About 7 years ago when I started a morning routine, I did it to make time to write. I had visions of someday doing work I loved, which involved some writing, but because trying to write at the end of my workday was hit or miss, this was the fix!
I wasn’t inventing anything new. The one thing that everyone who has a morning routine can agree on is this:
Morning routines help us put ourselves and our future first.
That’s because it’s just hard to do much for our health, our well-being, and our future during the day.
For any number of reasons, the things we might want to do, such as write for 30 minutes, are impossible to stick to during the workday. You may have to work through lunch a good chunk of the time, find it hard to switch gears or do things like going to the gym because they’re logistically harder to do in the middle of the day.
The mornings are just a safer bet when you’re looking to set aside dedicated time for yourself.
Having a morning routine gives us the opportunity to put our health, well-being, and future first. But, like many new habits, morning routines can be difficult to stick to.
So, as important as it is to have that routine, it’s also important to know some strategies that will make sticking to yours easier.
1. Start your morning routine the night before
When you start your morning routine the night before, you shave off time and leave fewer decisions to make in the mornings.
Picking out your outfit for the next day, prepping your lunch and/or breakfast, pouring out your pet’s food, or tidying up the kitchen the night before are some examples of what I mean.
Something that I do the night before that helps me start my mornings off right is to leave a glass of water on my nightstand at night. In the morning, before my feet even touch the ground, I would have started my day with a healthy habit! And I think it helps boot up my brain too.
2. Stack the habits in your morning routine
Right after drinking a glass of 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 existing ones, and it’s an excellent way to help you remember to do all the things you batch together.
1. Drink water. 2. Meditate. 3. Brush teeth and use the bathroom. 4. Go for a run or workout. Imagine my existing routine consisting of three things: water, brushing my teeth, and working out. Now, I want to maintain a meditation practice but keep forgetting to. Stacking it into my existing routine will help me to remember to do it.
Strategically placing it between drinking my water and brushing my teeth is another way I can make it harder to forget! So, in addition to adding something new, where you add it to an existing routine matters.
3. Use the KISS method when creating your morning routine
You don’t want to start doing morning routines with a lengthy or complicated routine. A simple manageable one is better. You can slowly and deliberately add new activities over time. My first routine was to get up and write at 6:30 a.m. for 30 minutes. That was it—do one thing. This routine eventually evolved to include things that would help me get in the mood for writing. Meditation. Little by little, I added things and tweaked others to get where I am today. So, if you want to have better luck sticking to your routine, Keep It Simple, Sister!
4. Make your morning routine beneficial to you
If the activities in your routine are things that will benefit you personally, you’re going to do what any healthy person will and try and stick to it. That glass of water that I drink every morning is supposed to kickstart my sluggish metabolism. Maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t help my metabolism but it sure kickstarts my brain! The exercise I do helps to regulate my under-active thyroid, gives my mood a boost and it keeps my weight in check. These are all things I really really want, so you bet I’m doing them.
5. Get outside soon after you get up
Getting outside within an hour of getting up is potentially life-changing. I kid you not. Not only will this help to give you more energy for the day ahead, but getting out has habit-forming benefits too. The natural light of the outdoors cues our brain to shut off melatonin production, which makes us less sleepy during the day.