My morning routine has helped me go from sleeping 4am-3pm to 10pm-4:30am and increased my productivity tenfold. The thing with forming a new habit is that the first 15-30 days seem effortless, this is due to the eagerness of starting said new habit. Be aware of this for when the time comes and keep pushing forward. I suggest starting this new habit TOMORROW! This weekend is not the perfect time, the beginning of next week is not the perfect time, tomorrow is the perfect time.
I think we all know the benefits of waking up earlier, however the benefits of following a morning routine are just as valuable. You will always have a plan of action for when you wake up. In my previous attempts to waking up earlier I would wake up, convince myself I had nothing to do, and quickly fall back asleep. Also, If you are the type to wake up last minute, rushing to get ready and head out to work, school or where ever it may be; your whole day feels like it’s one long race, and you just can’t catch up. With a morning routine, you will start and continue your day relaxed and with ease.
My Morning routine actually starts from the night before, a little backwards I know but hear me out (~60-90 minutes):
- Walk/Audiobook I start unwinding and releasing any excess energy from the day by walking for 20-30 minutes while listening to an audiobook. Typically the same section I had read earlier that day, to ensure that I absorb the information.
- Write Get home, make my chamomile tea, and hit the books. First, I plan the following day, I currently use the Panda Planner. I find splitting the day into 2-3 hour intervals works best. Then I journal in a separate notebook, jotting down a summary of the day, any accomplishments, lessons and reflections on how to improve, things I am grateful for, etc.
- Readings There are three parts to this, affirmations, visualization, and pledging to a good night’s sleep. The affirmations is a list of statements used to improve my positive thinking. I follow that by visualizing myself had already achieved my goals. Then finally the pledge to sleep, a reminder that the hours of sleep ahead of me are more than enough, and that I will wake up energized and ready to take on my day. Your mood before going to sleep heavily determines your mood when you wake up.
- Clean Finally, I do a little organizing. Return anything that is out of place, set out everything for tomorrow, fill my water bottle so its ready for when I wake up. And lastly I set my alarm and put my phone to charge (out of reach from my bed).
Notice how during this entire time I stayed away from my gadgets, this is to reduce my exposure to blue light. Finally my morning routine (~60 minutes):
- Meditate I start my morning with 12 minutes of meditation. Why 12? No reason in particular, I felt 10 was too short and 15 too long, 12 was perfect for me. Start with what ever you feel comfortable with.
- Make the Bed Making your bed in the morning has been trending lately, causing more benefits of doing so to be revealed. The top two reasons as to why I make mine are because I get to start my day with a sense of accomplishment, and I use it to affirm my decision of waking up, there is no going back to bed.
- Readings I go through two of the three sections I had read the night before, the affirmations and visualization. While doing so I snack on exactly five cashews and drink a bottle of water.
- Coffee You might be wondering why this deserves its own section. For me the process of making coffee, Turkish coffee to be exact, is a very calming and mindful experience. I genuinely enjoy the process more than the actual coffee.
*It is recommended that you don’t consume caffeine at least 8 hours prior to sleep, in my opinion that morning cup is the perfect amount of caffeine for the day.
- Motivational Video I grab my coffee and watch some motivational videos to start my day off strong, my go-to person is Eric Thomas. I sometimes also watch self-help videos so I can try what I learned throughout the day.
Thats it, there you have it, again I highly recommend starting tomorrow morning. You can use this routine, customize it to fit your needs, or search for others’ morning routines and see what best suits you.
Tip: If you are having a hard time waking up earlier, as I did when I went from waking up 6am to 4:30am, try setting your alarm one minute earlier each day or every other day. Yes, it may take some time, but you have improved since yesterday. Don’t forget, slow and steady wins the race.