In the words of one of my childhood heroes, Anne of Green Gables, 'Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it yet.' I try to apply this principle every morning. It’s a renewal of my daily life, a way to step out with my best foot forward. Personally, I’m a self proclaimed morning person. Sleeping in on the weekends amounts to getting up between 7 and 8am! But, no matter what time you wake up, your morning routine can be essential to setting up productive and happy days.
With January and the new year now come and gone, I like to make a conscious effort to continue with self improvement goals. Here are a few tips for nailing your morning routine...
DESIGN IT FOR THE LIFE YOU WANT TO HAVE
Treat your schedule (morning or not) like a friend and not an dictator. Schedule the things you want to do, not just the things you have to do. Does your ideal morning start with a cup of coffee and the morning paper? Great! Write it down and schedule an intentional time to do it! Knowing that you’ve set time aside to do this can make it more enjoyable. You know you won’t be rushing to get out the door, or feel behind later. What if you try to milk every last minute of sleep before you have to reluctantly roll out of bed? That’s okay too!
There are things that I have to do in the morning like take a shower, brush my teeth, put on makeup, do something with my hair, eat something,take out the trash before leaving etc. My approach is to find out approximately how long it takes to do each necessary task, and then set them in the most logical order. For example, since I let my hair air dry, the first thing I do is take a shower.
If you schedule extra time in the mornings, depending on your beliefs and priorities, it can be a great way to meditate, reflect, visualise or pray. Personally, if I start the day thinking of a few key things I’m thankful for, it puts me in a really positive headspace.
YOUR MORNING STARTS THE NIGHT BEFORE
For me, this idea is a life saver. Any task that involves decision making, I do the night before. I get my lunch ready, pack my bag, and set out my outfit. It frees up time to do more of what I enjoy in the morning. It also saves valuable willpower energy, allowing me to have a more productive day overall. If you’re interested in sleeping in as much as possible, this is also a great plan. You can even get an extra half an hour (or more!) by planning ahead even just a little bit.
embrace TRIAL AND ERROR
The first renewed routine you try may not work for you, but you can tweak it here and there to get it just right. Experiment with the times that you go to bed and go to sleep. As you test out new routines just remember to be self aware. It’s good to push yourself, but if something is not working out your body will tell you. Listen!
What's the most essential part of your morning?
Resources on productivity, morning routines, and sleep: