I am not a morning person, but over the years I’ve really worked hard to be up and ready to go for school, work, or whatever. 7 years ago if I was allowed to sleep until 11 am, I would (#noregrets). Over the years, my life and attitude have changed, but I’m still not what you’d call a “morning person.” I don’t jump out of bed with birds swirling morning songs around me as I get the day started. I’ve built up little habits that help me ease into the day.

Set yourself up for success.

beyonce
You’ve got this!

If you’re trying to build a morning routine, give yourself some slack. This isn’t about being perfect; it’s about doing something for you. No matter how seemingly small, starting your day off “right” contributes to your overall health and well-being. Once I got over the idea of this “perfect” morning routine where I had time to sit, drink some coffee with my significant other while reading newspaper, I was able to build a routine that fit me and my lifestyle.

“[Having a routine] helps steady your mind, but also give confidence to your emotions. In other words you feel in control.” – Jodi Lobozzo Aman, Clinical Psychologist

I have multiple alarms on my phone that go off in the morning to get me out of bed, but hands down the best alarm has been the critters in my life 🐱🐶. I get up for them, and I actually look forward to waking up and spending time with them before I head off to work.

Find something you look forward to each day and make that the focus of your morning. Do you relish your time checking your stocks? Make that part of your morning routine–you’ll be more likely to get up if you’re looking forward to something you get to do all by yourself and just for you.

Start with a simple routine, and stick with it.

You probably already have a few things you do every morning no matter what day it is. Start there. Identify what those things are and what the best, or most common, order you do them in. That is the foundation for your routine. Do those things every morning in the same order. This will reduce the amount of attention and brain-power you’re using first thing in the morning which will keep you relaxed and stress-free.

“By waking up at a similar time at the weekend, you don’t stretch your body, and therefore you can achieve long term consistency with your morning routine.” – Joel Gascoigne, the founder of Buffer

Wake up, use the restroom, check Instagram, feed the critters, make the bed, get dressed, pour some coffee, and walk the dog. That is my morning routine. It starts when I wake up (the earlier the better if I can manage it). I try to give my pup at least 45 minutes of walking time in the morning, and in Texas it can start to get hot even at 8:30 am during summer 😰.

dogstretch
My pup has a great yoga routine I need to get in on.

Going through this routine just makes me feel better as I start my day. It’s like a little checklist that’s easy to finish and I’m getting to work already feeling accomplished. ✅

Create new habits by building off of existing ones.

coldbrew
Who needs breakfast when you have cold brew?

Awesome! So now you have a solid morning routine that gets you up and ready for the day. You’re feeling great, so you want to expand and add something. Research has shown that it’s easier to create new habits by attaching them to old, strong ones. Habits like brushing your teeth, drinking your morning coffee, or something else you do every day at the same time (usually morning).

“Because the current habit is strongly wired into your brain already, you can add a new habit into this fast and efficient network of neurons more quickly than if you tried to build a new path from scratch.” – James Clear

For example, I’ve been trying to build the habit of eating something within the first 30 minutes of being awake. I feed my critters every morning, and it’s the perfect opportunity to incorporate this new habit. I’m already in the kitchen, so all I have to do is pull the carton of cottage cheese out and get a few spoonfuls. It’s been going pretty well, and I’m not at 100% yet, but I also don’t beat myself up about missing days. Every day is a new day to try again.

Further Reading

What gets you out of bed each morning and ready to take on the day 🌞? Tell us in the comments!

Creating a morning routine.

Jamie Aucoin

Designer @ Spiceworks

Category: Life Lesson
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