I’m busy and I know it. It’s the I have a big job, a husband trying to grow his own business, volunteering, and three young kids kind of busy. Oh, yea, one of the children is a toddler, during COVID and we are moving. Until recently I was depleted, frustrated, frazzled, and also never really present. My mind was always skipping ahead to what needed to be done next. I’m here to tell you how a morning routine can change everything.
Today I found an old 6-Minute Diary that I started at the beginning of the year. Like most things, I was sure I could write for 6 minutes every day until I got bored with it. This journal ended up in a drawer somewhere collecting dust. I’m glad I found it though. It served as a reminder of how far I’ve come in the last six months. Most of my progress starts with the Morning Routine.
Before The Morning Routine
I was at my wit’s end, fearful of burn out and desperate for a solution. Looking at my diary made me a little bit sad for this person. It had me wondering how so much could have changed in such a short period of time. I wrote down that I really wanted to be more present, take care of myself, and start a morning routine.
The Morning Routine Explained
Let’s start at the beginning. A morning routine is basically a series of things that you perform in the morning BEFORE the rest of the world wakes up. Think about all the things that you would love to do but there just isn’t enough time in the day. Perhaps, exercise, reading, journaling, planning, or even taking a walk. A morning routine is as unique as you are and it can certainly evolve over time.
Why Start a Morning Routine?
Well, my friends, the answer is simple but it may not be liked by all. Starting a morning routine kicks the day off with structure. It’s predictable, like a loyal old friend that’s always there waiting to help. Having a Morning Routine also sets the tone, and oftentimes leads to a more productive day.
The Morning Person Club
I’m a firm believer in paying it forward. I absolutely love helping and sharing my light bulb moments with others. The first time I heard of a morning routine was from my friend Sherrie Dunlevy (the Inspirationista). She may not have referred to her daily ritual as a morning routine but I know now that’s what it was. She said that she journaled, meditated, and read her devotional. This was all a very foreign concept to me. Then I heard another woman talking about the same thing which piqued my curiosity. Surprise, surprise I got busy and forgot about it.
Several months later I learned about a tool called FocusMate. This amazing website gifts you an accountability partner. People are able to increase their focus, accomplish tasks, and tackle their to-do lists. Getting in the swing of things I noticed that people used FocusMate to write papers for school, complete work projects, and some people even cleaned their homes.
Shortly after joining the community, I met a chipper girl named Rachael. She and I were accountability partners regularly. Each day was the same, first thing in the morning Rachael would get on and start the session by doing her morning routine. She somedays would prepare a healthy breakfast, clean up, she’d do little yoga, and maybe make some tea. After witnessing this a few times it gave me the confidence to make this “aspiring morning person” into a legitimate early riser. I was excited about all the possibilities but nervous that I couldn’t keep this positive habit going.
Sample Morning Routine
Starting my morning routine was like riding a bike. I stumbled a bit, fell off a few times, but then I really started moving. This routine was changed and molded around what was happening that day. The following are the basics of my morning routine.
- 5:25 am – Struggle to peel open my eyelids and shake off the deep sleep that I was really enjoying. Countdown down from 5 to 1 and jump out of bed.
- 5:30 am- Join my FocusMate partner on Focusmate.com. We exchange what we are working on for the next 50 minutes. Often times, we will also document it in the chat for that extra bit of accountability.
- 5:35 am- Start my coffee, fill up my 32oz water bottle, turn on my flat iron, and head back to the bedroom where I typically search for SaraBeth Yoga or PsycheTruth Yoga on YouTube.
- 5:40 am- I jump right into my 15-20 minute daily yoga routine (something I’ve always dreamed of doing). I enjoy switching things up and trying different types of yoga each day. I highly recommend searching for beginners’ yoga if you are new to the practice. I’ve found it best to start with reasonable expectations. Throughout my practice, I start sipping water right away. There are so many benefits to staying hydrated throughout the day.
- 6:00 am- I go into my closet, pick out my clothes, and head to the bathroom. Typically a weigh-in is what comes next, yuck! I hate this part but it holds me accountable to my weight. I get dressed and start the process of hair and makeup. Getting ready is so much better when listening to your favorite kind of music. I’ve gotten pretty good at the getting ready part, it’s done in 20 minutes or less.
- 6:20 am- This is when I sprint back to my desk to check in with my body double to ask about their progress. We share what was accomplished, thank each other, and close with a sincere goodbye.
- 6:25 am- At this point I’m feeling great. The goal is to finish 32oz of water before its time to leave for work. I reward my good hydration with a warm cup of coffee enjoyed while reading my devotional. I’ve always dreamed about having a quiet time to get more spiritually connected. The Jesus Calling Daily Devotional did the trick. There is roughly one paragraph each day with a positive and uplifting message. Sometimes I even go back through and read it twice.
- 6:35 am- Its time for my favorite part, updating my Bullet Journal! Before I can start my new daily spread I close out yesterday. I write down the most impactful thing that happened, track my mood, habits, and then my spending. Giving yourself time to reflect on the day brings great clarity to your life. Writing down something I enjoyed, a challenge, a lesson, and my biggest win for the day helps me to recount what happened and analyze the outcome. Finally, I look at my tasks and move any open items to the new day.
- 6:45 am- The daily spread is started with the date, day of the week, three things I’m grateful for, topped off with a motivational quote, or an affirmation that I’m feeling at the moment. These are normally written by me. On the right, I write out my schedule, and on the left is where my top three priorities for the day reside. The bulleted list also consists of any other outstanding things that I’d like to do. Bullet Journaling has really helped me to live a more balanced in my life.
- 7:00 am- Social Media is where we express ourselves. My daily thought, quote, or affirmation goes on here. My thought is even if it helps lift one person up, its worth the post.
- 7:05 am- 20 whole minutes all to myself! Free time is really the berries. I can check my email, read, look at social media, sit outside, or do anything that makes me happy.
- 7:25 am- This is when I close up shop by grabbing some more water and coffee. By now my hubby is awake (sometimes). With a quick hug and kiss, I’m off to start my beautifully balanced day.
After the Morning Routine
That frustrated, tired, and busy girl now lives in my past. I’m currently living a life that is planned and purposeful. Something I always preach is that you have to give yourself the oxygen mask first. Taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually can’t wait any longer. Tomorrow is not promised, make the commitment to yourself to practice self-love so that you’re sharing the best version of yourself with the world.
I leave you today happier, healthier, and stronger than ever before. If everything were easy everyone would do it. Try not to get discouraged. We really can “have it all” if we are willing to put in the effort.
Stay Structured and Stay Strong. Smile when it’s hard. You Got This!