How to Create a Morning Routine That Works for You
Do you ever start the day in a rush and then feel like you’re chasing your tail all day? If this sounds familiar then I hear you! How you start your day sets the tone for the rest of your day, which is why it’s so important to take time in the morning for yourself. In this post, I want to share a few helpful habits I’ve learnt from my own experiences.
I’m a big believer that we all create our own realities. So, if you want to become more productive and focused, you need to intentionally cultivate habits to reflect your intentions instead of waiting around for someone to come and give you a hand out; you’ve gotta work for it!
Start by working out when you’re most productive; you’re the best judge of character for yourself, although most people are naturally more focused and productive during the mornings as discipline and self-control tend to decrease as the day goes on (2pm slump, anyone?). By the time the evening comes it’s unlikely you’ll have the same drive and attention span as you would do in the morning.
Choose actions that will help you feel calmer. Maybe it’s unloading the dishwasher first thing so you have a nice, tidy kitchen to come home to later in the day. You can even transform the mundane daily tasks into rituals that you look forward to. Something as simple as creating a nice shower environment can make a big difference to the quality of your day. Treat yourself to some nice shower gel and spend a few extra minutes pampering yourself.
Here are my other tips for creating a productive morning routine that works for you:
- Don’t snooze! I used to snooze my alarm for at least half an hour (and drive my partner mad!) but it’s a bad habit to practice. As soon as your alarm goes off, get out of bed. This habit will be hard to stick to in the beginning if you’re used to snoozing for ages but after a week or so, your body will adjust and before long you’ll be jumping out of bed on the right side, every time! Tip – set your alarm across the room so you have to get out of bed and turn it off (just don’t get back into bed afterwards!)
- Make sure you drink a glass of water first thing to hydrate you. Your body has just gone through a whole night without water so naturally you’ll be dehydrated. You should feel yourself wake up pretty quickly after this but if you want to go a step further, brush your teeth straight after you get out of bed to get yourself feeling really awake!
- Avoid emails and social media! These are both very ‘busy’ things for your brain to deal with first thing. Don’t believe me? See how much calmer you feel by swapping email checking for 5 minutes of working on something for yourself instead.
- Visualise what you want to achieve and set goals. Then work on your goals – break them down into small chunks that you can chip away at each day. Little and often is much less daunting than trying to suddenly achieve your goal of becoming a successful author and writing a book in one weekend. There are various studies into how long it takes to create a habit but personally, I think 30 days is a good length of time to really ensure your habit is becoming second nature.
- Plan and prepare for your days the night before. That way, when you wake up you’ll know exactly what you want to do and when. Want to start running? Set your running clothes and trainers out with a bottle of water in the morning. Write a plan out to help you see what you have to do; you can download my free planners by clicking here. I’d recommend starting your plan with the things you have to do at a certain time (leave for work, get the kids to school, gym class etc) then plot your other tasks in. I like to work backwards here; I start by making a list of everything I want to accomplish, then I look at how much time I can afford for each one, creating a sort of timetable as I go along.
- Prioritise – if one of your goals is to read more but number one on your to-do list is getting fit, then factor in more time for exercise over reading. Don’t try and bite off too much in one go or you’ll run the risk of being put off if you set unmanageable goals. You know your limits and what you can achieve when you push yourself.
- Ease yourself into it. Go at your own pace but be sure you’re pushing yourself and not making excuses. I’m kind of an all or nothing girl so I struggle to take things slow – but it’s a very valuable lesson that I try to practise on a daily basis. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking things slowly but it’s also important to recognise when you need to step it up a gear.
- Be flexible. Being committed to your routine is very important but it’s equally important to allow for some flexibility in life as things don’t always go to plan! If you do go off track slightly, get back into your routine as soon as you can. Just don’t use one slip as an excuse to ditch the habits until next month.
I also try to start each of my productive days by following the steps below.
Be still – Start your day off slowly. Sit in silence and observe your surroundings, breathe slowly, meditate or pray. These are just suggestions but find what works for you.
Exercise – This doesn’t have to be anything fancy but just moving your body, even if it’s just a couple of stretches to wake your muscles up can do wonders for getting going.
Give thanks – Gratitude really is the best attitude and it’s impossible to feel unhappy when you’re counting your blessings. The Five Minute Journal is my favourite journal and it’s got a great section for noting what you’re grateful for. You can buy it here. (this is not a sponsored post, I just think this is a great product).
Inspire – Visualise yourself achieving your goals, look at images that inspire you on a vision board, read a few pages of a good book or read through your goals to re-focus you for the day ahead.
Nourish – This could be making a yummy breakfast that will give you the energy you need to tackle your day or it could be as simple as making yourself a cup of tea.
As well as your mornings, your evenings are just as important for setting you up for a good day tomorrow. Have a clear picture in your mind of what you want to accomplish. Take a moment to reflect on your day. I like to ask myself the question ‘What was the best thing that happened today?’ to end my day on a note of gratitude as well. Your mind will search through all of the good things that happened and you’ll go to sleep on a positive note.
Experiment, mix it up; just find what works for you. A resource that has been really transformative in creating a positive routine in my own life is The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. It’s available to buy here and although it sounds corny, this book did genuinely change my life (for the better, I should add!). (This is not a sponsored post, I just think this is a great product).
I’d love to know what habits you implement in your morning routine. Comment down below and let me know!