A Simple Morning Routine for You
A Simple Morning Routine for You
You don’t have to beat yourself up about not getting up earlier or hitting the ground running in the morning. It’s tough getting up and getting things done right away.
The biggest obstacle?
Choosing to follow through on your good intentions.
Creating habits and routines to weave your intentions into your regular rhythms.
My Morning Routine
5:30 wake up, make the bed, use the bathroom, change my clothes, put in my contacts
5:45 work out (in my basement to a YouTube video or two, or weather permitting, go for a run)
7:00 get dressed, do my makeup (if wearing makeup that day)
7:30 breakfast & Bible time
7:50 brush my teeth, read my lists of affirmations & goals
8:00 sit down at my computer to start working, checking to-do list
How to Create Your Ideal Morning Routine
My routine works for me because I’ve created it to center around the most important things to me. You could try to copy it as is, but chances are, it wouldn’t quite fit you right because we’re not the same person.
Based on your stage of life, family situation, work schedule, sleep habits, priorities, and a handful of other factors, your morning routine will most likely look different from mine.
When you’re thinking about the components for your ideal morning routine, consider these questions:
what do you need to do to wake up “on the right side of the bed”?
what do you need to do to prepare for the day?
what do you have time for?
what time do you currently wake up, and do you need to change that?
what order makes the most sense for the parts of your morning routine?
how might this season of your life or this time of year affect your routine?
Let’s look at each of these questions to examine their impact on your routine.
Waking Up on the Right Side of the Bed
What puts you in a good mood?
Do you feel inspired and happy when you spend time outside? Then maybe a walk outside would be a good idea. Or just opening the windows and letting in the fresh air.
What do you turn to when you’ve had a rough day?
Sometimes it’s helpful to work those things into your day ahead of time to set yourself up for success. If you relieve stress by burning good-smelling candles, you can light one when you wake up to start your day with relaxing scents.
Do you feel better when you wake up to specific music? I’ve realized I have a much better attitude since I re-tuned my alarm clock to play a radio station clearly instead of the static I thought it was doomed to play for the longest time. It’s amazing what that different sound can make in my attitude!
Preparing for the Day
What do you need to do to feel prepared for the rest of your day?
Do you need to make breakfast for your family?
Do you need to pack a bag to take to work, the coffee shop, the kids’ daycare center, or the beach?
Do you need to prep food for dinner?
Do you need to set aside time to plan your schedule so everything gets done?
I like to plan for a week at a time to make sure I know what big activities and plans I have (and so I can communicate those things with my people so we’re on the same page). But I also dedicate time to look at the plans for my day so I know what my most important tasks are to help me stay focused.
What time do you wake up currently? Is it based on your family’s pattern, a conscious decision you made, or a default to a previous season of life?
How much time do you have in the morning for a morning routine before you need to start taking care of your family, sit down at your computer, or leave for work?
Might you need to change the time you wake up in order to fit in the things you want to have in your morning routine? If you want to get a certain number of activities in and find that you don’t have sufficient time to do them, the most logical choices are either to try to do fewer things or to give yourself more time.
The Order of Events
Sometimes it makes sense to do the activities in a routine in a specific order.
Just as you can’t make your bed until you get out of it or shower before your workout, some things have to be done in the proper sequence.
You can play around with the order of the activities in your routine to see what works best for you.
Do you like going for a walk before or after you meditate for a bit? Before or after breakfast?
Does it work better for you to start a load of laundry before your workout, or to leave it for before you go to bed?
Do you have enough energy to journal when you get up, or do you need to do something more active first to wake you up?
I’ve noticed that I need to get my workout in before I try to read my Bible and spend time in prayer. I highly value both, and I would love for the first thing I do in the morning to fill up my soul, but I can’t sit down and read right after waking up without feeling sleepy and inattentive. I need to get moving to wake myself up first.
You need to figure out what works for you and know your own limits. I know that I can start one load of laundry before I start my workout and maybe switch it after I’m done, but I can’t start cleaning the bathroom or unloading the entire dish drainer or I’ll lose my focus and get off track with the rest of my routine.
Different seasons of the year and seasons of life will bring changes to your routines, morning and otherwise.
You’ll have less morning light in the winter, so getting up earlier might feel even harder, and if you like having a walk as part of your routine, you might not feel safe doing it in the dark, or the colder temperatures might get in your way. That simply means you’ll have to adapt as the seasons change.
And as your lifestyle changes, other components might have to adapt as well.
If you go from being single to being married, you’ll have to figure out how to work your morning routine into a joint rhythm with your new spouse. You might choose to make coffee for your husband, pack his lunch, wake up when he wakes up (whether that’s earlier or later than you would), go to the gym with him instead of going after work, or make other adjustments as needed.
Similarly, if you welcome a child into your family, your schedule will change tremendously. You’ll be up at odd hours, and you’ll have to make sure someone can watch the baby at all times, meaning you can’t just go for a walk whenever you want, unless you take the baby with you. It just adds some new variables to take into consideration.
As you think about your ideal morning routine, consider your current lifestyle as well as the seasonal factors that might affect your activities and how they fit into your day and life.
For instance, I do indoor cardio in the winter and try to fit in more outdoor runs in the spring, summer, and fall when the weather allows. And when I’m sick (which lasts for a very short season), I usually allow myself to sleep in a little later, do less intense workouts, and start my work a little later than normal.
Remember This is Ideal
As I tell clients, you can plan an ideal routine, schedule, or plan, but you have to hold it with open hands and leave room for margin for when unexpected things come up. Whether that comes in the form of a sick kid, an extra work project, an injury, an illness, family visiting from out of town, or another surprise, you have to roll with the changes and adapt as they come.
The best way to adapt is to remember that plans can be fluid. You can have an ideal schedule and still allow for change.
For instance, if your plan is to get up and go for a walk in the morning, but it’s raining, you might have to move your walk to your lunch break. Or do some pilates in your living room instead. Or drive to the local community center or mall to walk indoors.
So tell me, what does your morning routine look like, and how can you make it work even better for you?
And if you want to take back your time, check out my Time Tracker Tool, which will help you identify how you’re spending your time and how you can make changes to devote your time to what you want to be investing in.