A simple morning routine provides tangible benefits for everyone.
You just have to be intentional about specific changes.
Finding the right morning routine allows us to feel good, lighter and more productive even if we’re not morning people.
But just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy, especially at first when we have trouble measuring certain steps.
It takes time and practice to find what works for each of us.
Morning routines can be simple or very complex. It depends how far we are willing to test and which benefits we want to reap.
But whatever the desired outcome, the first intention is to start.
Because truth be told, as it is today, our morning routine just gets the best of us.
It lacks purpose and intention. Or you wouldn’t be reading this article.
We all know that mornings set the tone for the rest of the day.
Yet, we repeat the same thing each morning without asking ourselves the most crucial question: does my morning routine serve me?
I used to fall out of bed, make coffee, brush my teeth, put on whatever clothes I found and out the door I went without being fully awake.
And of course, the rest of the day continued the way it started, rushing everywhere and chasing time.
Maybe this happens to you?
Probably, especially if you have kids.
EFFORTS AND PROMISES
After years of being a morning wreck, we need a change. So we read everything on the subject of morning routines and try to revamp our entire way of functioning.
Numerous articles and books claim dramatic changes if we follow their instructions.
More productivity and pumped energy throughout the day, clarity and sharp focus, and of course, the 100% guarantee that you’ll conquer the world if you follow what they say.
That’s a significant promise.
But why not right?
Anything is worth a try to gain all those incredible benefits jam-packed in our morning routines!
However, after several attempts, it all quickly fizzles out as the whole process proves exhausting.
And so we go back to our old ways repeating and reinforcing the same daily habits that don’t serve us, believing we have no choice.
SIMPLE MORNING ROUTINE. BE INTENTIONAL.
The key to any change, including our morning routine, is to be intentional about what we want and what we do.
Meaning we make changes on purpose.
Even if our busy schedules starts as soon as we fall out of bed, it’s never too late to change our habits and create a smooth, simple morning routine.
First, you need to decide if being intentional about your mornings is something that you really want.
It all starts with a thought and a decision.
If you say yes, then apply these simple action steps that should only take a few minutes each morning.
Practice them until they become your new habit.
CHOOSE WHAT’S IMPORTANT FOR THE DAY
Take a look at your to-do list and decide your priority for this day.
What’s really important for you today?
What will help you move forward towards your goal and when accomplished, make you feel less stressed?
Choose only 1 or 2 things as the top priorities.
If you choose half of your to-do list, it defeats the purpose of the exercise.
Focus on yourself.
Write down on a separate piece of paper the 2 most important things for that day only.
Now summarize the steps needed to follow through on your 2 top priorities.
CREATE MORE TIME IN YOUR SIMPLE MORNING ROUTINE
We all claim to never have enough time in the morning, especially when we need to help everyone else get ready.
But in reality, we have time. And we lose time.
Without even realizing how.
That’s why more often than not, I rush out the door because I’m late!
If it happens once, it’s ok.
But if being late is an integral part of your morning routine, then change is in order.
Analyze and understand where you lose time.
Maybe you lose time when the alarm goes off because you can’t get yourself out of bed.
Or during breakfast that lasts longer than it should. It can also be in the shower or if you’re checking your phone first thing in the morning.
There are numerous places within your morning where time just wastes away.
For example, my teen daughter never hits the snooze button, but she’s always late.
Of course, this causes stress because strangely enough, school doors aren’t kept open just for her. ^^
After taking a closer look at how she functions in her morning routine, it’s easy to see that precious minutes are always lost in the same place… while putting on her makeup and listening to music on her phone.
I used to lose a lot of time in the morning.
Searching for my papers, charging my laptop, finding my notebooks and on and on.. which forced me to rush out the door stressed.
For each person it’s different.
But a few minutes here and there add up.
When you can pinpoint how you’re wasting your time in the morning, then you can start gaining it back.
I’ve always treated small tasks as not essential and consistently put them off until tomorrow.
The future is made of tomorrows.
