Today let's talk about setting up a killer morning routine. This killer morning routine is going to set you up for a wildly productive day. Creating this morning routine is going to be so simple that you're going to wonder why you haven't started this sooner!
I'm going to walk you through the reasoning behind why you should implement this routine into your life and what it takes to set it up. Stay tuned to the end because I have an awesome announcement that I'm excited to share, so stay tuned!
Do you know that 1 thing that some of the most successful, productive, and powerful people have in common? It is they all start their days with a morning routine.
How do you start your morning off?
Do you have any morning rituals? Is it a mad dash to the coffee pot? Is it different depending on the day?
Here's the thing, you probably have a morning routine now, you just don't know it.
You may have a morning routine however, but it isn't working for you.
That's the trick, creating a morning routine that will work for you not against you.
A morning routine.
A routine is defined as a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.
That's exactly what we are talking about today. Creating a sequence of actions that will be regularly followed that will set you up for an incredibly productive day.
Before I created a morning routine for myself I would get up, make a pot of coffee, turn the TV on, check my phone for email, and not have any clear defined tasks to accomplish.
I ended up running out of time. There was always a mad dash to get out the door before we were all late.
Now, mornings are my most productive time of the day!
Why is a morning routine important?
Let's talk about why.
Humans are creatures of habit. We may want to deny it, but it is true. People function better when they are on a set schedule and have structure in their life.
As I said above when I created a morning routine, I set up a clear defined start to my day. It added structure to my day. Once I started, I wasn't going to go back. It was like finding a missing piece to the puzzle I had been looking for.
With a little bit of planning to create the routine and about 3-5 minutes to gather your items that you need the night before, your morning routine will be the time of the day you look forward to (at least it is that way for me).
So let's get to it. I'm going to walk you through what should go into your morning routine and how to put it into action!
Setting up the morning routine.
Start with a meditation session.
My morning routine always starts with a 10 minute meditation session. Start out by finding a quiet and comfortable area. Sit and relax. For about 10 minutes focus on your breathing, in and out. Keep your focus on your breath. Feel your breath in and out. Notice any thoughts that pop up. Then, return your focus back to your breathing. There is an awesome visual of meditation from The Good Picture, How To Meditate HERE
There are so many wonderful benefits to meditation. Here's a list of some:
- Increased focus
- Reduced anxiety
- Increased creativity
- Reduced stress
- Reduced pain
- Increased compassion
- Reduced depression
- Increased productivity
When starting out with mediation, you may only be able to stand 5 minutes. That is okay. Grab a timer, sit down, set the timer for 5 minutes, and start. As soon as 5 minutes seems like no big deal, increase your time by 2 or 3 minutes until you are able to meditate for about 10 minutes each day.
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Continue with some exercise.
Now that you've spent 5-10 minutes mediating, it is time to get your blood flowing. There are a ton of different options here for you to choose from. 20 minutes is a good amount of time for this. It gets your heart pumping, blood flowing, and really allows you to wake up.
Let's talk benefits. Here's a list of some great exercise benefits:
- It's a mood booster
- Increased pain tolerance
- Improves brain power
- Increased self discipline
- Reduced depression
- Reduced anxiety
- Increased mental concentration and awareness
That's the power of exercise.
So how should you spend your 20 minutes?
That is completely up to you. What do you enjoy doing?
Do you enjoy walking? Go for a 20 minute walk.
Are you into yoga? There are some amazing 20 minute yoga workouts.
Here's an awesome 20 minute yoga workout for beginners from Avocadu
Want to watch a video? Here's a great 20 Minute Yoga Flow For Crazy Busy Days from Greatist.com
Not into yoga, that okay, Fresh Fit Foodie has an awesome equipment free HIIT (high intensity interval training) style 20 minute work out plan. There are 5 different workout that work different areas of the body. These are the workouts I will normally do.
If any of these aren't really your style, that's okay. I recommend heading over to Pinterest and typing in 20 minute workout. There are so many to choose from!
Take up journaling
Did you keep a diary or a journal as a child? This is something I never did as a child. Once I started keeping a journal, I couldn't believe I hadn't done it sooner! This is probably my favorite part of my morning routine.
After I finish my exercise, I grab a cup of coffee (which is my reward for finishing my workout) and start writing.
Let's talk benefits. Here are a few examples:
- Solves problems
- Calms and reduces stress
- Increases self understanding
- Increased understanding of others
- Increases goal achievement
- Reduce emotional pain
The list can go on but, hopefully you get the idea.
All you need to get started is some paper and something to write with. Maybe as time goes on you can reward yourself with a journal (that's what I did after I finished my first 30 days).
I have to be honest for a moment. This is something I really struggled with at the beginning. For about 2 days, I wrote about my goals. Then I wrote about what I was thankful for. And then, nothing.
I was stuck. I didn't know what to write about.
So of course, I went to Pinterest to find the answer. Here are a few sites that have some great journal prompts:
This is what I used, from Mandy Wallace 25 Journal Prompts to Get You Writing
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Next, implement affirmations.
Have you ever looked yourself in the mirror and said "I am worth it" or "I can do what I set my mind to"? That is the basic idea behind affirmations.
Affirmations is defined as the action or process of affirming something or being affirmed; emotional support or encouragement.
What are some benefits of affirmations? Here are a few:
- Decreases negative thoughts
- Increase of goal achievement
- Increased gratitude
- Increased health
- Increased focus
- Increases confidence
As you can see a lot of good can come from daily affirmations.
So, you know it's good for you. Now what? How are you to get started.
Sure you could stand in front of the mirror and start saying positive things. However, as experience has shown me, coming up with a plan is far more effective.
The Guided Meditation Site as an amazing post about how to write affirmations that really work. I love the step by step process that they use.
Grab a piece of paper and start.
Every morning grab your affirmations, stand in front of a mirror, and say them out loud. The first few times you do this, you will have to read them off.
If things in your life change, change your affirmations. This is something that you will be changing from time to time.
Open up that book!
During the week the only time I read is in the morning during my morning routine and in the evening before bed.
The weekends, if I have a free day, I usually like to spend a few hours reading.
I'm sure there are books that you've been wanting to read. Create a list and just start.
If you are not a book reader, grab a magazine. Just pick something up to read.
Carve out about 10 minutes each morning to dedicate to reading. You'll be surprised how quickly time goes by! I sometimes have a hard time putting the book down because I'm really into it. However, I try to keep self discipline and only allow myself 10 minutes in the morning.
Finish up with visualizing your day.
Finish off your morning routine by mentally going through your entire day. I like to start with what I'm going to do next.
In a seated position, close your eyes, and go through your whole day. If the next thing will be to wake up the kids, start there. Then go to the next thing, and the next, until you are finishing up your day with your evening routine.
The benefits of this are:
- Giving your self a clear plan of the day
- Problem solving
- Help set priorities
Once I finish this each morning I get excited about my day. It gives me the motivation I need to get started.
Put this new information to work!
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How do you spend your mornings? I would love to hear all about them in the comments below.