I’ve read that the articles about morning routines of famous or successful people are incredibly popular and can generate great traffic from google searches. I don’t know if that is true or not, but I know two things. We all have morning routines, and if you consciously craft yours, you have a better chance of having a successful day and life. Rather than giving you a wish list of things to put into your morning, we are going to talk about constructing your routines based on the outcomes you want in your life.
The Importance of Morning Routines
While there is some research that says people who get up early will achieve more, the time your alarm is set doesn’t guarantee anything. Whether you are a “morning person” or not, what we do naturally upon waking up matters more that the specific time on the clock. When our habits and routines set us up to be ready to respond to our day, we will be more effective with everything the day sends our way. The fact is, you have morning routines – the question is are they supporting you and your goals most effectively.
Where are You Going?
There are two ways to think about this question – where you are currently heading and where would you like to be going. Your morning routine plays a role in both. If you see your current direction in alignment with your desire, chances are your morning routines are in pretty good shape. If not, or if you would like to move faster towards your goals, read on…
Start From Where You Are
Maybe you feel like your morning routines are a mess, your days begin frazzled and harried, or maybe you’d just like to make some minor adjustments. Either way, your routines today are what they are. The point of this article isn’t to blame or shame you, but to help you think about designing the morning (and day) you want, then building the routines to support it.
Start by making a list of the things you do in the first hour of your day and note about how much time is spent on each. Then look at the list and determine which are necessary (let’s put brushing our teeth there for example), and which ones support our daily and long-term goals. Note too what upsets or stresses you. Some of those might be targets for future change.
Elements to Consider
The value of looking at the morning routines of successful people isn’t in adopting theirs but looking at the elements they might be including. Rather than telling you what to include, here are some elements that you may want to include or compare your list against.
- Preparing your body for the day. This includes thinking about your needs for exercise and nourishment. Do you drink coffee or water, eat breakfast or not, do you exercise or not? You know that if your body is a part of your success in all areas, and so think about how you are helping your day by preparing your body for success.
- Preparing your mind for the day. This could include a few minutes of reading, meditating/praying, breathing, or journaling. There are plenty of options here, and you might find that a few minutes focused on preparing your mind for the day might make the biggest positive difference for you.
- Preparing your attitude for the day. Your inputs in the morning can have an all-day impact on your attitude. You’ve heard they phrase that someone “got up on the wrong side of the bed,” – your morning routines can improve your attitude for the entire day. Some of the items that prepare your mind can help here too – along with reading inspirational quotes, having a gratitude practice, positive affirmations and more. For many limiting or eliminating morning news viewing can have a positive impact on their attitude set-point.
- Preparing your focus for the day. This are includes reviewing your goals and planning your day. How people do this can vary widely, but make sure your routines include a way to get you centered and mentally prepared for the day ahead. If you leave out this step, you will be less productive than you want and need to be in all areas of your life.
Looking at this list, what would you take away from or add to your existing morning routine?
Reconstructing Your Morning Routine
Once you have identified your current morning routine, looked at the parts individually, and have some new ideas to consider, you can begin to consciously work to adjust the routine. Add new pieces around the existing desired parts and make change slowly. If you live with others, let them know how you want to change your morning routine, and ask for their help. If your routines are linked together (when you can shower, getting the kids ready for school, etc.), consider doing this full exercise together.
Share in the comments any questions you have, as well as the parts of your routine that work best for you.
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