Below are the four steps I’ve taken to revamp my morning routine to set myself up for a happy and successful day.
1. I trained my body to wake up at 6 a.m.
The most important part of adopting my new morning routine was giving myself enough time to do everything I wanted to get done before I start work. You know, all the awesome things that morning people do, like, workout, meditate, eat a balanced breakfast, and do these things leisurely and not rushed off their feet. These days, my body wakes up at 6 like clockwork. The freedom and peace that those few extra in the quit morning hours allow me, are priceless.
I didn't want to dread my alarm clock any longer, so I started to wake up earlier every week over a couple months. Each week I set my alarm 15 minutes earlier for the entire next week. Yes, on weekends too. The key here was to do the same thing every day so my body wasn't getting mixed signals about what time to adjust to. Everyone needs their sleep, but I need my sleep. I gave myself a little leeway to sleep longer if I really needed it, or have a catnap if I was fading, and I always kept in mind that this process is about deferred gratification.
2. I started going to bed earlier
To wake up earlier and not feel like crap, I realized that I'd need to get to sleep earlier than my usual bedtime of midnight. I set-up Do Not Disturb on my phone from 11 p.m. - 8 a.m. This has been a huge help and keeps me aware of when I need to sign off. I also started an evening skincare routine that helps signal to my body that it’s time to relax well before my actual bedtime comes around. And I now make a conscious effort to eat dinner earlier, and this has been another thing that has helped me wind down.
3. I started a daily meditation practice
For some time I’ve wanted to start a daily meditation practice, fully believing in the benefits that come from settling our minds. We’ve all heard how powerful it is - badasses like Oprah and Arianna Huffington meditate, even Kobe meditated. It's been around for a while so there’s gotta be something to it, no?
After I got settled into my 6 a.m. wake-up time, I began a daily meditation practice. I did it this way round because it’s super important to take things slowly as to not overcommit yourself.
4. I wrote down what I wanted out of my mornings
It's important to decide what your goals are for this extra time you'll have. Establishing this will help you focus on what to prioritize and make time for. Is a goal to be outdoors, get in a workout, make breakfast, sit down for a coffee?
Previously I've struggled with morning anxiety and at the worst of times I would wake up and cry when I thought about what I had to face that day. Learning the best ways for me to deal with anxiety when it's at its peak, has been super important and helps me stay in control. I wanted my mornings to be peaceful, slow, and flexible - sometimes active, sometimes lazy - so that's what I've done.
TIPS TO HELP YOU ADAPT
- Plan your morning out the evening before and set out anything you need first thing (e.g. workout clothes)
- Adopt a new daily ritual - enjoy properly brewing tea, burn a candle that makes you feel good, meditate, ponder your biggest goals, write down daily goals/tasks, take a decadent bath, take a neighborhood stroll with your significant other/dog/friend
- Have a few go-to quick and healthy breakfast options - most days I love my 5 minute oatmeal
- Have positive/motivational podcasts that you go to, or an audiobook that gives you good vibes
TYPICAL MORNING ROUTINE
6:00 a.m. - body wakes up & I get in a cuddle with Pearl
6:15 - alarm goes off and I get up for a quick routine - wash face, brush teeth, scrape tongue (yes it's a thing and yes you should do it)
6:30 - glass of water, get comfortable and make sure it's warm enough, sit down for journaling and meditation practice - I love the Five Minute Journal for the journaling element
7:00 - make coffee - I love Four Sigmatic Coffee Mushroom blend
7:30 - take Pearl on a short walk
7:45 - either hike, yoga, read news, chill out with James for a coffee
9:00 - begin work - I love my Productivity Planner for helping me get focused