One of the greatest habits I have created is that of a morning routine. Why? To be honest, it was the one thing that kept coming up in every single self-help book I was reading. It also came up in multiple podcasts by inspiring people that I have listened to. They say you have to hear something 8-12 times before actually implementing it. After reading and hearing about the importance of a morning routine multiple times, I finally tried it…and it’s the best decision I’ve made in my 26 years of life.
A morning routine can be different for everyone. The definition is essentially “A set of actions you do before your actual day begins.” With that being said, there are two things The Greats I have read about and listened to have in common, which are 1) waking up at an earlier hour then most, and 2) cultivating some version of mindfulness.
Waking up earlier
How do I wake up earlier? It seems hard and far off in the beginning, but you would be surprised at how quickly your body will adapt to your new morning ritual of waking up before most. Here are five simple tips to start gradually waking up earlier:
- Start in 15 minute increments. If you wake up at 8 right now, try 7:45 tomorrow and then slowly inch it back.
- Place your alarm across the room, so you will have to stand up to shut it off!
- Place a sticky note by your bed with a positive affirmation to help you get up! “I am awake, energized, and ready to start my day!
- Try not to snooze! When you get up to shut your alarm off, habit stack by doing something you already do every day. For example, shut your alarm off and walk straight to the bathroom and brush your teeth (or whatever you do right when you wake up)
- In the beginning you may have to cultivate will-power on some days, so just remember why you wanted to create this morning routine to begin!
There are multiple studies that show it can take approximately 20-30 days to create a habit. Which, in hindsight is a blink of an eye right?! From personal experience, it took much less than 20 days to create this habit. After a week my body was automatically waking up at 6am, and shortly after, I got it down to my desired time of 5am.
Mindfulness in a morning routine
Let’s talk about mindfulness in a morning routine. What exactly is mindfulness? It is defined as “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.” Here are five mindfulness activities you can incorporate into your morning routine:
- Presently reading
It’s simply starting your day without rushing. So many of us roll over, smash our alarm off, sleep walk to the shower, get ready for work and rush out of the house. This hardly leaves anytime to actually be. When you begin your day in a rushed/stressed state, that energy will follow you throughout the day, and vice versa when you begin your day with mindfulness, peace will follow you through-out your day. Imagine implementing mindfulness consistently into your morning routine, it soon becomes a part of who you are! It allows you to focus better, be less reactive, more productive, and most importantly be more present in your daily interactions.
With all of this being said, each one of us live in different circumstances. Some that we can’t control, some that we can. I am not suggesting everyone wake up at 5am. However, I assure you that creating a mindful morning routine can lead to higher productivity and promote a sense of ease throughout your day.
The spirit in which you start your day is likely how the rest of the day will follow. Consider creating this new positive habit of a daily morning routine.
Here’s a snippet to my personal morning routine that I can say has changed my life.
5am- Wake Up
5:15-6 Move my body (Usually Yoga)
6-6:30 The M.A.G.I.C.Method Which consists of- A ten minute guided meditation on Insight Timer, followed by writing in my MAGIC journal- 3 Affirmations, 3 things I am grateful for, and 3 Intentions for that day/week/month. (This is my daily mindfulness activity)
Make a cup of Coffee
6:30-7:15 Read (Currently reading The Artist’s Way)
7:15-8 Write (I either write stream of conscious or a blog post for my business)
8 am Make breakfast and begin my day!