If I could choose one thing during my day that's non-negotiable and makes me a happy camper, it's my morning routine.
I notice a HUGE shift in my energy and focus throughout the day if I don't do my morning routine, which is why I can preach about how effective it is.
When I don't make myself a priority first thing in the morning, that usually translates to the rest of the day: I tend to rush around like a chicken with my head cut off, I'm reactive instead of proactive when it comes to getting things done, and I likely won't carve out 'me' time during the day if I don't do it first thing in the morning.
Y'all know I'm a HUGE advocate of filling yourself up first, so that you're full enough to give to others. It's not selfish at all, really; it's more selfish when you're burning the candle at both ends and not able to show up as your best self in relationships, your work, or any area of your life.
By doing these things first thing in the morning (usually before anyone wakes up, even if that means getting up well before the crack of dawn), I'm able to maintain a solid relationship with myself, which in turn, allows me to be a better coach, wife, worker, etc.
My Morning Routine
*Keep in mind this is my own personal morning routine. Shape yours in a way that feels natural and authentic to YOU!
- Water. When I first wake up, I immediately chug two huge glasses of water. (2 minutes)
- Coffee. To negate the hydration ;), I make a cup of coffee with unsweetened almond milk. (5 minutes)
- Writing time. While I'm drinking my coffee, lately I've been writing these blog posts. My goal is to write for 100 days in a row (most days that's blogging, but some days it's just writing in a journal). If I journal, it's usually for 20 minutes. (20+ minutes)
- Do something active. Since I'm training for my half marathon, this is usually when my runs happen. But if it's not a running day, I'll go for a long walk and listen to a podcast. (30 minutes to 1 hour)
- Meditation. I'll admit, there's a 50/50 chance this will happen. However, I really try to get it done, even if for just 5 minutes. I've recently joined a yoga studio (I'll go into that in another blog post) so if I don't meditate in the morning, I try to do a yoga class later in the day since that's my form of 'moving' meditation/mindfulness. (5-20 minutes)
Overall, this can take about two hours. I know, I know, "I don't have two hours in the morning, Julie," you say... but that's why I make an effort to wake up EXTRA early to make sure 75% of the things above get done.
Some days, if I have a super early morning, I adjust this a bit -- I'm flexible. That may look something like a 10 minute walk, 5 minute meditation, 10-15 minutes of writing.
But either way, I know that carving out 'me' time is super important to me, so I make it a priority to head to bed at a decent time so I can wake up and do all these things before my day starts.
How to Set Up Your Routine
Chances are, you probably have a morning routine right now without even really knowing you do. You likely wake up, brush your teeth, check your phone, etc.
And even though I've given you an example of mine, your morning doesn't have to look anything like mine!
What's most important is that you find a few things that bring you joy in the morning: maybe it's movement, meditation, a green smoothie, whatever your heart desires.
My #1 Tip for You: One thing I WILL recommend is that you don't check your phone first thing in the morning. I leave my phone at my nightside table until I've completed almost everything in my morning routine. Why? Because if I start my day on social media or checking emails, I'm automatically reactive -- I start my day stressed, flustered and comparing myself with others. I've noticed ALL the difference just by doing this, so if you only take one thing away from this post, let it be leaving your phone til later.
The goal of a morning routine is to start your day in a structured and organized, yet flexible, way, so that you don't wake up frazzled with 10 minutes left before you have to leave for work. When that happens, you're more likely to be REACTIVE to things that go on throughout your day, as opposed to starting your day with clarity, focus and intention so you can remain calm if shit hits the fan at work. :)
Try it out and let me know how you like it!