Through most of my life, my morning routine revolved around my hair and makeup. Now that’s not saying much. I’m not a huge makeup girl. I’ve cut my hair short so I can dry and style it quick. The styling only goes so deep. I’m not the blowout girl, I don’t get out curling or flat irons. I had one of those super-responsible mothers who wanted me to lay things out the night before. Pick out clothes, prepare lunch, and pack your bag. That was her way.
Fast forward to adulthood and I’ve learned the importance of setting up my own morning routine. It’s more than just showering, makeup, hair and dressing.
First, here are the things that should NOT be in a morning routine, keeping in mind “morning routine” to me is the time in between waking and leaving the house for work.
*Checking social media
*National/international news (doesn’t affect you)
What belongs in a good morning routine:
*Morning Pages (from The Artist’s Way)
*Bite-sized local news and weather (does affect you)
*Motivational audio — whether podcasts or audiobooks
*Healthy activities like exercise, stretching, dry brushing
*Self-care in any and all forms, macro and micro
The goal of creating a good routine first thing in the day is to set the tone for the day to be positive and in line with your goals. That’s why there is no right morning routine. There are only routines unique to the individual.
Cliche morning routine stuff I hate:
*Going without caffeine for any reason
*”Eating the frog”
*Not eating/skipping breakfast
I’m all about “Eating the Frog” on weekends — not weekdays.
If you’ve never heard of this, there’s actually a book, Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done In Less Time, by Brian Tracy. I don’t have time to eat any of my frogs before I get out of the house on weekday mornings, when my hours begin at 8:30am and there’s some commuting involved.
Lemon water does absolutely nothing for me and I can hardly get it down, it’s too strong for me, even with half a lemon or less. I just cannot do it! I wake up with a shower and coffee. I love coffee! But these are my personal preferences. You can make your morning routine about you and what you want.
I cherish my bus routine each morning. Once one the bus I love listening to podcasts and audio books. I catch up on a ton of reading that way! And I love to read. There are some days I read on my Kindle as I listen to music. I make sure to listen to something motivating each morning. That can be Morning Coach, a podcast, and audiobook, or one of my playlists of positive music.
My ideal morning routine is this:
*Read/study A Course In Miracles
*Read/study The Bible
Clearly this is a weekend morning routine — not an every day event! I can pick and choose from this list on weekdays or do an express version.
The express version would look like this:
*Quick study of the day’s ACIM lesson.
*Bible verse of the day on my Bible app
*5-10 minutes of yoga
*1-2 minutes of breathing and meditations
*List 3-5 things I am grateful for in my planner
However, there have been mornings I chose to make yoga happen due to my sciatic pain. There are days I squeeze in my ACIM reading and then listen to audio of it on the bus. I have a Bible app I can use on my phone for a quick study anytime. This then becomes more about me trying to “get it all in” with my habits in a day rather than adhering to my morning routine, so I have to be careful because the goal is to have a morning routine!
I LOVE to be able to flow through this list all at once. But I am realistic and know there will be days I can’t accomplish any of it. There are also days when I cherry pick what fits and what I need. The journaling/planner work and gratitude list can go together too. That is a task that doesn’t need to take more than a minute or two. I can come up with a long gratitude list quickly!
What is in your ideal morning routine?
Maybe it’s fitness. Maybe it’s a nutritious breakfast. I can’t stand not eating in the morning.
Some morning routine questions to ask yourself:
- If you can dedicate a free 15 minutes to yourself first thing in the morning to spend making your day better, how would you spend it?
- What one positive change can you make in your morning routine that would make you feel better about your morning or whole day?
- How can you make sure the first message you receive in the morning is a positive one?
- What can you take out of your morning routine that will make it happier and more stress-free?