THE POWER OF MORNING ROUTINES
It’s so interesting to me that this topic is EVERYWHERE all of the sudden. Last season (speaking in “ski” seasons here….), my beautiful friend Solara introduced her morning routine during dinner. She has a specific manner in which she begins her day and swears it makes her more successful. I began to research this topic to see what everyone else was including so I could formulate my own version.
But basically, instead of waking up and diving right into your day (which to me means grabbing my phone FIRST thing when my eyes open), it’s amazing what an intentional a.m. routine can do. And no, it doesn’t have to mean sitting on an “energy” pad or meditating for an hour or even a big workout, YOU get to design it. Contingent upon your life and your personality, the parts of your routine that you most need will look different. I wanted to focus on quiet time (this is quite challenging for me), reading something positive, and NO tech, so that’s where my routine essentials started. But yours will look different! Which is fine!
Before I began my routine, I read a LOT about successful people’s morning routines – which was fascinating. So, I thought it’d be fun to put together a post on varied morning practices – all dependent upon what you’re looking for or type of person you are. I hope it’s interesting and motivating for you. Looking forward to hearing what your routine looks like when you begin.
PRACTICES TO HELP YOU JUMP START YOUR ROUTINE:
Have a “BEGIN” ritual: Best-selling author and productivity expert Charles Duhigg suggests having an area or a practice that means “go time”. Whether that’s grabbing a coffee or sitting at your desk or getting dressed for the gym – develop a habitualized response to starting. He thinks if people can make a habit out of the first step of their day, it’ll come easier.
An Accountability Partner: If you can’t help but hit that snooze button and usually spend your mornings rushing because you didn’t set a calming routine, ask a friend for help. Preferably, ask someone who is on top of their morning routine or a morning person (aka a good role model). Maybe you text them a picture of yourself getting out of bed and doing something that feels good to you. Or maybe it’s a quick call to help you get started. But knowing that someone is waiting on you for support will help!
PRACTICES FOR THOSE WHO ARE ALWAYS “ON”:
Have non-reactive time: Everyone knows I love Tim Ferriss concepts. He’s been quoted saying that he tries to spend the first 90 minutes of his day being non-reactive. Which sounds impossible to me! Not making decisions, not answering emails, not being “on.” Of course, a lot of people (those with kids come to mind, or CEOs and business owners), probably don’t have this luxury, but according to Tim, you do! It just involves waking up before the chaos starts, and before you need to be reactive. Or, training those around the house to honor your non-reactive time in the morning. T. Tomley (creator of The Class) has managed to keep her routine with two toddlers in her home. She feels it’s a matter or raising them to honor her time. She even invites them to sit quietly with her before they begin preschool.
Airplane Mode: I’ve been using this trick in my own routine for a while and it’s honestly one of the best habits I’ve developed. If you have a hard time getting away from tech and are addicted to “dings” , try sleeping with your phone on Airplane Mode. This leaves your phone on (for alarms and emergency calls), but blocks the ability to show notifications. Keep it in Airplane Mode until you’re ready to start your day – which might mean a couple hours after you wake up. It’s so nice having dedicated no-tech time to start your day, where you feel like you can push through and get things done. You can also use “night mode” and set the time frame for privacy. Important calls can still get through but, notifications and other “dings” must wait until the time frame you’ve set expires.
Journal: My mind never seems to stop, so the practice of journaling has been a game-changer for me. Whether that means journaling my to-do list, my goals, how I’m feeling, or after reading something inspiring, simply getting thoughts OUT of my head and onto paper feels great.
PRACTICES FOR PEOPLE LOOKING FOR WELLNESS/BALANCE & HEALTH:
Hot lemon water + meditation: Jennifer Aniston swears by hot lemon water and some quiet meditation time in the morning, which sounds great for busy weeks, doesn’t it? The lemon water is said to be good for digestion, energy and your skin, and the meditation is obviously for centering and quieting your mind. I still haven’t gotten on the meditation wagon (I am the one the Yoga studio wishes would NOT come to class….I am normally chatting with people and complimenting someone’s cute clothing), but I heard the app Headspace is amazing for newbies to meditation.
Yoga: OK this might sound bizarre, but have you ever watched your dog get up in the morning? They always stretch! Which is hilarious because I can’t remember the last time I stretched before getting out of bed, but doesn’t it sound good? Yoga (again, a personal challenge…) is a nice way to get the body moving without anything too intense, and it’s supposedly very energizing – while also being peaceful. I’m definitely not a yoga person, but I’m really wanting to explore this in 2019.
Sitting in the Dark: I use this term when I’m “peopled out” during the week. I find that if I can carve out an hour of time just to sit in front of my fireplace and drool……I can regenerate. Not many of us get alone time, and if you aren’t into the whole meditation thing, you can also just practice being quiet. Maybe that means getting up a little bit early, grabbing your coffee, and just sitting and staring out a window. It’s allowing your mind to be blank, which is definitely something I could get better at.
PRACTICES FOR THOSE WANTING TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE:
3 MIT: This is a long-standing tool for productivity, but it’s amazing to do first thing in the morning. Without letting life get in the way, list the three things you must get done today – or three goals. Even with emails flying in all day, letting yourself focus on those three things up front will help you stay focused. Write them down.
Listen to a podcast: I’ve become obsessed with podcasts, and one of my favorite times to consume them is when I’m feeling blah or unproductive. Because they are so motivating and inspiring! I love listening to New Face of 60 Podcast, Magic Lessons or Being Boss personally when I’m in a work slump.
Make your bed and spruce up your living space: Making your bed first thing (read MAKE YOUR BED OR listen to our Podcast on this topic) leads to greater productivity throughout the day because it’s essentially starting your day by completing a task. Then, to keep the productivity going strong, clean up after yourself as you get ready. You’ll be able to get home from work and relax instantly since you’ve already done some housekeeping.
PRACTICES FOR PEOPLE WANTING TO ACHIEVE MORE POSITIVITY:
Gratitude lists: I’m pretty sure we could all gain something from this practice, but some people swear by gratitude first thing. Which is pretty cool because it’s hard to be in a bad mood when you list everything you’re grateful for. Or, maybe it’s talking to your roommates, boyfriend, kids in the morning and sharing 3 things you’re thankful for over breakfast. The important part is realizing your blessings – a super easy way to add positivity to your day.
Do you have a morning routine in place? What did you do to start? Has it been effective for you? On tomorrow’s post, 5 things I’ve learned about morning routines….