Adding a morning routine to your day can really set you up for success so if you’re thinking of starting one, it’s a bawse move you want to make.
When you have a routine, you’ll be less likely to forget to do your healthy habits, you’ll be less stressed in the mornings and more productive throughout the day. My routine does a whole lot more for me but my favorite is that it helps me be consistent with exercise. And it helps me get a good night’s sleep.
Because it can take up to a month before you see results from your new routine, newbies need help to stick with it. Here’s what I recommend: Ease into your morning routine, keep it simple to start, and personalize some strategies to make the transition easier on you. Here are 5 tips to help you do that.
1. Start from the night before
When you start from the night before, you shave off time and leave fewer decisions for you to make in the mornings. Pick out outfits, prep your lunch and/or breakfast, pour out your pet’s food, tidy up and do whatever you can the night before. I leave a glass of water on my nightstand at night and in the morning, before my feet even touch the ground, my day is off to a better start. Your morning routine will run smoother and you’ll feel motivated to take the next healthy step when you start from the night before.
2. Stack your habits
Right after drinking water, I meditate in bed. By drinking water before or after I meditate, I’m doing what’s called “habit stacking.” Habit stacking is adding a habit to an existing one, and it’s an excellent way to help you remember to do all the things in your stack. One stack can add up to a big chunk of your morning routine, making it go by easily.
3. Use the KISS method
While you might want to transform your life ASAP, it’s not a good idea. You don’t want to start with a lengthy or complicated morning routine. A simple manageable one that you slowly and deliberately add new activities to over time, will increase the likelihood that you’ll stick to it. This is what’s called the KISS (Keep It Simple, Sister!) method. The KISS method is one of the best ways to hone a skill or a new habit and is by far one of my most often recommended habit-formation tips.
4. Make it beneficial
You’ll be less tempted to give up something that benefits you so make sure the habits, practices, and activities in your routine are things that will benefit YOU and you’re not just copying what someone else is doing. That glass of water that I drink every morning (usually with ACV or lemon), kickstarts my sluggish metabolism. I don’t get to go every morning because some mornings I only have enough time for the gym, but I love to take a quick walk outside. The natural light I get from being outside tells my brain to shut off melatonin production so I’m less sleepy during the day. The exercise I do at the gym is good for my under-active thyroid, helps to stabilize my mood and keep my weight in check. Because these are benefits I really want, I’m inclined to stick to my routine—even when I don’t have time!
5. No phones
For at least the first 30 minutes of every day, stay away from your phone. You’re pretty much giving the best part of yourself to strangers when you check your phone first thing in the morning. I’ve come to view early mornings as sacred “Me-Time” and protect it from outsiders. Checking your phone as soon as you wake up shuts off all those positive instincts and cues. You’re basically silencing your wise woman and waking up your crazy roommate (that’s the voice in our heads that talks non-stop).
I started my morning routine to help me be more productive, stay alert and feel less stressed. And it worked! It not only worked, because I’ve been doing it for years now, it’s helped to transform me. What I’ve learned is that the way we start our mornings, often gets played out during the day. So you and I want to start our day in a way that sets us up to have a good one.