Do you have a morning routine?
It might be something you’ve never thought about, but your morning routine can positively or negatively impact the rest of your day.
Your morning routine might involve snoozing your alarm multiple times, before swiftly jumping out of bed realising, you’re late. Running to the bathroom, spending 30-seconds under the shower, then frantically getting dressed, with your wet hair dripping everywhere. Breakfast is a slice of toast and a coffee that you grab as you’re leaving the house.
You might go onto autopilot; coffee, breakfast, feeding the cat, and filling the dishwasher, while trying to write a shopping list. Frantically racing around, multi-tasking as if your life depended on it. Whizzing around the house, getting yourself in a spin like Taz, the Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil, before flying out the door.
Calm and Mindful
Or since COVID, your morning routine might be a bit calmer, and you approach each day more mindfully. Easing yourself into the day, making space in your morning routine to stretch, meditate, exercise, or read.
Just reading that last sentence made me feel calmer.
Everyone has different priorities, which may have changed over the last couple of years. The pandemic has made people slow down, look at what’s important, and implement changes where necessary or possible. Research shows that having a positive morning routine, can impact your mood, and how you approach tasks. It leaves you feeling more productive, and better equipped to deal with any problems that arise throughout the day. This explains why there are so many articles on the internet about how successful people start their day.
The Miracle Morning
This is where Hal Elrod got the idea for his book. The Miracle Morning: ‘The 6 Habits That Will Change Your Life Before 8 AM’. Hal took the six things that successful people do to start their day and decided to do them all in one hour. I read the book several years ago, and as much as I like the concept – it didn’t work for me.
The idea is to get up early and do six habits, in the first hour you are awake. Using the acronym S.A.V.E.R.S, these are silence, affirmations, visualisation, exercise, reading, and scribing, spending 10-minutes on each habit. Hal took the practices used by successful people and created a morning ritual to suit his needs. This is helpful, to give you some ideas and help you create space in your day. But personally, I would say figure out what practices work best for you and focus on building your own routine.
They don’t have to come from Hal’s book either. There are other positive habits to choose from that will be more suited to your lifestyle. While a morning routine can impact the rest of your day, one size doesn’t fit all. What works for one, doesn’t work for all. We all have different family situations, needs, likes, dislikes, and interests.
The main message is that healthy morning habits, create a productive day. While introducing positive habits can only be a good thing, spending 10-minutes on each habit feels very rushed. And personally, I don’t need six things to start my day off right, I need two – reading and a workout. If pushed, I could reduce it to just one – my workout!
My Morning Routine
Whether I get 15-minutes of book time or 30-minutes, it doesn’t matter. That quiet time with my coffee and my book is bliss, but it wasn’t always like that. It’s something I’ve made space for over the last few years. My workout is a different story. I started working out when I was sixteen, and it’s remained part of my morning routine ever since. I call it my non-negotiable. It happens every morning because it’s the one thing that always sets me up for my day. I realise I’m lucky that I like working out, because that’s half the battle. But this daily practice is as engrained in my life as cleaning my teeth. It gives me headspace and makes me feel fit, strong, and healthy – both emotionally and physically. It’s amazing what a run can do when things are hard and I’m struggling with my mental health. It helps me deal with the stresses and strains of everyday life, along with any curveballs that come my way.
Alongside reading and working out, journaling, meditation, being creative, and tidying up form my self-care practice. I don’t need to do all of them first thing in the morning to have a productive day. Apart from reading and working out, I don’t do all of them every single day. But they are the things that help keep me balanced when life feels anything but. Sometimes, before I even get out of bed, I mentally list the things for which I am grateful. Other times, I write them down in a journal at the end of the day. Because research shows that gratitude can increase happiness, well-being, and life satisfaction. Focusing on the positive instead of the negative, can also shift your mindset. And it’s always nice to recognise the good in your life, especially when things feel hard.
One of the reasons I love my early morning run
Create Your Own Morning Routine
Take some time to look at your morning and how it starts. Are you running around the house like your hair is on fire? Or are you taking some time for solitude and a morning workout? Can you get up earlier to make space for something positive, that will help you face your day? I’m not talking about getting up at 3.30am like Hal Elrod! But just getting up 30-minutes earlier can be effective. And while the snooze button might seem appealing, it’s one of the worst things you can do. It prepares your body for another sleep cycle, which is the opposite of what you want to do.
Always remember, a morning routine needs to fit your lifestyle, and it needs to be something that makes you feel good. If it feels like a chore, you’re never going to stick to it. Experiment with different things, see how they feel and what impact they have on you and your day. Find the things that leave you feeling energised, and ready to face your day. Remember that nutrition plays a part too. Even switching from cereal to a healthy smoothie, could positively impact both your mood and your day.
I’d love to hear how you get on. Leave me a comment about your morning routine, or any changes you want to implement.