What is the very first thing you do when you wake up? Hit the snooze button? Check the messages on your phone? Scroll through Facebook?
You and most other people in this world. Because it's so easy! You turn off your phone alarm and boom - there are all the notifications that came in overnight, and then it just makes sense to check them, right? Wrong.
I wanna tell you about this amazing thing that I'm sure you've heard about, even if you're not practicing it - it's called a Morning Routine. And It. Will. Change. Your. Life. I mean that.
This one may come easy to me as I've never been one for hitting the snooze button. I think I may have used it once in my life. But snoozing is truly the worst way to start your day. Because the very first decision you make after opening your eyes is: I'm going to procrastinate. I'm just not gonna. It already has a negative impact on your day. Because what will follow is you having to hurry out of the house stressed before the day has even begun. And honestly, have you ever gotten a real good rest between the first time your alarm went off and the second and third time...?
Get up before you have to
Eww, what? I know! It sounds awful.
But I have learned that getting up 30 minutes before you have to makes such a huge difference in how your day will go. (If you wanna get into this hardcore, get a little workout in and get up 1h before you have to. But we can start easy for now!)
This time is going to make all the difference. It is the time you'll have for yourself to practice your morning routine. It will let you get ahead of the day before work calls, or your kids wake up.
I used to have a set morning routine for years, every single morning without fail, and then I moved across the country, and everything was new and different, and I had to find my pace again. And it took me a while to get back into a good routine that suits me with my new job and my new life, but I realized while I wasn't doing it, my days were unorganized, and I felt like I didn't get a whole lot done.
I'd literally start my day as described above (save the snoozing). I'd check my phone, my facebook, my text messages, my work emails... Which would take like 15 mins of me just laying in bed, checking every single platform, and getting stuck on Facebook - as you do, right? Then I'd get up and start replying to work emails while having breakfast. Thinking these things couldn't wait. On days that started that way for me, I'd be irritable and always felt like the day was getting away from me - I'd just be all over the place.
I cannot give you a set morning routine and say: Here, do this, and you'll be happy! I can only tell you what works for me. My morning routine looks like this:
1. I get up when my alarm rings and get my apple watch on (it's on do not disturb, but I want to make sure it tracks my ten steps to the kitchen, obviously. May count as 5 seconds of a workout, who knows!)
2. First things first: Coffee. I literally stand there while my coffee machine does its magic
3. I read and journal. I take my coffee, my journal, and my Bible to the balcony and read a chapter.
Now, you may be like: Weeeell, I don't read the Bible, so this isn't for me. Wrong. It is. I'm not saying you have to read the Bible. That's just what I do. You can do whatever - and I will even give you examples here in a bit!
4. I make breakfast and plan the day ahead. Actively prioritizing my daily tasks and setting conscious goals.
5. Then, and only then, do I start my day.
This quite that I take for just myself (I make it a point not to be disturbed), actively practicing gratitude in the morning, and setting my priorities and goals help me take control of the day and start it feeling centered, ready, and at peace.
"If you own the morning, then you own the day." - Rachel Hollis
Great morning routines
Listen to a podcast
Read an inspiring blog post
Read a chapter of an inspiring and developmental book
Basically, do something that relaxes you and makes you feel fulfilled and at peace.
I have kids. I don't have time for this. I have to get up at 5 am as it is. I'm not gonna make it 4.30 am. NO WAY. I don't even like reading. I don't have a balcony. I don't eat breakfast.
If you're coming up with all the buts right now, I get it. It's a change, and it's half an hour you could spend sleeping. But I urge you, give it a try. Try it for a month (so you can build a habit) and see how it goes. I promise you you will notice a difference in how your day goes. You'll be prepared, and you'll be grounded and at peace because you took time for yourself before serving the world and doing what you do. YOU are so important. And you deserve this time. The people around you do, too. Because trust me, you'll be a lot less irritated and a lot more patient if you had the time to unwind before your day even begins.
Feel guilty for taking this time for yourself
Give up if you don't find 'the perfect routine' right away - it will take a while
Worry about everybody else and their needs as your first thought
Let someone else dictating your morning - not your work and not your kids (and definitely not your Facebook feed!)
Make the time, take the time - you're worth it.
I'd love to hear about your morning routine and the things you want to try or have tried. Things that worked for you and how your day has changed since introducing a morning routine into your life.