I credit a solid morning routine with much of my personal progress. It starts my day off on the right foot by allowing me to attack the day focused and calm. Positive or negative, it may very well be the most important part of your day too.
I used to be the person that woke up at the last possible minute. I hit snooze way too much. I was always rushed, never ate a good meal, and frequently didn’t have time to properly dress
Has that ever happened to you? What did the rest of the day feel like? I bet it was just a continuation of that same frantic, stressed, and anxious few hours that began your day. Why do we do that to ourselves?
This process can be changed and it doesn’t need to be extreme. Heck, waking up 30 minutes early can change your entire day. Yet, the cycle continues.
A poor morning routine is simply a bad habit. We justify it by saying “I need just a bit more sleep” or “I’m not a morning person”. That may be true but we have the power to change how we handle it. The bottom line is that maybe we just need to get to sleep earlier or have a stronger reason to get out of bed.
There needs to be a routine, goal, or function for that time. Otherwise, it would seem like a waste. You’re better off sleeping. That’s why we need to outline a good morning routine and commit.
I’ve personally been all over the map with finding a good morning routine. I tried getting up at 4 am every day and working until 7. That worked… for a while. I became constantly tired, burned out, and miserable. I’m pretty sure it also affected my memory but, I’m not saying this to be funny, I don’t remember much about that time.
After that, I began waking up at a more manageable 6 am. My goal was to be out the door at 8:30 am. I didn’t have much structure. I made it a goal to exercise at least 30 minutes and I had my morning “get ready” routine that everyone has. Aside from the daily ass-kicking I had to give myself to start working out, it went well.
I built on that. I began adding 10-20 minutes of reading. I tried writing but I never did get into a groove. I was able to start fitting in a nice 10-minute sit-down breakfast. Things were going well. I felt better overall and, naturally, when I started to see results, I looked to improve them.
That’s about the time I began using some form of the Define My Day process. First thing in the morning, I would fill in a worksheet with my daily goals and a to-do list. Eventually, I settled in on waking up at 5 am which allowed me enough time to accomplish my new disciplines and habits and still get out the door on time at about 8:30 am.
Think of it… by 8:30 am, I’ve done more than I might have done in a week previously. I’ve planned out my priorities, exercised 30-45 minutes, read 30 minutes or done some form of professional development, eaten a good breakfast, and had a few calm moments with my kids.
Do you know how much control you can feel when you wake up like this? If not, I encourage you to try it ASAP.
So, where do you begin? Don’t do what I did. I wasted years toying around with my morning. Copy someone else’s routine. I’ll post mine below but I recommend purchasing The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. When I read that book, I saw all of what took me years to figure out.
If you don’t want to read the book, I say start small. Commit to waking up 30 minutes earlier but make sure to plan out that time. Make it beneficial so you cannot rationalize it away and hit snooze like me. Here are some things you could do in 30 minutes:
- 3 minutes to make coffee
- 10 Minutes of exercise
- 2 minutes of meditation
- 10 minutes of reading
- 5 minutes to write down what you want to accomplish today
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you plan it out. If you have a bad morning, forgive and forget. Do better tomorrow. But, do it. It will be worth it.