The habit that’s had the most impact on my productivity and sanity, has been how I start my days. If you’re trying to make moves or just have a lot going on, I highly recommend that you create a morning routine. According to Laura Vanderkam, author of  What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, early risers aren’t just happier, they are more satisfied in life! They have morning routines and get up early to do those activities that most people usually push to the sidelines when their schedules get busy later in the day. 

Morning routines work. They help us start the day off right and if you wake up a bit earlier, morning routines help you get to more of the good stuff.

Here are three simple steps to help you create yours.
 


STEP ONE: VISUALIZE THE BENEFITS


Telling yourself “Those two hours before work are my best chilled out ‘me-time!’” may be the first step to bouncing out of bed excited for the day!

To appreciate the work you’re going to do, spend a few days “observing” yourself in your current dash-and-go routine and really experience its effects on you.  On your commute to work, think about how you could have done things differently to help your mornings go smoother: What if you had picked out your clothes from the night before?  What if you had gone to bed earlier and gotten up earlier?  What if you had a place for those items you’re always misplacing? And what if you had spent a few minutes to gather yourself mentally and did some things to help yourself ease into your days?

Think about the tweaks and changes that can free up your time and help you carve out some “me-time” every morning. 

 


STEP TWO: DESIGN YOUR ROUTINE


Mornings are peaceful and quiet, which makes them a perfect time for uninterrupted rituals and routines. Think about those tweaks and changes and what order they would best flow. With the goal of running your mornings smoother, here’s a list of things you might consider. Which ones would work for you and what, that’s not on this list, might you add?

  • Meditation
  • Making your bed
  • Reading your fave blog or listening to a podcast
  • A light healthy breakfast you prepped the night before
  • Fresh squeezed juice or smoothie
  • Review and prioritize your to-do list for the day
  • A relaxing 10 to 15-minute yoga routine like this one:



Choose activities that would get YOU into the right flow for the day

Check out My Morning Routine, which posts an inspiring morning routine every Wednesday from a range of people from different backgrounds, careers, and lifestyles. You may find a few to inspire you to help you create your own.

 


STEP THREE: REPEAT


In fitness, they say 21 days is all it takes to create a habit but the 21-day rule doesn’t apply to every situation and habit. I recommend that you stick to your new routine for at least a month, but it could take longer to stick. 

Apply habit formation tricks and strategies to help you. Do your routine even when it (and you) are not perfect. Remind yourself that consistency is ALWAYS more important than perfection. On those days when you have just 5 minutes for your 30-minute routine, do the most important 5 minutes, i.e., follow the “don’t break the chain” rule of habit formation. But if you do break this rule and skip a day, don’t give up or get down about it. Keep trying.

Mindset work to stick to your routine.

One of the best ways to approach goals like these is to look at them as an opportunity to make yourself proud.  It’s a mind trick that successful people use to psyche themselves up and build intrinsic motivation.

Keep reminding yourself of the exercise you did in step one above. Keep reminding yourself why you want and need a morning routine!

Routines let us add structure to our day and help us get control of our lives. 

 


With a morning routine you design just for YOU, you will arrive at work relaxed, shoulders down, with a clear mind and maybe even a beaming smile. 

Isn’t that worth working toward?

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About Author

Christine is a Mindfulness trainer and Emotional Health Coach living in Los Angeles. She's big on meditation, routines, systems and personalization.

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