Except that when small things accumulate, they become big things and hinders our attempts to create a new morning routine.
Push yourself and get the small things out of the way as soon as possible.
Don’t wait until tomorrow and slowly you’ll notice smoother mornings.
Small things can be as simple as preparing your morning clothes and shoes or setting the breakfast table before bed.
It’s doing whatever it takes the day before, to make the practical side of life easier
Like sorting out your papers, or preparing the kid’s school stuff.
The aim is to avoid any last minute morning hunting so you can be mentally free to pursue your 2 top priorities serenely.
Small things are tasks we all need to do so that our home, business, and personal life runs with fewer glitches – even if we don’t want to do them.
Small tasks help us get to the good stuff.
There’s no way around them.
So do them now and get it over with.
Push yourself and go beyond your first thought of “I’ll do it later.”
The results will surprise you.
SMALL CHANGES SIMPLIFY YOUR MORNING ROUTINE
I’ve read many times that if you do something for 21 days, it becomes a habit.
I’m not sure if it’s precisely 21 days, but if you do something long enough, it’s true you end up doing it without thinking.
Take some time and assess what habits don’t serve you in your morning routine.
Then replace them little by little.
A FEW EXAMPLES :
- Not sleeping enough hours can seriously affect how you feel and function in the morning.
- Using your cell phone as an alarm clock
It’s very tempting to check notifications on the phone when it’s right next to your bed.
But you end up losing precious minutes, not to mention how it eats up your brain cells.
Morning phone use is especially true for teens, but it applies to all of us.
- MESSY ROOM RUNNING LATE
If you get in the habit of preparing everything you need the night before, then you should have at least 60 seconds in your morning routine to tidy up.
Make your bed, hang up yesterday’s clothes and open the window to let in some fresh air.
There’s nothing worse than coming home after a long day to find your morning mess.
- WHAT’S FOR DINNER?
Figuring out what you’ll feed your family for dinner shouldn’t be part of your morning routine – last-minute decisions are always stressful.
Get in the habit of making a plan in advance. Choose a few of your family’s favorite recipes and use your new-found time for more important things.
We usually fall out of bed and automatically go through the motions until we’re out the door.
If this is you, take 5 minutes and try this new habit instead:
When you wake up, do a few stretches.
Yes, in bed, keep it simple.
This helps your body to wake slowly. Breathe intentionally, without thinking of anything else.
After you stretch and for an added plus, choose a mantra or a phrase you identify with and repeat it while breathing.
When you’re ready to get up, stretch out and reach the sky.
Now you can practice the other small changes needed to create your new morning routine.
Include this significant change when you want to start your day positively.
Buy a notebook and each day jot down a few lines.
What are you grateful for?
A gratitude list doesn’t have to be long. but it does have to be specific.
Writing I’m grateful to be alive is very vague. Many people are thankful to be alive.
So try ending that sentence with why.
Why are you grateful to be alive?
Now you’re specific.
It puts things in perspective.
If you can’t think of anything to be grateful for then just write that down.
And be specific about why.
Use your notebook with intention.
It’s for your eyes only and a few lines in the morning recenters our thoughts.
15 MINUTE CHANGES IN YOUR SIMPLE MORNING ROUTINE
In order to create a new morning routine and feel more in control rather than letting things control us, it’s essential to practice these actions steps regularly.
They shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes each morning.
But if 15 minutes is too much, choose one or two things you’d like to change and try it out for only a few minutes instead.
When these simple changes don’t feel like a big effort anymore, you’ll know you’ve perfectly integrated them in your mornings.
And once you reap the benefits consistently, you’ll start feeling good about your routine and push forward into a great day!
MORE ON SIMPLE LIVING: WHAT CAN YOU GET OUT OF IT?
FURTHER READING ON MORNING ROUTINES:
If you want to go all in and take more action on morning routines there is a great book called The Miracle Morning
Although I’m not quite there yet, it has without a doubt influenced many people to start loving mornings!