Several years ago, a friend brought me to a topical study group that she regularly attended. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, as the general premise was not something I would typically be interested in, however, the topic for that day ended up literally being a life changer for me.
We sat down together and the facilitator asked us to close our eyes and consider what our typical morning looks like. For me, that generally meant pushing snooze multiple times, then jumping out of bed in a panic and rushing to get out the door without any breakfast. Needless to say, just thinking about it brought up feelings of anxiety!
Next, the facilitator asked us to spend some time imagining and journaling about our ideal morning. It’s hard to believe it now, but I had never really spent the time to do this as a full exercise before. Sure, I had promised myself I’d wake up earlier, but never had I taken the time to visualize what an ideal morning would look and feel like.
My hand rapidly moved across my notebook as I envisioned waking up and going about my morning calmly and with purpose. In my ideal morning, I had time to nourish and nurture myself before taking on the day, and there was definitely no reason for panic.
I left the meeting feeling motivated and optimistic and, of course, with the resolve to implement my ideal-morning vision straight away. I decided to implement one change at a time so that I could set myself up for success and as I got comfortable with each new habit, I added something else that felt important and beneficial to me. Eventually I had honed what felt like the perfect routine for me and I have really enjoyed and benefited from creating this type of beginning for my day.
Now, have I been perfect with my morning routine since then? Absolutely not! But, I have been much more aware of how setting up my morning makes a huge difference for the rest of my day! When I notice I have gotten off track, I have a great roadmap to follow to get back into routine again.
Now it’s your turn to discover what morning routine is best for you!
What Do Your Current Mornings Look Like?
Really take the time to feel into this and, of course, be honest with yourself. Focus on the feelings, not just the behaviors so you can think about what is and is not working for you.
What Would You Like to Do and Feel at the Start of Each Day?
A quick internet search will certainly yield many examples of people’s morning routines and I encourage you to borrow from those if you think you would truly enjoy them. The best routine, however, is the one you come up with that is tailored just for you. So, close your eyes and really walk yourself through the type of mornings you would love to have.
Be optimistic, but also be realistic (yes, we would all love to start the day on a private yacht, but most of us will be waking up in our beds with a long to-do list waiting for us). When you are thinking about the activities you want to incorporate into your mornings, consider things that are necessary (i.e. brushing your teeth) and things that are nice to have (i.e. meditation). Morning routines should be grounding, energizing and help set you up to be present for the rest of the day – so also ask yourself if certain activities should be saved for after your morning routine (i.e. checking your email).
It is just as important to consider how you want to feel while carrying out your morning routine as what you are physically doing. For example, taking a morning shower can be rushed and filled with thoughts about what needs to get done later in the day OR you can really focus on being present and enjoying the warm water, the scents, and the quiet time before things get busy. It’s all in the approach!
Some other examples of things you might want to incorporate into your routine are: stretching, yoga, journaling, meditation, breakfast, walking your dog or playing with a pet, setting an intention, listening to upbeat music or an inspiring podcast, and reading. The sky is the limit!
Implement Your New Morning Routine
Implementing a new routine can be challenging. Writing down your ideal morning will help you to stay focused and on track. Try choosing one or two things to add as a starting place – you can always add on as you get more comfortable.
When creating a habit, it’s best to try to do it everyday so it becomes second nature. That being said, you may choose to have a different (or no) routine for weekends and holidays and that’s okay. Play with your routine until you find what feels best for you. If it starts to feel stale – you can always change things up.
I hope you enjoy the process of discovering your best morning!