Lots of people who are big believers in morning routines like to point out all the rich and famous people who have one. Benjamin Franklin had one; Steve Jobs had one; Anna Wintour has one; Jessica Alba has one; Ruby Rose has one. Many such individuals with morning routines are indeed inspiring, but just because you start a morning routine doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be topping the Forbes list in 3-5 years. (Although…you never know!) But – there are so many other benefits of establishing a morning routine – physical benefits, emotional benefits, spiritual benefits – that if you don’t have one yet, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to set yourself up for better health, more confidence, and more time spent doing what you love!
Waking up is already hard for me. Why should I wake up even earlier to have a morning routine?
- You can accomplish goals uninterrupted.
If you live with any other person – whether it’s a roommate, spouse, children, or family member – then you know that sometimes your best intentions for goals can get derailed by those people. But if you start the morning before anyone else does, then you can get done what you want to get done for you right away and have much more free time to spend with loved ones later in the day.
- You can start off the day on your terms rather than someone else’s.
How often do you start off your day by immediately reaching over to look at your phone and scrolling through your texts, emails, or social media? For many of us, as soon as we do this, we’re immediately in the headspace of what we have to do for other people that day. What work emails do we have to answer? What obligations are waiting for us? What errands do we have to run? It can pile stress on top of us the minute our eyes open before we get a chance to do even one thing for ourselves…
- You can practice self-care.
…But starting with your own morning routine allows you to bypass this stress until you’ve grounded yourself by taking care of your needs. If taking care of your own needs sounds selfish or like a waste of time to you, then please stop what you’re doing and read this earlier post about self-care. Hopefully, it will convince you why it’s so amazing that morning routines help you get yourself on track so that you’re more equipped to help others throughout the day.
- You can cultivate a calmer, more confident mindset for the entire rest of the day.
Starting out the day by accomplishing your own goals on your own terms sets a tone for the day of confidence in your own abilities. Contrast this possibility to how many people start the day: frazzled and frantically rushing around trying to get out the door.
- You can cultivate better physical health.
This isn’t a guarantee, but most people who have a consistent morning routine make healthier choices in the morning, like eating a healthy breakfast or incorporating some form of exercise. It’s much, much harder to find excuses not to do these things at the beginning of the day than it is at the end of the day when you can say to yourself, “Ugh, I had such a hard day today, I couldn’t possibly work up the energy to exercise.”
But how can I get into this routine when it seems so hard to wake up?
Try following these tried and tested methods:
- Do it in small steps. If you try to start waking up at 5:00 a.m. every day and make a green smoothie, journal, do yoga, meditate, and pack lunch all at once, you’ll give up immediately because it seems too hard. Try starting by waking up just 20 mins earlier and picking one of these things, and then you can gradually add on more.
- Put your alarm clock out of your physical reach. If you have to actually get up to turn off the alarm clock, then you’re much less likely to hit snooze and go back to bed.
- Make the first thing that you try in your routine something you really enjoy. For instance, if you want to start doing morning exercises but are dreading the thought of holding a plank for longer than 30 seconds, then don’t make that the first thing you add to the routine. You’ll never get into the habit of waking up earlier if you don’t have a good, enjoyable reason to do so. Pick something you really want to do first, whatever that is for you.
- Try “habit stacking.” This trick consists of attaching a new habit to a habit you already have. For instance, if you always have coffee in the morning and you want to add journaling to your routine, then journal while you have the coffee. You’re more likely to actually do the new thing if you’re associating it with an already formed habit.
What if I want the discipline of a morning routine, but don’t even know where to start?
Ultimately, it’s totally up to you and what’s enjoyable or necessary for you to start your day off right, but if you’re looking for suggestions, some very popular morning routine activities are:
A morning routine isn’t a miracle cure for bad days; having a routine doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to deftly dodge all unpleasant obstacles every day you do it. But it does mean that you’re giving yourself a much better chance to feel ready to face the day with confidence and a sense of accomplishment right from the moment you wake up. And who doesn’t want that??
Having a morning routine is just one great way to practice self-care and to cultivate a healthy mindset. If you’re interested in talking more about developing strategies for taking care of yourself, you can call us at (305) 501-0133 or click here to schedule a free 20-minute Clarity Consult .