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Hey girl, I want you to take a minute to visualize this morning I'm about to describe below.
Your alarm clock rings.
You wake up startled.
You've already hit snooze three times,
and now you're late... for the rest of your day.
For the next half hour you're running around the house.. hair all frazzled, getting dressed, shoving breakfast down your throat as fast as possible as you rush out the door.
Now multiply the madness by three if you have young kids or a pet dog to take care of too.
Okay I'll admit it. I just described what my mornings use to look like.
Not very zenned out or peaceful, at all. Definitely not the best way to start your day off. Instead, your heart is beating fast, your nerves are rattled and your green juice spills all over your shirt... because "Murphy's Law".
We've all been there and it is NOT a great way to start your day!
However, I've got some good news for you!
Mornings don't have to suck.
Gasp. I know. What an earth shattering revelation.
But it's true. You have the power to take back your mornings. You have the power to make mornings magical. YOU have the power to choose whether you want your mornings make you feel crazy, or make you feel calm and peaceful and ready to take on the day with a positive relaxed mindset.
And it all starts with setting a morning routine.
"Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen." - W.H.
What is a morning routine anyway?
By definition, a morning routine is a consistent way of doing things in a particular order each morning.
Now, let's add a little magic to that and define *our* morning routine as a set of simple extraordinarily enjoyable self development tasks that you perform, at will, every morning to fill your day with lots of zen.
You can think of this time as “me” time.
Your routine can be as short as 15 minutes or as long as one hour! It is all up to you.
I highly encourage you to aim for an hour but don't let that stress you out at first. Every individual's unique circumstances are different and one hour might not work for you. One hour might be too overwhelming at first. Or You might be thinking, "one hour!? Are you crazy? I can barely pee alone for 2 minutes in the bathroom."
I know. Trust me, I know. As a mom to an infant, I get it.
But this is why you NEED the hour. You can't pour from an empty cup.
Self care is not selfish, it's necessary.
If at first one hour seems way out of reach, start small. Having a 15 minute routine, heck having a 10 minute routine, is better than not having a routine at all.
what should my morning routine consist of?
“But I already have a routine! I jump out of bed, brush my teeth, swallow my breakfast and out the door I go.”
Yes, yes indeed, that is a routine but not a very fun or peaceful one that fills your cup and leaves you filling all magical and tingly inside ready to conquer the day ahead now does it?
Your morning routine should consist of things that MAKE YOU HAPPY!
No doing the dishes, or folding the laundry or doing any of the million other tasks that are pending on your to do list. No, no, no! Those are things you will tackle later on in the day or weekend.
You are only allowed to do things that make you happier, healthier, and that get you in that relaxed headspace.
And if you're anything like me, this is where you're going to struggle. Because you'll see the dirty dishes and you'll want to wash them. You'll see the pile of clean laundry and want to fold it. You'll see a million things that need to get done and your brain will say hey we need to do this now because doing those other things like sitting alone in silence for 10 minutes and going deep within yourself in reflection, is uncomfortable.
Don't do what's easy.
Don't do what's comfortable.
You need to put in the work to see the results. The mess can wait. The dishes can wait. The clothes can wait.
Your happiness.. your mental sanity.. your need for self-care, cannot.
morning routine ideas and examples
Below I've included some things you can do in your morning routine. Remember these are just examples of things that bring *me* happiness and joy. Your list may look different. You might do some of the things below, or you might not do any of these things at all and instead you have your own set of things that make you happy and fill your cup like singing in the shower.
- Meditation (15 minutes)
- Reading in silence (15 to 20 minutes)
- Physical activity (yoga, light stretching, a light jog)
- Writing in your journal
- Setting goals for the day / week / month
- Making a list of things you are grateful for
- Saying affirmations out loud
- Visualizing / Using the Law of Attraction
- Slowly drinking your cup of coffee or homemade tea latte
- Take time to plan out your day
- Listen to an audio book or youtube playlist
- Sit outside and listen to nature sounds
- Paint, sketch, or draw
- Work on a hobby
do i have to wake up at 5am in order to be successful?
There is a lot of conflict on the topic of waking up extremely early (5am) and its correlation to success. I mean, it's no argument that the earlier you wake up the more productive you feel. Less hours sleeping means more hours up doing.
We've all heard that “the early bird gets the worm” and sleeping in has for the most part always had a lazy stigma attached to it. Many influential people have been known to wake up in the wee hours of the morning. But just because you snooze past 8am or maybe 10... doesn't make you a failure!
I believe your morning routine can work at 5am, as well as it can work at 8am or even noon time. It will work if YOU put in the work. Now, of course, if you have to leave your house at 7am to make it to work at 8am sharp, then of course your morning routine might have to begin at 6am or even earlier.
On the other hand, those who have a later work schedule or work from home can easily catch a couple extra Zzzz's and have a very successful morning routine at 10am.
It will work if you put in the work. Only you know how much time you have in your mornings. What you have to figure out is how to get yourself an extra 20 to 60 minutes each morning for your routines and if that means waking up an hour earlier then so be it!
You also have to hold yourself accountable. If you decide to have an “afternoon” or late evening routine instead, that is absolutely okay, however for some of us it can be easy to get caught up with all the to do's of the day and easily skip our routines all together because of time constraints or tiredness. That is why early in the morning is the best time.
but i don't have time for a morning routine:
This is a big misconception. And an easy excuse to pull out of the hat when we really don't want to do something that makes us uncomfortable or isn't easy.
Trust me, I've played the “I don't have time” card many more times than I care to admit. However, the truth is, for the most part, we do have time. We have plenty of time.
There are 24 hours in a day.
We sleep 8 to 10 hours.
We work 8 to 9 hours.
We still have 5 to 8 hours of TIME. Valuable time. Your morning routine is only asking for 20 to 60 minutes max of your time. This is where priorities come into play.
And prioritizing self development is a must for a happy, successful life. And I don't mean success like riches and fancy cars.
I mean success within your heart... internal, fulfilling, satisfying success. And you can only attain that by working on yourself and taking time out of your day for activities that make you happy.
So, do you have time?
Some of the ideas in this article were made possible by my reading of "The Miracle Morning" by Hal Elrod, an incredibly easy read that will transform your life in just a few pages. For a more in depth review on this book make sure to check out my article "12 Books That Will Change Your Life" where I discuss this book amongst others. You can purchase this book on Amazon by clicking on the image below (affiliate link).