Why Have A Morning Routine?
Most successful people have a morning routine that they follow every day, that sets them up for the day ahead. It energises them and prepares them mentally for what’s to come.
I think this is a great idea – do something that makes you feel refreshed or energised, review what you’re going to do today, eat a healthy breakfast, and you’re ready!!
There are as many different morning routines as there are people! Arianna Huffington does yoga and meditation first thing in the morning and refuses to look at her smartphone.
Gwyneth Paltrow sends the kids off to school and then spends 2 hours exercising and looking after herself (this makes sense as health and fitness is important for the line of work that she’s in).
Victoria Beckham wakes half an hour before her kids for some “me” time whilst she eats a healthy breakfast, and Richard Branson rises at 5am so that he has time to exercise and spend time with his family before getting down to business.
It’s a question of creating your own perfect routine – what works for one person will not necessarily work for another. A lot depends on who else is living in your house, and when you and they need to be up. Do you need a morning routine that includes kids and school, or do you just need to design your own personal before work morning routine ?
What Time Should I Wake Up?
The time that you need to wake up depends on what you want to fit into your morning routine.
Do you want to fit an exercise session in? Do you need to get the kids to school? Do you need to get to the office or do you work from home? All of these factors will affect how long your routine will be.
If you have a lot to fit in you will, of course, need to rise early. The time you get up will also determine the time that you need to go to bed the night before. You have to have enough hours of sleep in every 24 hours, so if you want to get up early you will need to go to bed early.
The general opinion is that you need around 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, so you can work out your time for going to bed by subtracting the number of hours sleep you need from the time you want to wake.
If this works out that you need to go to bed too early, you’ll probably have to change your new routine and try to move some things to later in the day.
What Should I Include In My Morning Routine?
There are literally hundreds of things that you could include in your morning routine – you need to try a mix and match combination to find the ones that work for you:
I like to include three things in my morning routine: wake-up, focus on what’s to be done in the day ahead, and energise myself. So I would perhaps have a meditation session, a “plan my day” session and some yoga or a swim. Followed by a healthy breakfast and glass of water of course.
Everyone will have a different take on this, and that’s why it’s good to have a personalised routine, rather than a standard one that works for someone else. It will probably take a bit of trial and error before you find your perfect routine.
Here are some of the most popular things that you can choose from:
Make your bed as soon as you leave it
There are two reasons to do this: firstly, it feels so much better when it’s time to go to bed the following evening, and secondly, you’ll have achieved your first task of the day! Start as you mean to go on!
Plan your day
This is creating your to-do list for the day. Don’t create a huge long list of all the things you would like to achieve today – create a shorter list of all the things you WILL achieve today.
Review your affirmations
What are your core beliefs, and what are you trying to achieve with your life? Review these every day, as what you focus on happens!
Eat a healthy breakfast
You need to fuel your body with healthy food – make sure you have the correct amount of food (not too much and not too little!) and make sure the food you choose gives you all the correct nutrients.
You can work out in the gym (or at home), run, cycle, even go to an exercise class, if there’s one available in the morning. If you only have limited time, just do part of your exercise in the morning – you can catch up with the rest later in the day.
Also, don’t over-do it – you don’t want to feel fatigued for the rest of the day – you are trying to energise yourself rather than exhaust yourself.
It’s important to drink enough water to stay hydrated throughout the day. It is recommended that you drink 6 to 8 glasses of water (2 litres) per day, so why not start the morning with a clear, fresh glass of water?
Work on your side hustle
If you are creating your own business on the side and working for someone else during the day, sometimes first thing in the morning is the only time available to work on your side business.
Listen to music
The music you listen to first thing in the morning can set the mood for the whole day.
Light cheerful classical music or energetic pop songs can get you moving, or you may prefer a more soothing style of music to go with your meditation.
Read good news
It’s been scientifically proven that reading negative news for just 3 minutes in the morning sets the tone for the whole of your day. Read about new innovations or listen to self-improvement podcasts rather than the latest gloomy news headlines.
With its focus on strength, flexibility and breathing, yoga has many great physical and mental health benefits. It’s a wonderful way to relax your mind (reducing stress and anxiety) and strengthen your body each morning.
There are over 100 different types of yoga to choose from, so hopefully, you can find one that will fit into your morning routine.
There are many great benefits to meditating as part of your morning routine – it sets a calm mood for the day, lowers your anxiety and allows you to focus.
It can even increase your energy and sense of well-being, so what have you got to lose?
You can meditate for long or short periods – whichever suits you and your timetable. 5 or 10 minutes a day will give you an idea of the benefits, but you need to stick with it and meditate each day, as it can take a little “getting into”.
Walk the dog
This has a double benefit – exercise for you, and your dog!
It’s great if you can fit in a few minutes to look after yourself each morning eg a mini facial, face mask, or read a couple of chapters of your favourite book.
Turn Your Routine Into a Habit
Once you have found the routine that works for you, which contains the things you want to achieve, it’s then just a matter of turning it into a habit.
To form a habit you have to repeat a thing for a certain length of time – apparently it takes 66 days before a repeated action becomes a habit, so it’s worth sticking with your new morning routine rather than giving it up too soon.
A new morning routine will often involve a new getting up time (and corresponding going to bed time), so this is probably the best place to start. Get into the habit of going to bed at the new time and getting up at the new time each morning.
Then you can start to fit in the new activities that you have chosen. It’s probably best not to try to change everything at once.
Take it gradually, add new things one at a time, and add in extra things once you feel that you have your current routine under control.
If you find you can’t fit everything you want into your morning routine, you can always do some of the things later in the day…perhaps you could create an evening routine to finish off the day and prepare yourself for bed?
If you have any more ideas about what to include in a morning routine, or how to get started, please let me know in the comments below.
Have you tried any of my suggestions already? If so, please let me know how you got on with them…
If you’ve enjoyed this article, please share it on Pinterest: