There are few things more important than how you start your day. It can dictate everything else that happens to you for the rest of the day, and even in future days.
But how do you find a morning routine that works for you? We all have different needs, schedules, responsibilities, and goals. There is no one ideal morning routine that works for everyone.
But there are some general guidelines that apply to most people. And following these guidelines can improve your productivity, happiness, and success. Here are ten steps to building a great morning routine that will work for you!
Identify Your Goals
First things, you need to know what your goals are. Most people will want to do the following things:
Get up earlier to take care of their family (it’s common to be a very exhausted parent on the weekend). Take care of their hygiene and get ready for the day. Take care of the kids and get them to school on time. Get their morning homework done and complete their weekly homework so they can go to the computer lab or computer class. Go to work and get things done for the day. Go grocery shopping and cook dinner. Help with household chores. Get things ready for the next day.
When you first wake up in the morning, think about what it is you want to accomplish for the day.
Find the Right Time
Perhaps the biggest hurdle of any morning routine is finding the right time to get started. There’s a whole world of great sources out there that can help you work through this problem.
Some tips include:
Set a fixed time to start your morning routine. You can set your alarm to wake up, and have the first hour before your alarm goes off be filled with things you want to do. Maybe it’s read a few pages of a great book or look at some YouTube videos on something you’re interested in.
Schedule in the time you want to take for exercising, reading, and other morning rituals. This will help you stay consistent with your routine, and force you to follow through on your goals.
Get Up Early (or at Least Close to It)
It can be tempting to sleep in until noon every day.
Create a Buffer Time
Whether it’s an hour in the evening or an hour on the weekend, try to carve out as much time in your day for yourself as possible. Choose a time to get up early, whether it’s first thing in the morning, before going to bed at night, or both. But do this without getting distracted. It is important to set a very specific time to start your morning routine, so that it can stay a priority.
Separate Your Routine From Your Work
Your morning routine should not take the place of your work. Work is also a priority, and it should be given the same attention as you give to your morning routine. While it is tempting to work on your morning routine while you are lying in bed, it is important to give it priority over other tasks.
Establish a Positive Habit
In the first few minutes of waking up, you have an opportunity to form a habit.
You’re already fully awake.
You’re in the bright, sunny, and cheerful time of day.
You’re allowed to be tempted.
You’ve got no excuses to avoid this great opportunity!
Many people start their morning with terrible habits that prevent them from having the energy and focus they need to accomplish the most important tasks of the day.
I have seen people who have had a tough night’s sleep wake up in the morning and they’re already in a bad mood and without energy. Â That means that for the rest of the day, it will be even more difficult for them to get things done.
There is a wide variety of ways to meditate. As a beginner, try a guided meditation on YouTube, or by using apps like Headspace, Calm, or Insight Timer.
Use a journal or a morning pages planner to start your morning by writing out your ideas and goals for the day.
Clear Your Mind and Focus
When you focus on your goal or your ideas, you will become more focused and you will be able to take action more quickly.
When you have your clarity of mind, meditate again. And repeat this process until you start seeing positive changes in your life.
Become more Productive
Write down all the tasks you need to get done, and write down your achievable goals.
I know what you’re thinking. How can I exercise in the morning? Can’t I just do it at night or in the afternoon?
The simple answer is, yes you can. If you work a full-time job that requires you to stay up late and wake up early, exercise in the morning is probably a necessary part of your morning routine.
Even if you only exercise for 30 minutes or so, it is still better than not exercising at all. A little exercise can make your morning go much better.
What does exercising in the morning do?
I’m going to use the analogy of a healthy breakfast. Exercise is a healthy breakfast.
Exercise increases your energy, which can help you get more done.
Your body will be in a better mood. You will be more alert and focused. It can help you solve problems and accomplish tasks.
According to an article in Psychology Today, most people start their day without having eaten breakfast. Why? Â Well, it’s partly because of physiological processes that kick in when your stomach is empty. Also, most people think that breakfast will interfere with them getting enough sleep.
So if you are a student, workaholic, or a parent of young children, you may not have the luxury of a three hour window to eat and get ready in the morning. And if that’s the case, you may need to improvise. You could try eating breakfast right after you get up, or before you go to bed. But before 8am is not ideal.
Make a Routine
Think about how you feel in the morning.
If you’ve tried to change your morning routine and failed, you’re not alone. Lots of people fall victim to the myth that you need a certain routine to start your day.
We get so used to doing the same things day in and day out that we no longer know how to be different. And as soon as we try to change, we get stuck in an endless cycle of finding something that’s not working and trying to make it work.
It might be time to rethink your morning routine.
How do you start your day? Is it working for you?