Not a morning person? Me either. In fact, I’m a hardcore night owl. I’m most productive and night and love staying up late thinking, reading or just tinkering around in the internet or watching my favorite trash TV.
Not that it’s a bad thing buttt if you have goals and you want to reach those goals, setting up a morning routine is crucial! It doesn’t mean all is lost for us night owls, it just mean with a little adjustment, we can set ourselves and our days up for success to reach any goals we may have.
I have to be honest. My daily routine would go something like this. Stay up really late, till about 2-3am, wake up at about 7am for work then drag ass the rest of the day. Meanwhile, my sleep schedule for the entire week would be totally thrown off and I would barely be getting through the day.
Do you think I had enough energy at the end of the day to workout? Nope. I could barely keep my eyes open after my post lunch food coma. I would come home, lay on the couch, eat whatever food was the quickest to make then sit in front of the tv, or browse the internet for hours. When i was ready for bed, my mind would wander about work or really anything that could, might or should happen in the future. To distract myself I’d open my iPad, stay up late, wake up early, slowly float down the blood sucking drain of the 9-5 with loads of stress.
Rinse and repeat.
The first thing I would text (and equally the first texts I would receive) from friends in the mornings were Ughhh Monday, Ughh Tuesday, and so on. No excitement, no vision, no path out of the daily grind. Sound familar?
THIS, this is why a morning routine is so crucial. It’s the time of the day where you can have some time to yourself to set your intentions, goals, clear your mind, set the tone for the day/week and create progress instead of treading water.
You can start slow and do one of these things every morning, do a few or all of them, it’s up to you. Honestly, anything is better than nothing BUT trust me, once you start to feel that positive change, you will want to make this a lifestyle and not just another challenge.
BTW, if you’re waiting to make changes until you’re in the right mental space you’ll be waiting forever. You’ll never fully be ready. Just do it even if you’re not mentally on board. Start the changes and you’ll notice changes within you. Promise.
So, how do you set up a morning routine that will set you on a path to success?
You have to break the cycle somehow, so start with the night before your new morning routine.
Before you go to bed, spend 30 minutes detached from any and all types of screens. It would be a great time to spend quality time with your loved ones or journaling. Whatever is it that you chose to do with your screenless time, be 100% present during that time. It would also be a good time to meal prep for breakfast the next morning.
Place your cell phone, Ipad or other electonic devices out of reaching distance. It’s often the go-to when we can’t sleep but in order to sleep you need less stimulation.
Make it less convient to grab. If you reallllly want it, you’ll have to get up, walk across the room and get it. At least it will make you think twice.
Stay out of the future and past – When laying in bed in complete silence, it’s sooooo easy to start worrying about what might happen in the future or recall things that have happened in the past. I know I’ve lost hours of sleep with my mind stuck in both the future and past.
Didn’t gain a thing except bags under my eyes the next day. It’s easier said than done but there’s a way you can work towards calming your mind.
Embrace the present with a little meditation. I know, meditation can be super confusing and frustrating because there are so many ways to do it and frankly, it’s hard to do, but the more you do it the better you’ll get and trust me it works.
If you feel your mind wander off, focus on one thing, it could be your breath, repeating a positive saying, a sound etc. Don’t try to push away the thoughts that are entering your mind, simply acknowledge them then go right back to focusing on your breath, saying, sound etc.
Set some rules – It’s a lot easier to control your sleep environment when it’s just you but what happens when you share your space with your spouse or partner? You need to set some rules.
If they want to use their phone or Ipad in the room ask them to turn down the brightness on their device or use it in another room. Those screens are so bright that even when someone else is using it will deprive the room of the darkness you need to shut your brain off.
Set a new bedtime and waketime. It’s hard to start going to bed at 8pm when you’re used to going to bed at 2am so start by making some small adjustments that you can stick to. For example, if you normally go to bed at 2am, aim for midnight. If you have to wake up at 7:30am, aim for 7 or 630. These small shifts will help overhaul your sleeping scheudling, giving you ample time to rest while allowing you more time in the morning for your new routine. It’s all a balancing act so set times that work for you and step outside of your comfort zone (aim for 7 hours of sleep in your schedule)
So now that we discussed some things you can do the night before, let’s chat about your new morning routine.
(Take a minute and write down your current morning routine. If you don’t have one, that’s OK, write down what your current mornings look like, what you do, what time you wake up etc.)
Instead of dreading the mornings and getting or sending that typical UGH Monday, Ugh Tuesday etc text, it’s time to envison all of the opportunities and experiences that are at your disposal. Your current situation isn’t your final destination but you need to make a plan and take steps to get there. And it starts right here, in your morning routine.
Wake up 30 minutes earlier than you normally would. Extra thirty routine – take 5 mintues to journal – this could be writing down your daily/weekly or life goals (this is also a great time to write down or think about things you are grateful for,)spend 5 mintues in meditation, spend 10 minutes doing some kind of physical exercise (this could be stretching, yoga, walking around, jump roping, anything)- I personally do a quick yoga routine that’s gentle and gets the energy moving. Spend your last 10 minutes eating or making something that will nourish your body. Also, don’t eat it like you’re running to a race. Take your time and savor every bit. This will help with digestion and also let you appreciate the food and the flavors.
Eggs – hard boiled eggs (my favorite thing to make the night before so I can quickly grab it. You can buy them hardboiled at the store but I like the yolk a little softer than hard boiled (a ten minute boil is perfect in my opinion) You can mash the hardboiled egg on toast or eat it plain, both ways are tasty! Eggs are such a great protein that will sustain you through the morning.
Nuts – I like cashews but really a handful of any nut will do. Just pick your favorite! Nuts contain good fats and will help you stay full.
Avocado toast – this is a super popular trend but it’s also a healthy + tasty one. I’m a sucker for rye or sourdough bread.
Fruit – Pick your favorite. I like blueberries, apples, rasberries or bananas but choose whatever suits you! Antioxidants, fiber, filling, you can’t go wrong here.
Now, everyone’s routine will look different but you get the gist. Every morning, you will want to set your goals, give thanks, and nourish your mind, body and soul. It really doesn’t take that long, the key is consistency.