Democracy is pretty cool, you guys. Regardless of whether or not your ideal candidate won, let’s all be kind to one another, ok?
Sure, change happens with an elected official, but actual change starts on a smaller level.
Rather than waste our energy by pointing fingers + assigning blame, put that passionate energy towards positive action. If you don’t like something, educate yourself and take action on a local level if you want to see a difference.
So, with that being said, what inspired, positive action are you going to take in order to make this nation a better place? #itstartswithus #bethechange #election2016
Ok, I’ve said my political peace… Now on to the actual thing that is truly going to allow you to change the world if you make it a priority!
Whether you want to admit it or not, you have a morning routine. The question is…
“Is it something you are creating for yourself?”
“Is it something that is happening to you?”
Of course, morning routines change over the years, just as the seasons of our lives change. You might go from having your own space in the morning, to sharing it with a roommate or a spouse, or even a newborn baby.
And that’s ok if things look a little different over the years. It’s a natural course of life. But a compounding routine is what affects the trajectory of your life, you guys.
“How you wake up each day and your morning routine (or lack thereof) dramatically affects your levels of success in every single area of your life. Focused, productive, successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days — which inevitably create a successful life — in the same way that unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre mornings generate unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre days, and ultimately a mediocre quality of life. By simply changing the way you wake up in the morning, you can transform any area of your life, faster than you ever thought possible.” — Hal Elrod, Author of The Miracle Morning
I know I have an ideal morning painted in my head, but sometimes it doesn’t always play out that way. And now that I have adjusted my schedule again (from coaching CrossFit to not doing CrossFit at all), I am relearning what works for not only my morning routine, but my entire day as a whole. It’s kind of like that awkward middle school dance phase, where you don’t know which foot should go first, but you just keep moving + smiling nervously, hoping it will just fall into place eventually.
My intention every morning is:
- Get up around 7am
- Splash water on my face + get dressed
- Do a quick workout or yoga to wake up
- Make a cup of tea or coffee
- Settle on the couch for a little personal growth reading/journaling
- Eat nutrient-dense breakfast
All before I sit down at my desk ideally around 8:30/9am and tackle the day’s agenda ahead.
I know you are probably thinking… “Wow, Madison, must be nice to be you. I wish I had that kind of time before I went to work or my kids woke up!”
You do have the time. I’ll help you find it.
The truth is, it’s freaking hard for me to make these things happen, because as an entrepreneur, I feel the urgency to want to immediately check my phone and get to work as soon as I hit the alarm button. OR I get easily overtaken by all of the tasks I want/need to do, that I become crippled by overwhelm and don’t do anything at all.
Sure, working from home has its perks, but it also has its pressures, and you constantly feel like you if you aren’t doing something for work or putting time in at the computer, you aren’t doing anything or going anywhere with it. This is something I’ve had to coach myself over the last 5 years, and I am finally recognizing how valuable that morning routine is for my sanity and preventing burnout.
Your morning routine doesn’t have to look or be a certain way. The awesome thing is that YOU get to choose what it looks like!
So, how do you establish a morning routine that lasts? Here are a few ways to make it work + stick for you!
DETERMINE YOUR NECESSARY SLEEP
This is something we all need. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, this sets you up for not only chronic fatigue, but a whole slew of health problems. Did you know that I don’t do an intense workout the next day if I didn’t get at least 7 hours of sleep? Your sleep is where your body processes rejuvenate, muscles recover + hormones sync with the circadian rhythms. Chart
How To: Chart out your day by hour. Determine what time you need to wake up. Then count back the hours to figure out what time you should be in bed asleep. Most adults need 7-8 hours of good quality sleep. If this means you need to cut your after dinner TV habit in order to get those full 8 hours, start winding down earlier so getting up in the morning won’t be so difficult.
Feel like a night owl? This most likely is a disruption in your hormones, causing cortisol to spike in the evening (which provides you energy) and leaves us feeling groggy + lethargic in the mornings. Our bodies should naturally follow the rhythm of the sunrise + sunset, however, with external stressors + electronics at our fingertips, it tricks our minds and bodies to stay awake, by confusing our system with the light our devices give off. Power down 1-2 hours before bedtime or try using blue blocker glasses to prime your body to adjust easier.
WRITE OUT YOUR IDEAL MORNING
Nothing is off limits. If you could do whatever you wanted every morning to set you up for your day so that you feel refreshed, energized and ready to take on the day, what would it be?
- Workout class
- Go for a run
- Walk the dogs
- Read the newspaper
- Read your favorite book
- Gratitude Journal
- Write out your to-do list
- Have a quiet cup of coffee to yourself
- Cook a homemade breakfast
- Leisure Shower
- Get ready for school/work
- Get kids ready for the day
- Make your bed
- Drink a green juice
- Take vitamins
Write out your ideal morning, and then figure out realistically, how long each item would take. Do you want to get a workout in, but can’t commit to an hour long class? How about a short 15 minute HIIT video at home or a 20 minute run in the neighborhood with the dogs? You want a homemade breakfast every day, but you don’t have time to make it from scratch. Can you prep it the night before? Or perhaps batch cook some items earlier in the week to easily put together for a hearty breakfast?
Adjust your sleep schedule. Now that you have determined your ideal morning, does that mean you have to get to bed a little earlier in order to have a restful night’s sleep? As you attempt your morning routine, the last thing you want is so be stressed, rushed or for it to feel forced. You may need to move the order of things around, or reassess their importance in your morning routine. For example: I love walking my dogs every day, but now that it is getting cooler + darker in the mornings, I don’t feel as safe or motivated to get outside first thing. So, I opt to walk them in the afternoons and do a short yoga sequence or HIIT video in the morning instead.
CONTROL YOUR WAKE-UP TIME
Even if all you want is a quiet 30 minutes in the morning to yourself before the rest of the house wakes up, carve out that time and make it happen. I’ve noticed that I feel so much more relaxed and at ease when I have control of my wake-up time each day. It’s less jarring and exhausting when you are able to set the tone for the day, instead of something else doing it for you.
Find what YOU enjoy and do it. Don’t choose something to add to your morning routine because you feel like you “should” and everyone else is doing it. It won’t feel authentic + genuine, and then the whole idea of a morning routine will eventually fade out of your life again, leaving you frazzled + frustrated. Which isn’t fun for anyone, no matter how much we love you.
Yes, developing a habit takes time + effort, but if it sets you up for a healthier, happier you, then it is 100% worth it. Yes, establishing healthy habits require compromise on some things, but wouldn’t you rather have a less rushed morning, lighter mood + optimistic outlook each day than waking up thinking, “Here we go, starting this rat race all over again today.”
So, let’s take control over this little aspect of our day, and by altering something that might seem small + insignificant, watch it have a grand effect over the course of our lives! You CAN do this!
Want to learn more ways to make your morning the best for you? Check out The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8am)!
Don’t have time to read a book? Check out this short article by the author, Hal Elrod, in creating a 6 minute morning routine!
What does your morning (or ideal morning) look like? What things do you feel set you up for success each day?
Please share in the comments below, I’d love to know!