Mornings are hard for me, and my snooze button usually wins. It is so easy for me to justify sleeping in, especially when I just fell back asleep two hours before, nimbly placing the pacifier back in my baby’s mouth.
But I’m on a path to be more productive, and while giving myself the space to sleep in if I need to, I also want to give myself the space to reach a new level, and conquering my morning routines feels like the first step.
So, here we are. I already have my nightly routine down, now it is time for me to reap its rewards. The boring stuff is out of the way. Our lunches are packed, clothes laid out, and our space is tidied up. I have about an hour before my daughter wakes up—let’s do this!
Step 1: Move your body
For me, this is a quick 5 minute stretch routine because I fit my main workout in at night. But if you have more time, use this first step of your morning routine for a walk or workout. If you are diving right into a workout, make sure to drink water and refuel afterwards.
My favorite quick breakfast is a smoothie. For one, you can pretty much throw any fresh and frozen ingredients in, and it usually comes out great! It’s also perfect when you don’t have a lot of time, and need to multitask.
Step 2: Wash Your Face
Just like at night, this is one of my favorite steps. It is an anchor to my days (this can serve as a great way to add a new habit) where I know I am taking important time to give myself and my skin a little love.
I like to keep things fresh between my nightly and morning routine, so I use a different daytime eye cream and moisturizer. I’m still new to fancy face products, so I’m not yet entirely sure on the difference, but if you can find even something seemingly insignificant to excite you, that’s already a step in the right direction!
Step 3: Make Your Bed & Let the Sun in
It’s ironic, because an unmade bed was often the start of many childhood disagreements between my mom and me. But I recently learned that it is a fool-proof way to always feel productive. If you do nothing else in your morning routine, you at least woke up and took pride in your space.
Open the blinds or curtains and let the sun in, even if it’s a cloudy day.
Just like making your bed, I’ve found this tricks my brain into already feeling productive. Not only did I get out of bed, but I even opened up my space to another day.
It also helps to alert you of any important weather. Pro tip: if you have windows that face neighbors or the street, make sure to get dressed before opening your blinds. Unless you don’t care, and then more power to you!
Step 4: Journal & Plan
Because my nightly routine is where I reflect and go deeper, I like to use this time in my morning routine to give my brain a little kickstart. I set my timer for 5 to 10 minutes and I just freewrite and let the words flow. It’s a great exercise in shutting out my inner critic, which I’m sure many of us are all too familiar with.
After that, I go over my plan for the day to remind myself and adjust if I had any brainstorms in the middle of the night. Before moving on, I make sure I know exactly what my first two goals are, and my necessary to-dos. This helps focus me so I start off with a very clear action plan.
Step 5: Jump into Your Day!
This is where the fun really begins, because we really did it!
We started our day on a mindful, energetic note and are on an upward trajectory for another fantastic day. For me, this is when I get my daughter up, and the day turns into hers until her nap, and that’s when I tackle my daily goals.
The best part about my morning routine is that it really does set me up for the most authentic productivity.
I give myself the space to get done what I can, and I know what I need to do to feel grounded for the day ahead. Whatever it is, life often has a way of throwing distractions at us, but it is this type of routine that creates the focus we need to stay accountable to our goals.
Expand or compress these steps as much as you have time for. This is what I have found I can squeeze in before my daughter decides she wants to join me. Sometimes I finish the last two when I get to work if she woke up earlier than expected. Make this work for you. The goal is authenticity, and forgive yourself if you don’t always get to everything you want to. Whatever happens is ok, because at least you tried!
A few important reminders no matter what your morning routine looks like:
- Stay Hydrated! Drinking plenty of water is one of the best things you can do for your body. Try it hot with some lemon. Buy a cute bottle to carry with you, that makes you excited to drink and refill throughout the day.
- Stay Mindful! Starting your day with a certain amount of introspection will significantly improve your groundedness for the day ahead, and it has been proven to increase your focus and productivity.
- Forgive Yourself! Some days the snooze button will win. Some days you won’t have the energy to do every step you set out to do. The last thing you need is to be hard on yourself. Realize that you will get through, and tomorrow will be a better day because you gave yourself the space to work through what you needed to.
Let me know what your biggest wake up success was recently! What does your morning routine look like? Is there anything that you struggle with and have been trying to implement? Anything that you absolutely cannot start your day without doing?