Nailing Your Morning Routine
When you have a productive morning routine then you can set yourself up to win your day. Routines are just a string of established habits and they help create less decision making in your life and make it easier for you to move yourself towards success. I am going to break down a few tips to help establish a good morning routine.
First of all, you need to experiment, there are countless suggestions out there of what makes an effective routine. Like everything, your morning routine is going to be individual to what works for you. So, you try things and see what you like and do not like, you want to find ones that help you feel inspired, motivated, and happy.
You do not have to do it all, stick to 3-5 different habits you would like to establish in your routine and work with those. Nothing is going to make you want to crawl back under the covers more then the feeling of overwhelm because you have a list of 10 different things you need to get done as soon as you get out of bed.
One of the keys is to keep on top of your mindset, if you are trying to wake up earlier, when you first wake, your drowsy mind is going to be telling you all of the reasons why waking up early was truly a dumb idea and it is smarter to keep sleeping. The key is to already be prepared for this. Know what kinds of things you are going to tell yourself and have responses ready to quiet that voice that wants to stay in bed. Throughout the morning if you say something negative catch it and switch it to something positive. Complaining about your day ahead is also a sure-fire way to kill your motivation in the morning.
Move your alarm to be away from your bed. If you put your alarm somewhere you physically have to get up to turn off, then you are helping yourself to get started with the day. Avoid your snooze button. You cannot get any decent sleep with the 10 minutes between your snoozes, as much as your brain will try. When you keep snoozing you end up waking drowsier than you would if you had of just got up in the first place.
Instead of going on your phone and scrolling social media or watching tv straight away, give your mind things that are going to help reduce stress. You could write down your dreams, these are a great place where your subconscious is trying to figure out solutions from your day before and you may be surprised what you’ve actually processed as you were sleeping. You could also journal to relieve anything that is playing on your mind. You could read a book that is going to inspire you to be productive.
The top recommendations when I was doing my research that basically everyone suggested were to exercise, read and meditate. With different variations in between. Exercising is a great way to get your blood pumping and oxygen flowing which will stimulate your body and mind. What exercise you do is a personal preference, some like an intense workout and others like gentle stretching. Stretching is great to relieve tension in joints and muscles, stimulate blood circulation and reduce soreness. People have also found that it reduced anxiety because it goes hand-in-hand with deep breathing. All you need is 10 minutes of stretches in the morning to have an impact.
Something that is really going to help is to set your intentions before you go to bed. Decide what are 3 of the top things that you need to get done the next day. Do not have such a long to-do list that it feels overwhelming, have just 3 things. First thing in the morning bring into focus your long-term goals you are working towards. Be specific enough that you can summarise your dreams into one sentence and remind yourself of that each morning. It helps motivate you and holds you accountable.
Remember to factor in your nutrition. A good breakfast is going to help fuel you for the day. As well as drinking a large glass of water as soon as you wake. While you sleep your body can become dehydrated and water is a good way to freshen you up. If you are struggling to wake yourself up, one of the first things you can do is brush your teeth or splash your face with cold water.
Accomplish something productive within the first hour of waking. One of the top suggestions to get the ball rolling with feeling productive is to make your bed. You start the day on a good note and when you end you day you are reminded of that good note by coming back to a made bed. Instead of having a steaming hot shower that makes you want to crawl back into bed and enjoy the comfiness as soon as you get out, it is more recommended that you have a lukewarm or cold shower to stimulate your body. I am right there with you on being hesitant on this one. I have read a lot about the benefits of cold therapy and taking cold showers, but I still really struggle to get myself to do them longer then 10 seconds.
If you do not know where to start you can base your morning routine on someone you admire. It is important to factor in all parts of you within your morning routine. How will you nourish your mind? How will you nourish your body? How will you nourish your soul? Good morning routines fuel you up to have a productive day. A good morning routine starts with setting yourself up for success the night before and making building your new habits as easy as possible. If it seems like hard work, start by doing each step for just 5 minutes, do that for the first few weeks. It is all about becoming the person who has the habit of a morning routine and that can be created by doing each task for just a few minutes while the habits are being established.