – journal (I use GrowthDay to journal and habit tracking)
6:30 – daily planner (I use GrowthDay for planning as well)
Make Planning Routine
Do you make a plan for your day or do you just leave it all up to randomness? Take control of your time by setting up a plan for the day. Block out time for the important tasks you need to finish to get you closer to your goals. Once a week my wife and I go over our schedules and I add them to a shared calendar. I review it in the morning as I’m setting up mine for the day. What are the tasks that you need to get done? What are the calls you need to make? Plan those out. Need to check emails? Block out time for checking and responding and stick to that time. If you have Gmail, iCloud, or Office365, take advantage of the calendar apps and put events in there to remind you. You can also use GrowthDay for planning but I tend to stick to the calendar apps. The most important thing is that you set a plan and follow it.
Most people could use more outside time. Part of my morning routine is letting all of our animals out, feeding and watering them, and then spending a little time with them. It’s only 20 minutes or so but being outside early just helps to get your body and mind awake. I realize not everyone lives on a homestead like we do but there are plenty of things you can get out and do in the morning like walking or biking. 15-20 minutes will do wonders. The fresh air and sunlight are good for you especially if you are going to be inside an office all day long.
My Morning Routine Part 36:50 – outside time with the animals
7:10 – make breakfast
7:30 – get the kids up, fed and ready for the day
8:30 – kids start school
Ready For the Day
That’s it. Nothing to fancy or complicated, just a morning routine that has me ready for the day. I encourage you to create your own morning routine and see what works for you. This schedule might not work for you but you can take pieces of it and fit them in to your morning. The biggest thing I want you to take away from this is to have a routine that you have intentionally set up to provide a mental and physical wake up in order to set you up for daily success. As always, if you have any questions or comments about this post, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram, Facebook, or the Connect link on my website.