Are you trying to build a healthy morning routine to get your days off to a better start? After experimenting over 5 years and trying every possible way to build a perfect morning routine that would stick, I finally nailed it! Keep reading to learn how you, too, can build the best morning routine.
So why did I obsess over having a morning routine for 5 whole years? Great question. It started with an awakening - a friend sent me an article about how much a morning routine can add to your life. It included benefits like more time to get clear and focussed before your day really starts, more productive habits throughout the day and a more intentional life due to starting each day with purpose.
After reading those perks, who wouldn't be sold? So I started down the Google hole of researching other peoples' routines I could mimic. Which wasn't entirely wrong and is a good strategy any time you just need to get started - fake it 'til you make it, right?
Well, let my 5-year experiment save you some time and spare you the faking part by sharing how small consistent steps can lead to great outcomes! Here are 5 steps to designing your very own dream routine to help you tackle your greater goals in life, one day at a time.
1. The first key to a successful morning routine is to set a realistic time to wake up each day.
Yes, we all want to be that 5 am bat out of hell, eager beaver. But that ain’t right for everyone. If you know you need 8 hours of sleep and struggle getting to bed before 11 pm, maybe 7 am is more realistic. Be honest with yourself to set yourself up for success!
Choose your time and stick to it for 1 week. If it’s just not working, get more realistic with yourself and try a different time. Be sure to stick to the same time as much as possible, even if you go to bed at slightly different times each night. Waking up at the same time is more important for your energy levels than going to bed at the same time.
2. Decide on your dream habits.
Do you want to start drinking more water? Do you want to do 15 minutes of yoga each morning? This is the best part about building a morning routine - whatever larger goals you have in life can be broken down into small, consistent, daily actions. Choose your habits and how long each day you’d like to commit to them. I recommend choosing 2-3 to start and see where things take you.
3. Commit to consistency.
Did you know there is a trick to building new habits? It’s called habit stacking and you do it by building a new habit and then once it's mastered, adding another habit. In doing so, the first habit becomes an anchor for the next habit and so on. It’s kind of like dominos; eventually, one habit will lead to the next.
In the example of building a morning routine, this might look like building the habit of waking up at 7 am for one week. The following week you wake up at 7 am and drink a glass of water. The following week you wake up at 7 am, drink a glass of water and do yoga for 15 minutes. It’s a successful way to ease you into new things while still practicing being consistent and committed each morning.
4. Make it a treat that you look forward to showing up for.
Every single day is a brand new start and a new opportunity. There is no better way to realise this than through a truly beautiful morning routine done in a thoughtful and mindful way. So treat yourself to some real self-care here.
This may mean that you practice yoga in the area of your home that gets early morning sunlight, or that you add a slice of tasty cucumber to your water, or you diffuse peppermint oil while you journal. Treating yourself in mindful and healthy ways each day can make all the difference.
5. Don't beat yourself up if it doesn't come overnight.
Creating a routine takes time, but it's worth it.
The best tip for getting the most of your mornings is to know your "non-negotiables" and be ok with leaving the rest behind once in a while. If you know you need your yoga but will survive the day without journaling, well then you show up for yoga and leave the rest behind for tomorrow. Having a backup plan for days when you simply don't have time for your full routine can keep you on track and feeling fresh.
And it's really that achievable! If a solid morning routine is what you're craving to start each day, give those 5 steps a solid effort and see what comes of it.
Have fun building your dream routine and getting yourself off to the best start each day!