Just the words “morning routine” makes most people shudder. Why would anyone want to sacrifice their sleep? Why would I set my alarm 30 mins EARLIER than when I normally wake up? Trust me, I’m not a morning person either but at one point, I was waking up at 5 am every morning to work out at 5:30 because I knew I wasn’t going to workout after work and my evenings were too busy. I knew that I wanted to exercise and the morning was the only time I could squeeze that in. Once I started doing this regularly, it became a routine and I actually looked forward to it. It gave me a pep to my day. It woke me up (that and a bomb preworkout). I was maximizing my time rather than wasting it, in order to prioritize something that was important to me.
Is a Morning Routine Even Worth It?
Ummmmm yes. Just ask any CEO.
A quick Google search reveals that many important leaders, CEO’s, and high-ranking executives have a daily morning routine that they stick to. Why? The busiest people in the world know that in order to maximize themselves, their time AND their productivity, it begins the moment they wake up.
The moment you wake up, you have the power to hit snooze or maximize your time and set yourself up for success. Entrepreneurs especially, know the importance of time management. We only get 24 hours in a day. Waking up an extra 15-30 mins can make all the difference in how your day starts.
Having a morning routine allows you to focus on yourself and allows you peace of mind before you start your crazy day. It sets your tone for the day. It’s essentially the calm before the storm. That storm could be kids waking up, emails being sent, meetings being held, and work fires to put out left and right. Your morning routine should be your happy place. It should be important to you because it allows you to truly focus on yourself, without distraction. The important piece is to make sure that it’s a morning routine that works for you. Not everyone can workout at 6am. But if you know you won’t do it after work and working out is a high priority goal for you, then maybe it’s something you need to do in the morning. You’d be surprised what a 630 am cardio workout can do for your body and your mind.
Would you rather be rolling out of bed, droggy and unmotivated? Or would you rather wake up earlier and start your day off on the right foot? Imagine the increased productivity you could achieve with an extra half hour!
So what can you do to maximize your time? Keep reading below!
1. Wake up at the same time every day
Make waking up earlier a habit. It will take time and practice, but once you do it, it will begin to feel routine. Set your alarm across the room forcing you to get up. Once up, open your curtains and take in the light to awaken your senses. Leave your phone where it is to avoid any unwanted distractions from YOU.
I stretch every single morning. I literally have to. Stretching allows your body to wake up. You’ve been lying flat all day and chances are your body is stiff and tight. Stretching increases blood flow and energy, improves your mobility and brain activity.
3. Brush your teeth
Morning breath is real and so is all the bacteria in your mouth.
The cold water will wake you up and you take time to get rid of all the bacteria that has formed in your mouth overnight. Brush your teeth and splash cold water on your face to wake you up before you grab that warm glass of lemon water which leads me to my next point….
4. Drink a warm glass of lemon water
I like to drink a glass of warm lemon water as part of my morning routine. Lemon water aids in digestion, helps to reduce bloating and the feeling of hunger before I even eat. Warm water raises your body’s internal temperature which in turn helps to burn calories.
5. Write down your goals for the day
Everyday you have on this earth should have purpose embedded into it. Using your morning to write down your goals allows you to clearly set your priorities and focus for the day. I prefer handwritten goals as it keeps me from looking at my phone in the morning. If you’ve already written down your goals for the day, go over them and make sure you have a plan of action. These can be goals for work or personal goals. Keep them somewhere easily accessible to keep you focused.
Taking time out of your day to pause and just relax can do wonders for your stress levels. Rather than start the day worrying about what’s to come, take time to just pause and breathe. I love the Headspace app as I’m new to meditation. All it takes is 5 min of guided meditation to center my focus back to where it should be. I struggle with anxiety and meditation allows me to curb my thoughts and focus on just being in the present.
7. Express gratitude
With so much going on in our lives, we sometimes take what we have for granted. Things like your family, pets, and the fact that you woke up this morning are reasons to express gratitude. Keeping a gratitude journal allows you to have a constant reminder of what you’re thankful for, increases your happiness, and allows you to start your day off with an attitude of gratitude. Refer back to it in those moments when you need to smile.
8. Go for a morning walk
For me, cold air is an instant way to wake me up. If you have a dog, it gives you even more of a reason to go for a nice walk. It also gives your body exercise. Take in the different sounds and peacefulness of the world around you. Breathe in the fresh air and focus on being thankful for having senses that allow you to see, hear and smell all the different things within our world.
9. Listen to an inspirational podcast
Listening to something that teaches or inspires you is a great way to maximize your time in the morning. Listen to something that starts your morning on a positive note and sets you up for a success. Whether it’s a new way of managing your money or tips on better engaging with others, make sure it’s something that enriching. You can play it while you’re making breakfast or driving to work. Before you know it, it’ll be something you can’t start your morning without.
I kept this last on purpose as there are very mixed feelings about this one.
This may NOT be for anyone BUT i will say: If you know you’re not going to workout after work, then I challenge you to do it in the morning. Yes, it’s going to suck at first, but I guarantee you that once you do it regularly, you’ll look forward to it. Stop making excuses for why you can’t get up and focus on the fact that YOU WOKE UP. Somebody didn’t this morning. It can be a simple 10 min workout that just gets your body going. I’m not saying go run 5 miles but get moving, get your body going and release those endorphins into your system!