The Power of Your Morning Routine

MORNING ROUTINES.

"You'll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The key to your success is found in your daily routine." -John C. Maxwell, leadership expert + author

Yes, those. I'm not talking about the Instagram scroll-sesh you, cough*we*cough, do first thing (don't lie, you know your guilty). I'm talking about the ones that set you up for a positive + productive day.

The kind that get you out of bed without reaching for your phone. These take time to find and even more time to make a habit, but lately I've been craving getting back to a morning routine.

I know myself and know I'm 99% more productive when I have a plan of attack first thing in the morning. Something to get my mind right, to feel good + to fuel me for the rest of the day. 

A morning routine will help you:

  • Start your day on a positive note
  • Set you up to achieve your goals
  • Reset your focus
  • Motivate you to be productive

Last month, one of my favorite websites TheEveryGirl.com prompted a 30 Day Challenge to get yourself into a morning routine. 

Now, this is all well and good, but what about those of us who have non-traditional living situations and aren't 9-5ers?! Can I get an AMEN!? I know I'm not alone in this. 

For us, its even more crucial to have some level of consistency in our daily routine. So for the past few weeks, I've been testing and trying different morning activities that serve me and set me up for the most productive and fulfilling day. As a freelance host + spin instructor, no two days are alike. But what I've learned is that almost always I have a few hours in the morning to really get my shit together. 

WHAT WORKS FOR ME:

Waking up the same time everyday.

I've realized this small change makes an incredible difference. I wake up everyday at 7:00. Even on weekends (most of time, let's be real.) I've tried to get up earlier and get frustrated that I'm still craving sleep and wind up face down in the pillow shortly after my alarm goes off. I've learned to be gentle with myself and waking up at 7:00 is perfect for me right now, considering my day usually doesn't start before 9:30am anyway.

When I'm home in my own bed, which isn't all that frequent, I've committed to leaving my phone charging across the room. This helps like WAYY more than you'd think. Way. I'm working on trying to leave my phone in the kitchen, but baby steps. It stops you from pre-bed scrolling and that first-thing-in-the-morning scroll. (So sad, what have we all come to!?) Anyway, it works. Try it one night, and then try it again. And then again. Let me know what you think!

Another thing that has always helped me get up is music. Setting your alarm to go off to one of your favorite songs is a much better way to wake up than to one of those god-awful preset alarm tones.

Currently, mine is set to Marvin Gaye's Got to Give it Up. (Which kinda sounds like there is a crowd of people partying  in your room but, hey, who doesn't love a little Marvin Gaye??)

DON'T SNOOZE.

I'd much rather sleep till the last possible second then get stuck in that weird in-between-sleep between alarms thing. This is why keeping your phone across the room really helps, once you're out of bed you most likely won't hit the snooze.

GRATITUDE.

...Is a game changer. I was given a gratitude jar for my 25th birthday this past year by my friends and it has been the most life changing gift. It got me into the habit of thinking of something to be thankful for before I end my day and I loved it so much, I do it in the morning now!

I used to write all my thoughts down and place it in the jar, but now just seeing the jar on my dresser reminds me to practice an attitude of gratitude. Before I even get out of bed to turn off my alarm, I say "thank you, thank you, thank you for _____." (Insert: whatever you feel. Sometimes I'm even just thankful that the sun shines through my windows!) and then I'll say how excited I am for the day or how productive I will be today!

Watch your life change just from this simple act. I could do a whole post on gratitude, but another time!

WATER.

Once I'm out of bed, I reach for my water bottle on my nightstand that I've filled up the night before. It's a liter sized Camelbak and makes chugging water first thing SUPER easy. I love it. I try to drink a liter because then I know what ever happens the rest of the day won't leave me dehydrated.

I aim for 2 liters each day. Doesn't always happen, but its good to have #goals. 

EAT.

I'm starvvving when I wake up. Eating is a must. I'll make some eggs (whole eggs, yolks got all the good omegas!) and have some berries. Sometimes I'll make a green protein shake (or a purple one like the one pictured above!) with greens + avocados, or with mixed berries + protein powder! When I'm lazy I'll make oatmeal with almond milk + chia seeds. But sometimes having too many carbs in the morning makes me crash around 10:30. No bueno.

