5 Steps to Create a Simple Morning Routine (and why you need one).
Today I want to share how to create a very simple morning routine and give you a sneak peek into what my routine looks like.
You may be thinking, what is a morning routine and why do I have to add something else on my to do list??
Having a morning routine means you start the day on YOUR terms. You create the tone for the day; you begin the morning with activities that matter most to you.
A simple morning routine really helps on this crazy health and fitness journey, particularly when it focuses on your mindset, nutrition and activity.
When I decided I needed a morning routine, I was tempted to create a super complex PERFECT morning routine, but I encourage you to really KISS (keep it simple sweetie). Your routine should make you happy and you should look forward to it each day. If your morning routine becomes the AM equivalent of a dental visit, it's easy to become resentful or overwhelmed.
How to create a simple morning routine.
Step 1 - Start with a "can do" attitude.
As with any new habit or activity, decide you will make this a part of your life and commit to doing your morning routine daily. Remember, the goal of a morning routine is to benefit YOU. Resolve to become more positive, focused and happy in the morning.
Step 2 - Choose activities to set you up for a positive day.
I always include three main elements in my morning routine, whether I choose to do my routine in 5 minutes, 15 minutes or 50 minutes. Those areas are move, nourish, and believe. (I totally borrowed the MNB philosophy from the good people at Lorna Jane Active!)
I like to do a little bit of activity in the morning. It's not necessarily my main workout but I will take a short walk outside if the weather is nice, do little bit of yoga, or some stretches. Something to get the blood pumping and to help wake me up.
Can you squeeze in a tiny bit of activity? What sounds appealing?
For me, nourishing myself starts with a big 'ol glass of water. I fill my bright colorful Tervis cup with ice water and sip it while tackling the next area, which is "believe." I may or may not eat breakfast as part of my morning routine, depending on how much time I have or if I am intermittent fasting.
How do you choose to nourish yourself first ting in the morning? Water? A healthy breakfast? Green smoothie? Vitamins or supplements?
Believe is all about your attitude. It's about beginning the day in a positive way before the chaos of life comes hurtling straight toward you. I always spend at least five minutes reading a personal development book, watching an inspirational video or listening to a podcast in the morning. (The Model Health Show is one of my favorite health & fitness podcasts.) I totally need to get my head in the right place before I tackle my day, my family and my business!
What is personal development? It's simply working on yourself. It can be developing leadership skills, becoming a better parent or spouse, working on your confidence level, or feeding your mind with positive thoughts for the day. Anything to make you a better person.
Some people choose to use meditation, prayer or scripture reading as a form of personal development, so this is another option for you.
What type of personal development calls to you?
Is there anything else you would like to add to your morning routine to make your AM super amazing? Maybe you want to do a quick 10 minute kitchen clean-up or throw in a load of laundry. It might be taking the kids to the bus stop by 7:30am, or grabbing your briefcase and lunch before heading out the door.
Customize your morning routine to fit YOU.
Step 3 - Map out an ideal morning routine, and create an "oh crap, I overslept" version!
Create a logical order that works for you.
Since I'm tired and moving slowly in the morning, I drink my water first. I'll sip my H2O and pull up an inspirational video on my iPad or book on my Kindle for my personal development. Once I'm a little bit more awake I'll take a quick walk or do some yoga.
This order works well for me, but what works best for you?
On a busy day I can rock this simple morning routine in less than 10 minutes. Come downstairs, chug a glass of water, pop in some headphones and listen to a motivational podcast while I'm doing some morning stretches. Simple and speedy, but it starts my day on a positive note.
On the weekend I have more time. I may drink my water and then eat breakfast. After breakfast I grab a motivational book, sit in a nice comfy chair and read. Very likely I'll sip some coffee! Once the coffee has kicked in and I'm sufficiently awake, I'll tackle a workout. Since it's the weekend and I have more time this will be my workout of the day.
Step 4 - Schedule your morning routine until it becomes a habit.
Set an alarm on your smart phone to remind you to do your morning routine, or put a sticky note on your bathroom mirror. Create some type of reminder so you don't forget or, trust me, you will!
Step 5 - Track this new morning routine habit.
What? Why should I track my morning routine?
Because you want it to "stick" and become a normal, natural part of your day. Tracking habits (whether it's your morning routine, going to the gym, or anything else) is really important. When I'm working on something new I want to see at a glance if I am making progress. Just like your reminder, you can track this habit on your planner, with a check mark on a sticky note, a star on a piece of scrap paper, or throw a quarter in a jar to signify each day you've rocked your morning routine.
I track my morning (and other routines) the printables shown in the image on the left. I like a weekly format so I can change up my routines, if need be. I see exactly which tasks are being done regularly, and which I have to work on.
Bonus Step 6 - Reward yourself.
Your real reward will be starting your day as a more confident, focused, relaxed person, but I always build in rewards when working on a new habit. Schedule a massage when you've completed 20 morning routines, or treat yourself to a scented candle or new book.
What type of reward will motivate you to create this new habit?
The days I do my morning routine start so much smoother. I love that I am the one controlling how the day begins. But what about you? Do you have a morning routine? Or will you be creating one? I'd love for you to share in the comments!