Even if you are a morning person…waking up and getting your day rolling with consistency and success can be HARD to do.
Two struggles that I see most often in my clients when it comes to mornings and morning routines are:
1) The Consistency Rollercoaster: They execute their morning routines for 3 or 4 days then those amazing habits fade away into oblivion- its a vicious rollercoaster of feeling on top of the world because they are doing their morning routines and seeing results, but then out of the blue they just…stop and then they feel like a failure.
2) The Morning Struggle Bus: Everything is hard. They feel like death when they wake up, they have kids screaming for breakfast, clients or colleagues blowing up their inbox, pets to feed, things to do, and a busy life that starts as soon as they open their eyes. They are on a never stopping struggle bus
So maybe you're on one of the above morning rides, or a whole different kind of morning ride... but either way, it's no secret that a morning routine of some sort is a valuable way to start your day, no matter what time your day gets started.
But WHAT to PUT in your morning routine to maximize the potential for success in your day?!
That's a whole other story! There are so many options for what kind of morning cocktail you can mix together to get the day going (in fact, download 30+ morning ritual activities completely free!).
Here's the truth, the best kind of morning routine is the one that gets you most revved up for the day, the one that makes you most excited to wake up.
Your morning should be exactly what you want and need it to be to help you function at your best.
As much as we would like, there isn't a magic formula for the perfect morning, but there are similar behaviors and activities that the top performers do to start their days with ease and productivity, and we've laid them all out for you below!
1. PREPARE THE NIGHT BEFORE: When you prepare for the following day the night before, you are setting up the dominos so that all you have to do the next morning is tap the first domino to make everything fall into place.
Some examples of this are:
Set the timer on your coffee maker to start automatically and have a clean mug ready to go so your coffee is "pour ready" when you wake up
Lay out what you plan on wearing
Make your lunch
Ironing your clothes
Make sure your kiddos lunches are packed
Put your shoes by the door
Charge all your electronic devices
Have your bags packed
Keys by the door
Whatever you can do to prepare for the next day, do it! This will help you begin the day feeling on top and prepared, rather than behind and scrambling.
2. MAKE YOUR BED & OPEN YOUR CURTAINS: Making your bed is the first hit of accomplishment and achievement that you get every day. Not only does it program your mind for a day of productivity, but it is a sure guarantee that when you come home after a long day of uncertainties, your beautifully made bed will be exactly as you left it in the morning.
Opening your curtains brings the natural light into your room to help regulate your circadian rhythm, and the subtle stretch of your arms spreading the curtains wide helps to get your blood moving.
3. DRINK AT LEAST 20oz OF WATER: After hours of sleeping, when you wake up, your body is a dehydrated and it needs a generous amount of water to reset your levels before you put any coffee or food into your body.
I recommend 20 oz of water at least to give yourself a boost of energy and hydration, but obviously drink more if you can! This will set you up to feel good and refreshed, and to get in the habit of increasing your water intake throughout the day. Personally, I prefer mine lukewarm and with lemon, but sometimes I'll add crushed ice if I'm feeling edgy.
4. MOVE: Move your body! Whether you plan on integrating 30 minutes of riding your Pelaton, heading to the gym, doing a cardio or weight routine, or attending a mindful yoga class, find something you love and do it every morning. Whatever you can do to move your body and get your blood flowing is necessary to boost your energy and productivity.
Maybe working out hardcore in the morning isn't your jam, so even just a couple of jumping jacks, touching your toes, doing some stretches or sun salutations for 5 or 10 minutes is better than not doing anything at all. Consciously moving every morning will help you make better choices throughout your day, and it will boost your energy so you are ready to conquer what comes next.
5. DESIGN YOUR DAY: I recommend that you actually do a full plan of the day the evening before so you're ready to go in the morning, but in the morning, take a minute to make sure all of your appointments are scheduled in exactly where they're supposed to go in your daily agenda.
Additionally, write down your top to-do's for the day on a sticky note, then take your to-do list and plan it out for exactly when you plan on doing each to do list item. Make sure you also integrate activities that make you happy and that nourish your soul throughout the day! Maybe it's 10 minutes of journaling on your lunch break, taking a walk with your dog as soon as you get home from work, or 30 minutes to sit down as a family and eat a meal together... if you take the time to plan it all out down to the minute, you are more likely to do want to accomplish and feel more balanced throughout the day.
If you integrate even just a couple of these five things into your schedule with consistency, I can promise you that your day has a higher chance of being a home run.
Oh and ps, two quick things to remember:
Your morning is in your power. You can spend your time in the morning exactly how you need (and want) to, and adapt it is as you move through different seasons of life.
It doesn't matter what time you wake up. Your energy cycle and circadian rhythm is unique to your body, preferences, and the lifestyle you want to live. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that a morning routine is only effective if you wake up before the sun! This is simply the way you start your day, no matter what time of day you wake up.