I want to tell you about something that has had a big impact in my life, which is adding a morning routine. Every person's routine looks different but a morning routine sets the tone for the day. It lets you head out the door feeling in control of the day, instead of the other way around. You can leave the house with some momentum that will continue to roll through the rest of the day. I want to tell you about my routine, what it has done for me, and how you can figure yours out. I hope that you can apply this to your life and possibly see as many benefit as I have.
Up until a few years ago my mornings always looked the same. I would sleep until the last possible moment, jump out of bed, shower, get dressed, brush my teeth, and make a breakfast shake as quickly as I could before I headed out the door. I would either just make it to where I was going on time or I would frequently arrive late. I was starting every day off in fight or flight mode. Instead of easing into the day and making sure that I gained momentum by performing a few important tasks, I always felt like I was behind. Weeks would go by and I wasn't making much progress towards my goals. I felt like I was always busy and yet going nowhere. All of that changed when I started my morning routine.
I can still remember the first morning that I did my routine. I woke up earlier than normal to make sure that I got it in. This was tough because I was used to snoozing as late as possible. I went through all of the things that I wanted to get done and when I left for the gym I felt amazing. I felt like I had already accomplished some major tasks for the day and that I was in control of my day. If I wasn't able to get anything else accomplished the rest of the day because of life happening I knew that I still had been able to make progress towards my goals. It was an amazing feeling. It has become an addicting feeling and I have started to want to get up earlier and earlier (something I said I would NEVER do) so that I can get more done before taking on the day. Small steps over time have led to something big.
So what is my routine? I will walk you through mine so that it might help you with yours. The big thing to remember is that everyone is different. Everyone has different goals and a different situation so you have to find what works for you. The most important thing for me is that I want to have made progress towards my goals before I ever leave my house for the day. That way I know that I am making progress every day no matter how hectic the day gets. I start by waking up (trying not to hit the snooze button) and taking a shower, finishing with 30 seconds of cold. I have found that the cold water stimulates my nervous system and wakes me up. After my shower I get dressed and brush my teeth. I then make up my bed, and then go into the kitchen and drink 20 ounces of water with a lemon and a little Apple Cider Vinegar. I have found that starting the day with water and ACV really sets me up to feel good and be hydrated throughout the day. As I am drinking my water I sit down at my kitchen table and read from my devotional, read from The Daily Stoic, write down my daily affirmations, and pray. Once I have finished this I make myself a cup of coffee and sit down in my living room and read. Depending on the day I read anywhere from 10-30 minutes but I try to make sure and read from at least 2 books. After this I will review my to dos for the day that I have written down the day or night before and then I hit the road. All of this takes about an hour or longer if I have time but I leave the house feeling in control of my day.
A couple of points to note from my routine. I try not to check my phone first thing but I still struggle with this sometimes. Hopefully I will be able to quit this soon. Next I want you to notice that my routine has parts of my different goals in it. My devotional and prayer time are daily goals, my affirmations are things that I want to accomplish and the person that I want to be, and reading is part of my goal to read 100 books this year. Finally I have made up my bed. What all this allows me to do is start my day off with progress. I gain momentum in getting things done and I carry that momentum into the day with me. I have noticed that I have become a lot more productive at work since implementing this. Also it makes sure that I make progress towards my goals even if the day ends up being super busy and a wash. If the day goes sideways I still walk in the house at the end of the day and I have a made up bed and have made some progress towards my goals in the morning. This can be a great relief if you feel you haven't been productive at work!
I hope that I have shown you the power of a morning routine. We are all creatures of habit and we can use that to our benefit if we create habits that will move us towards our goals. If you can start your day off on the right foot and working towards things that are important then you can lay your head down at night knowing that you are working towards accomplishing the big things, no matter how hectic your day gets. I would challenge you to figure out what is important to you and start implementing things when you first wake up that will get you closer to achieving that. Once you start developing trust in yourself then following through will get easier and easier.