A morning routine WILL improve your life. Even if you have no time. Even if you are not a morning person.
Starting the day with positive action (even if it's just one small thing!) helps you start your day empowered, intentionally and connected to yourself. All too often, we start stressed and choices can spiral out of our control pretty quickly.
Here are 5 ways to get your morning working for you:
1. GET UP
Yep, you gotta get your butt out of bed.
You need to make this as easy as possible and non-negotiable.
Get a set bed time and time to wake up - even if you have a rubbish nights sleep, no matter what's in your day - go to bed and get up at the same time. It's one of the best ways, research shows, to start to train your body to better sleep.
Minimize stress as you wake up (GET YOUR PHONE OUT OF YOUR BEDROOM!), and start with an alarm that you find effective and as soothing as possible. I'm a fan of the daylight alarm clock, but you may find that you need to up the ante by going to bed in certain items of clothing or getting your alarm clock on the other side of the room may help. I know one person who has a tweet scheduled to give away money each morning if he doesn't get up to cancel the tweet!
Raise necessity - and whilst you're doing that, don't try and get up at 5am tomorrow if you're not used to it. That's gonna hurt. If you want to start getting up earlier, then train yourself by knocking off 5-10 minutes off your alarm time each week and build up that way.
Starting the day in your body is so much better than filled with the stress and negativity that comes from getting straight onto your phone. Take these few moments to connect with yourself (it may be the only time in the day you do get!). You might just of a couple of stretches in bed or you might do a short mobility routine or yoga flow, a short walk, or even build up to a workout or run. No movement is too small. If you start with 10 squats in the morning, then at the end of the year you're 3650 squats better off! 365% better than if you hadn't do any squats at all. Worth it.
You're going to be around noise the whole of the rest of the day; work, emails, kids, social media, notifications, to-do lists, conversations, traffic, advertising. Take just a few moments to find silence. It might be just ten deep breaths, or you might experiment to find something that suits you. You might try journaling, affirmations, visualisations, meditations, a gratitude practice, reading. Take this time to connect to your goals and your best future self - remind yourself daily of where and who you want to be and in your moments of silence can be the best time to do that.
4. PLAN & PRIORTISE
Sit down and figure out your day. Are you being realistic with timing? Prioritise and choose just one big important thing. Not a massive to do list! Are you being realistic with the amount of time you have to achieve that one thing? Visualise your different activities, the transitions throughout your day and help yourself be better prepared.
A morning routine is for you. You just have to build and adapt it so it is yours. Play with the components, the order, the timings. You might start out with just one 1-minute activity. Or formats to try as you build might be three activities with 1-1-1, 2-2-2, 5-5-5 or 20-20-20 minute timings. By starting small you get to master showing up and then grow from them - standardize before you optimize! Remember, be flexible from day to day - your weekend routine does not need to look the same as your weekday routine!
How do you like to start your day?
How could you be more intentional with creating a positive morning?