As I mentioned in last weeks podcast episode, I had a very busy week with the business I run with my partner and it felt like I had very little time to focus on my self care and routine. I felt pretty out of whack and like I was lacking structure in my days, so it got me thinking about how important my morning and daily routine is to my mindset and productivity and I wanted to talk about it on the podcast, because I think it could be really helpful for you aswell. If you don’t already have a morning routine then this information is for you. I’m going to cover what kind of things you can include into your routine, how to make your routine sustainable, what my routine currently consists of and why having this structure sets you up for a more positive and productive day.
So you’ve probably heard a bit about morning routines if you’re into personal development books or podcasts because it’s a topic that wellness junkies and entrepreneurs are pretty keen on, and for good reason. Having a sense of structure in your morning will help you to start the day off right and achieve key tasks that contribute to your wellbeing, mindset and ultimately your business and personal life. I’m also going to note that this morning routine can be adapted as more of a daily routine or even an evening routine if that suits your lifestyle better.
When I was working as a counsellor, I had things that I would do to switch off from the day, maintain self care and not bring my client’s problems home with me. I would write my case notes before leaving so that I didn’t have them cycling through my mind and then when I got home, one of the key things that I did was have a shower and change into some comfy clothes. This almost marked a transition period for me from work life into home life. Morning routines can be similar in the sense that they involve key actions that promote wellbeing for you, shift you into a positive mindset or head space and set you up for the day ahead. We all know the feeling of snoozing the alarm over and over, then rolling out of bed and feeling rushed and overwhelmed to get ready and at a level of functioning that will be effective. A morning routine is intentional and it requires commitment and some planning to ensure that it remains manageable, effective and sustainable.
So what’s the big deal about a morning routine? Like I mentioned, it sets the stage for the day and enables you to address your own wellbeing needs and get into a headspace where you can work more productively and passionately. Self care can be tough to prioritise, especially if you’re running your own business, working long hours or running a household, but by incorporating some key self care actions into your morning routine you are more likely to fill your cup and be able to give to others and your work from a place of abundance. Many successful entrepreneurs commend their morning routines for contributing to their success and growth mindset. The great thing about a morning routine is that you can make it completely your own and it can be one or two actions or as many as you feel you need to get into flow.
So with that said, I’m going to let you know what I do as my morning routine…
I’ll tell you straight up that I’m not a morning person. I could stay up until 3am working on businesses ideas but if you ask me to wake up at 5am that’s a no from me. So I usually get to sleep around 11:30pm and wake up at around 8am. I listen to a morning meditation for about 10 minutes which gets me to start considering my intentions for the day and then I spend about 10 minutes tuning in to my higher self and linking in to my values, goals, intentions and actions for the day. I’ll usually spend some time in bed working on quotes or content for Instagram because I feel like I’m most tuned in to my intuition and inner voice. Then I’ll check my calander which outlines my tasks for the day and ill have them in order of priority so that I tackle the most important tasks first. Every second day I do my at home exercise program which goes for about 30 minutes and then I’ll have a shower and make some breakfast – at the moment it’s just cereal with rice milk. I’ll also have my greens powder and usually a coffee. By about 9am I’m ready to start the working day and feel like I’ve nourished my mind and body and prioritised my wellbeing so that I can enter the rest of the day with a sense of flow, positivity and motivation. In the evening I’ll also try to go within and reflect on what I’m grateful for from the day and what I intend to achieve moving forward. I’ll then usually fall asleep listening to a guided meditation or meditation music.
So I would say my routine is relatively straight forward and probably similar to other people. On the days that I don’t exercise in the morning, because I do evening yoga classes, my routine can be as speedy as 15-20 minutes and I feel worthy of spending that time on myself. In the past I used to think that it was time I could be spending on business tasks, but that actually made me more overwhelmed and less productive because I wasn’t allowing time for me and what my mind and body needed to shift into the right gear for the day.
I’m going to cover some of the things that you can include as part of your morning routine, and as you can see from mine it doesn’t have to be complicated or long.
So they’re just some of the things that you could incorporate into your morning or daily routine. You’ll know what works for you and what makes you feel like you’re filling your cup and getting into your flow. You can obviously add anything that I haven’t mentioned into your routine as well.
I know one of the biggest excuses for ditching morning routines is not having enough time, especially when you have children to look after. But I want to challenge you on this and ask is this really about not having time, or is it about not MAKING time. I know that I would say to myself I don’t have time to exercise or I can’t just lay in bed and meditate – there’s too many other things to do. But the reality is that I do have time for a morning routine. I have time for 20-45 minutes out of 24 hours in my day to put myself first, knowing that it allows me to show up as a better person for myself, my business and my relationships. If it means getting 7 hours of sleep instead of 7.5 hours of sleep, it comes down to what you’re willing to sacrifice and commit to, to make those actions possible in your day. Even with children, could there be a way to incorpate your routine into the morning routine you have with your children. For example, could you listen to a podcast in the car while driving the children to school or could you record your mantras and play them in an earphone while you’re making the kids breakfast. Get creative with how you could integrate your routine into your life – it will only happen if you commit to making it happen.
So once you have some actions that you want to focus on for your morning routine, how can you ensure that you actually stick to it. I’d recommend starting out with 2-3 actions and becoming consistent with those. As you begin to carve out this time for yourself, you might look to add additional actions or switch it up every couple of days. There’s no use modelling your morning off someone else who has 12 different things if that doesn’t suit your lifestyle or needs. It’s only going to be counterproductive. You need to do what you know works for you, not what works for others because they have different commitments, lifestyles and needs to you.
Another tip to staying consistent with your routine is also to maintain flexibility. There will be days where things don’t go to plan and perhaps you have to skip some of your routine. You can try to pick it up later on in the day or evening if you can, otherwise just be content with letting the day go and starting again tomorrow. If you maintain an all or nothing mindset and beat yourself up for missing a task or a day, then your routine is going to become more of a burden and you may begin to resent it. This is for your benefit and it should be enjoyable and flexible based on where you’re at for the day.
Another tip is being accountable for your routine. If you have a partner, family member, roommate or friend that you can tell your morning routine to, then they can help to keep you accountable and encourage you to complete your actions for the morning. I know that my partner will notice If I look like I’m jumping over my routine to get started on work and he we ask if I’m going to do my exercise or whatever it is and it keeps me focused on my routine. You could even see where you can do some of your routine with another person, such as a morning walk or listening to a podcast on speaker so that you’re more likely to commit to the action.
I know that you’re ready to get started on planning out your morning or daily routine or perhaps giving it a bit of a revamp, and I’ve got a daily routine worksheet that you can download for free. Its got space for your intentions, daily mantra, gratitudes, important tasks for the day, reflections and more. It’s been really helpful for me in planning out my days and being really clear on where I’m at for the day and getting into the right mindset for productivity and purposeful action. Just head to www.wellbeingweekly.com.au/routine and you’ll be able to get the download sent straight to your email.
Let me know in the comments what you do in your morning routine or any more tips that you have for creating a morning routine! You can find my podcast by searching ‘Wellbeing Weekly’ in your podcast app or heading to iTunes by clicking here