Creating a Morning Routine

I've always had a Morning Routine. I’m a creature of habit plus I become legit crazy if I don’t have breakfast first thing. But it wasn't until a few years ago that I realized my morning, or life for that matter, didn't have to be filled with just the things I had to do. My mornings could be relaxed or fun or romantic. You have a choice how you start the day.

This isn't about how quickly you can get out the door. There are days for that. For a 5am flight, I can be out the door, fed, within 15 minutes of waking up. We all have those mornings: sick days, appointments. This is for the normal days. Rushing to get out the door is a horrible way to start the day. Every day.

I'm here to tell you it's worth it to get up 30 minutes earlier. It's worth it to relax and breathe, even for five minutes, upon waking. It's worth it to find a little leisure and enjoy breakfast. It's worth it to make your bed, with or without your partner in it ;). It’s worth it to leave the house with a smile on your face. Everything, the rest of the day, goes better.

1. Stillness and Movement (in the form of Prayer, Meditation, Stretching or in combination as Yoga): For introspection and perspective on all those thoughts in your head. Get your blood moving and your mind centered. Yay, you’re alive and you’re breathing!
2. Reading, Writing, or Creating: Build a little leisure into your morning. Read a book, read the paper, write about what you’re grateful for, write a bit of fiction, journal, write a song. Create the space for creativity to enter. (Don’t wait until you have free time, because you probably never will.)
3. Hydrate and Feed yourself: You are dehydrated and could use some nourishment. Eating a healthy breakfast will help you make better food decisions the rest of the day. Take care of yourself!
4. Time with your Spouse or Family: This isn’t possible for everyone because of differing schedules and, well, life. I don’t always know if I’m going to see Greg before I go to bed. We have unpredictable evenings. I do know that I’m going to see him every morning so I try to make the most of it.
5. MIT (Most Important Task): Start the day aware of your priorities and who you want to be. Figure out the most important thing that needs to happen today. Do it! Decide how you’re going to spend your time. Be aware of your goals and one thing that can help you move forward. Also, be aware of those things that might be getting in the way.

To find a little more time, 5 INESSENTIALS TO REMOVE:
1. Snooze Button: Hitting snooze starts the day on a note of procrastination, and you won’t actually get more sleep.
2. Email and Texts: Protect your time, keep the noise out. It’s less stressful than starting the day in response to someone else.
3. Internet Rabbit Holes: They are harming your sleep and productivity.
4. Menial Decisions (which clothes to wear, what to have for breakfast): Simplify your options and have these decisions made ahead of time so your mornings can run smoothly.
5. Multitasking: You will feel more focused, and actually be more productive, working on just one thing at a time.

I wish you all calmer yet more productive mornings!

+ Be realistic about how much time you have in the mornings but also try to create time for a nice routine. Gradually wake up earlier if necessary. Start with small increments and add 15 minutes every few days. You can always go to bed 30 minutes earlier. Shut the laptop, put the phone to sleep, turn down the lights.