HOW TO CREATE YOUR PERFECT MORNING ROUTINE
You groan as your alarm just went off for the third time and you can no longer hit the snooze button.
Finally jumping out of bed, you scurry around gathering what you need for the day with a hurried mental checklist.
”keys, coffee, purse, laptop...
wait, where are my keys?”
Your stomach growls but food is the last thing on your mind because you simply don’t have the time.
It is not healthy to start your day under this kind of stress.
Beginning with a routine is the best way to build a productive and meaningful day, whether you go to work every day or work from home. It also helps you to get ahead of anxiety and stress before it consumes your mind.
Read on to find out how to create your perfect morning routine!
BENEFITS OF CREATING A ROUTINE
A study by biologist Christoph Randol shows that morning people tend to be much more proactive than evening people. As a creative, this was a hard concept for me because I get many creative ideas in the middle of the night. With a notebook full of ideas that never saw the light of day –I quickly found that idea generation without productivity is useless.
This was especially true when I worked my 9-5 job. I would roll out of bed, rush off to work and then work on my blog into the wee hours of the night. I woke up groggy and craving copious amounts of caffeine every day (Hello quad espresso)
When I switched to a part time bartending job, I was having a hard time regulating my sleep because I would leave work and stay up until 2 or 3 AM. Since my productivity was getting worse, I knew I needed to change a few things.
As I altered my sleep schedule and consistently performed my morning routine, I experienced:
Creating more time for self improvement
Increased overall satisfaction
Preventative mental healthcare
Improving overall health
Easier to fall asleep at night
That first hour in the morning is valuable for much needed alone time. In addition, you create a sense of accomplishment at the beginning of your day - I assure you you’ll feel like a super hero.
MAP OUT YOUR MORNING
Planning your morning routine is necessary to assure success.
First, identify what things you want to happen in the morning. Don’t go overboard – simplicity is the key to staying on track.
For example, I want to drink water the first thing in the morning. I head to the kitchen and squeeze a half of a lemon into my water with my liquid vitamins and drink an entire glass of water before doing anything else.
For me, it is important to engage in prayer, meditation and journaling to clear my mind.
To build your routine, choose 2-3 things to do as soon as you wake up.
Choose to engage in activities that make you feel energized and happy.
IDEAS TO CHOOSE FROM
HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL
Let’s be clear - a morning routine is a habit that is relatively easy to break. It takes just a couple days to be thrown off completely.
Have few things that are NO MATTER WHAT items. They should be easy, quick and can be completed even if you wake up late.
Some things that can be done quickly:
Drink an entire glass of water
You have to commit. Consistency is going to be your number one goal and it requires a full commitment and a discipline.
PREPARE BEFORE BED
When I decided I would build a morning routine, I struggled big time to wake up and get to it. For a while I would wake up and end up falling back asleep while stretching on the floor.
The biggest key to success is to be prepared for your morning routine. When you first start working toward building this life-changing habit, it may prove difficult.
Prepare anything you need for your morning routine before you go to sleep. For example if your routine includes a cup of tea, fill your tea kettle with water and set the mug and tea next to it. If you plan to journal and read when you wake up, have the journal and book you want to read near you.
This will make it easier for you to get up and start your routine immediately.
WAKE UP EARLIER
Having a full hour to yourself in the morning is a game changer - 2 hours is even better and I’m working toward that.
With that said, you may need to wake up earlier. (unless you have a schedule that allows you to go to bed later and get up later without effecting the amount of time you have.) I know, I know, its a hard thing to accomplish.
Work your way into this. If you are not a morning person, trying to wake up a full hour earlier will not promote success. Try waking up 15 minutes earlier every day until you have given yourself at least 45 minutes to an hour. According to this article on Science of People, small wins self motivate. Every time you successfully get up earlier you’ll believe you can make that next 15 minute milestone.
You can also try jumping in. Just set your alarm a full hour earlier and get out of bed the second the alarm goes off. This brings me to the next tip.
STOP HITTING THE SNOOZE BUTTON
It’s something most Americans do every single day, but could be hindering your energy levels in the morning. According to Reena Mehra, M.D., M.S., the amount of sleep you get between the snooze function is not restorative.
Dan Ariely answers a readers question about hitting the snooze button:
“..our bodies do better when they can get used to a single clear rule: Get out of bed the moment the alarm sounds. When we play with the snooze button, our bodies get a confused message: Sometimes we hear the beeping and get up, sometimes we hear it and stay put for 10 more minutes, sometimes we lie there for another 20 minutes, and so on.”
Basically your brain is like “Are we awake? No. Yes. Wait. No”
You end up waking up foggy, instead of alert and rested.
So just get up when the alarm goes off!
BAN THE COFFEE
All right, not completely. (I will never give up coffee!)
This study compared the effects of caffeine on sleep at 0, 3, and 6 hours prior to bedtime. Although participants were able to fall asleep, the use of caffeine prior to bedtime had a negative effect on sleep duration.
A good rule of thumb is to cut the caffeine about 7 hours prior to bedtime
WAKE UP AT THE SAME TIME EVERY DAY
This Harvard Study showed that a more regular sleeping pattern contributed to better academic performance and cognitive function. Let me tell you, increased cognitive function will do wonders for your levels of productivity. When I’m able to think more clearly, I get much more done throughout the day.
In addition, it will be much easier to fall asleep each night. By waking up at the same time every day you lock -n your circadian rhythm to the point where you won’t even need an alarm clock to get out of bed each day.
With an improved quality of sleep, you’ll experience improved alertness, a brighter mood, decreased pain, and many more amazing benefits.
Give it TIME
You’ve heard that it takes about 21 days to form a habit but it could take more or less. This study by Phillipa Lally shows that it is actually quite variable from person to person and could take anywhere between 18 and 254 days to form the habit – on average about 66 days. This means it’s going to feel hard at first and it could take you more than two months for it to become an automatic action. Don’t get discouraged. Your body and brain needs to adjust to forming a new habit. Push through the rough period and you will start feeing the benefits immediately.
Don’t expect perfection
Yes I know I have the word perfect in the title. That is for the Google Search Engine.
Marketing has turned wellness into a commodity. The uprise in self care and wellness influencers and bloggers will have you believing that all those people are perfectly achieving their daily goals all the time.
I assure you it is not true. Humans are fickle. In my opinion, creatives can be even more fickle than the average human.
Sometimes you just don’t feel like doing the exact same things every day. Sometimes you want to roll over and get right back to sleep.
Now let me know in the comments if you have a morning routine already or if you are going to build one!
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The Miracle Morning by Hal Erod