I’ll admit that I have always been a morning person. Something about being awake as the sun is coming up and the world is quiet has always resonated with me. Being a morning person and having a morning routine allows me to accomplish the majority of my To-Do list before most people have their first cup of coffee. It’s an amazingly motivating feeling.
Mornings have become even more important now that I have kids and am a stay at home mom. It’s the only time I really have to myself. If I use that time effectively I find that I am better able to hand the stress of the day.
It’s important to be intentional with how you spend this time if you truly want to benefit from it. Which is why it is so important to develop a morning routine. Having a morning routine can do amazing things for your productivity and your well-being. Once you start following a routine you will also find that your day goes much more smoothly and you are less stressed.
Below are 9 simple steps you should be incorporating into your morning routine to guarantee that every morning is your best morning ever.
Prepare the night before
I’m a firm believer that a good morning really starts the night before. If you properly prepare for the next day before you go to sleep you will wake up more motivated and ready to tackle the day. Instead of rushing around in the morning packing lunch and deciding what clothes to wear you can spend that time relaxing, working out, or meditating.
Go to bed early
If you are going to wake up early you need to go to sleep early. It seems like a no brainer but it can be difficult to do. You can’t stay awake until midnight and expect to wake up at 5 am feeling well rested. Make sure you’re going to sleep early enough to ensure you are getting between 6-8 hours of sleep depending on your needs.
Wake up early
Wake up at least two hours before you have to leave for work or before your kids wake up. Give yourself plenty of time to make it through your morning routine without feeling rushed. If you are not a morning person and struggle to wake up early, that’s okay. Start slowly by setting your alarm 10 minutes earlier each day. Continue to do this until you are waking up at your desired time.
Be careful not to set yourself back by over sleeping on the weekends. Although it may be tempting, it’s important to keep your body on a schedule. Try only sleeping an extra hour or so on the weekends. Otherwise, you will find yourself struggling to wake up early on Monday morning.
Stay off your phone
One of the quickest ways to derail your mornings is to waste time lying in bed on your phone. You might have told yourself you were just going to check your e-mail. But before you know it you’ve spent 45 minutes looking through facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Now you’ve only got 15 minutes before you have to be out the door.
One simple way stop keep this from happening is to charge your phone on the opposite side of the room. That way you have to actually get out of bed to get your phone. Doing this also helps to keep you from hitting the snooze button again and again.
Open your curtains get natural light
Being exposed to natural sun light first thing in the morning helps set your body’s internal clock. Eventually waking up early will become easier because your body’s natural rhythm will be set to waking up with the natural light of the morning.
Make your bed
It’s a simple task that is easily overlooked but can really set the tone for the day. During a commencement address at the University of Texas, Admiral McRaven perfectly summed why you should be making your bed every day;
“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another, and by the end of the day that one task completed will turn into many tasks completed.”
You’ve gone all night without drinking and wake up slightly dehydrated. Drinking water first thing in the morning not only helps to hydrate. But it also helps to jump start your metabolism and flush toxins out of your body. Try drinking a cup of hot water with a little lemon juice.
Meditating in the morning allows you to start the day with the right frame of mind. You will be calmer, more relaxed, and ready to face what ever the day has in store for you. If you are new to meditation try an app like Headspace or Stop Breath Think for great guided meditations. Even if you only start with 5 minutes of meditation in the morning the pay off will be immense.
Working out in the morning not only provides physical benefits but also it improves your mood and increases your productivity. Morning workouts are also easier to stick to since there are fewer distractions during this time of the day. An early morning workout does not have to be intense. A brisk walk around the neighborhood, yoga, or even some gentle stretching can also work. The point is to get your body moving and be active on a consistent basis.
Stay away from coffee until after 9 am
Now don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE coffee lover. But I am a firm believer that you should hold off on coffee until later in the morning. If you’re drinking coffee right after waking up, your body begins to rely on the caffeine instead of producing the chemical cortisol. Cortisol provides your body with natural energy in the morning. Over time your body produces less and less cortisol and becomes dependent on the caffeine for its energy. That natural energy is key when you want to wake up early and be productive. I also find that drinking coffee between 9:30 and 11:30 in the morning helps me avoid an afternoon crash.
Remember, the key to a morning routine is that it’s something easy to do and something you can stick to. It will be different for each person and there is no one size fits all route. If you truly are not a morning person start slowly.
Incorporate one or two of these steps into your routine at a time. And before you know it you’ll be excited to wake up early and get a jump start on your day!
I would love to hear what your morning routine looks like and any tips and tricks you have to start the day off on the right note. Leave me a message in the comments below.