I try for mainly protein and lil bit o'carbs. Like the berries or a banana. And a coffee. Because, life.

FEED YOUR SOUL.

With good stuff. Before I check instagram (which takes more will power than I'd like to admit) I read a few daily emails I get in my inbox every morning.

  • TUT Universe. I LOVE these emails because they have a funny way of resonating with my life at that very moment. I've been receiving these for years and screenshot ones that are particularly spooky. Sign up for them here.
  • The Skimm. It's really not cool to not be up on your current events game, especially when its as easy as reading a newsletter. The girls at The Skimm are on to something. I love it because it's short and sweet and gives you enough context to hold your own at the water cooler.
  • Today's Word with Joel Osteen. Now, I LOVE me some Joel Osteen. My friends will laugh at me, but I'll even listen to him in the car. (Sirius XM Channel 180, I got you.) Something about that little man and his southern accent that speaks love into my soul. His message is always positive and uplifting regardless of what religion you are. Don't be afraid, he ain't takin' your money. Yes, he's a televangelist but his following is huge and isn't hyped. Check him out one day and you'll be impressed. 
  • Spirit Junkie Affirmations. This is an app. You can buy it for $1.99 in the app store and each day there is a new positive affirmation you can take with you throughout your day to keep you vibin' high and filled with love + light.

SIEZE THE DAY.

After eating something, I've noticed getting ready for the day (hair, makeup, getting dressed, etc.) has helped me a ton! I'm lookin' at you work-from-home freelancers. Everyone thinks working from home is great, and it totally is, but you can get stuck pretty quickly. You wind up working in your pajamas and fall asleep at 1:30 in the afternoon. It happens.

Getting ready for the day helps get you into the right mind set and it saves you time later in the day if you have to run out quick. You don't wanna be one of those people at the post office in slippers. Those people exist. So don't be one of them. 

I love getting dressed up and putting make up on. Somedays I HAVE to and other days I don't. What I've found is that if I keep consistent with getting myself together the smoother my days run and the more likely I am to get to all of my errands. 

TO DO LISTS.

I'm a pen to paper kinda girl. It helps me remember things when I physically write them down and plus I have this weird obsession with pens. I love pens. Don't ask why, just love em.

This year, I'm using the Day Designer planner and its a #girlboss' dream. Its the most amazing thing ever and I'm not sure how I ever lived without.

The truth is I'm the furthest away from Type A as possible (is there a type Z?!) but that part of my personality doesn't support productivity very much, so I need things like the Day Designer to keep my life together. 

Every night before I go to sleep, I do a brain dump. I write everything I think (& know) I have to do the next day. I do this at night so I don't have crazy anxiety about forgetting something the next day.

One tool I used to help get me in this habit was Chalene Johnson's 30 Day Challenge. Obviously I have something for 30 days and a challenge? But it's a great program and really helps rearrange your life to best suite you. If you haven't already, check it out here.

Now that thats all out of the way, it's time to take action. Do you want to make some positive changes to your morning routine?! Yes, yes, you do. Great!

Start by asking yourself:

  • Why do you want to create/change/add to your morning routine?
    • What do you hope to achieve?
    • Do you want more time for yourself?
    • Do you want less hectic mornings?
    • To be on time for once?

Once you are clear on why you want to make these changes, it'll be easier to stick to them. You'll feel like you're letting yourself down if you don't (which you know you are). 

Then, decide what it is you want to add to your mornings. Here are some ideas:

  • an uplifting daily email
  • a fresh brewed cup of coffee and 15 minutes of silence
  • time to read that book you've been trying to finish for three months
  • a workout
  • meditation

Next, decide how much time you can realistically add to your mornings:

  • Can you wake up 15 minutes earlier than usual?
  • Set your clothes out the night before?
  • Set your coffee maker to starting brewing before you wake up?

Dig around to find time hogs and places where you can add time to your mornings. You might not even have to wake up any earlier!

See what changes you can make in the next 30 days. You'll be surprised how this small change in your day will have a ripple effect throughout the rest of your life. 

Leadership expert + author John C. Maxwell wrote, "You'll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The key to your success is found in your daily routine."

You can do it.

Big hug + lots of love!