Start Your Day On The Right Foot.
One of the questions I often get is “Michelle, how do you pull yourself out of stagnation, depression or overwhelm and begin to get forward momentum in your life?”
Well, today I’m going to answer that question by showing you how to build a powerful morning routine that will be the catalyst for more fulfilment, wellness and success.
I will also share my simple 6-step method for creating your own morning routine… So read on and discover how you can supercharge your day, your week and your life.
What is a Morning Routine?
A morning routine is essentially a number of activities you consciously choose to perform immediately after waking.
Why Create a Morning Routine?
If you want to make the most of each and every day, your morning routine is the one thing you must prioritise. It can literally make or break your day!
Indeed, the first part of your day can set you up for focus, productivity and success because, when carefully crafted, it can (and should) clarify your priorities, focus your mind, energise your body and move you closer to your short and long-term goals.
Without a morning routine you risk wasting your days in uncertainty and reactivity, aimlessness and distraction.
What Are the Benefits of a Morning Routine?
Starting your day right can help you build momentum and energy that will impact your entire day, week, month and year.
If you have been feeling directionless or just plain stuck, then starting your day with a few simple but meaningful actions can energise you and get you moving forward.
“The way we do anything, is the way we do everything.” – Martha Beck
Integral to building success is the idea that how you spend the first hour of your day sets up a pattern for how you spend the rest of your day. And picking up on the Martha Beck quote above: what you do in the small moments says a lot about what you will do in the big moments.
That’s why all successful people have a morning routine. They are rehearsing for success before they even enter the world.
Making progress towards important goals and doing things that are meaningful is what leads to fulfilment.
You can use your morning routine to prioritise the things that make you excited to get out of bed; that make you feel good as you prepare to go through the rest of your day; that connect you to who you are and who you want to be.
This can also help you feel you have a better work-life balance.
How can you give deeply to others with an empty fuel tank?
If you want to be of service in the world, then start your day in a way that fills you up and nourishes you.
A healthy routine is a fantastic way to start the day because it screams: “You are important!” So focus on activities that fill you up first and enable you to share even more of your energy.
In addition, you can use this time to set an intention for how you want to feel when you go out into the world and importantly, when you connect with others. Perhaps to be more compassionate, joyful, resilient and ready to be there for others…these are just suggestions, so choose how you want to feel.
What Should I Do in the Morning Routine?
A morning routine can look however you want it to look and can last anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours (most are 30-60 minutes).
It’s up to you!
Ideally, your morning routine should be derived from a clear long-term vision and associated short and medium-term goals. Get clear on these if you haven’t already and then choose activities that will immediately begin to move you closer to those goals. Your morning routine is simply part of your system for bringing your goals to fruition.
What is the Best Morning Routine?
The best morning routine is simply the one you do each and every day!
So keep your M.R realistic!!
You’ll see further below that I start my day with drinking a glass of water and making my bed.
Not exactly mind-blowing stuff. But I have very clear reasons for including both of these things:
I drink water immediately upon waking so that I am well hydrated as I begin my day, because good hydration is important for clear thinking as well as general health and wellbeing.
Making My Bed
This activity creates order and a sense of accomplishment as I start my day – it’s an easy win in the first couple of minutes of my day and in the evening, I get to climb into a beautifully made bed, which also feels great and reinforces my earlier win.
Also – and this is important – the examples above are both small and easily achievable actions.
Small Actions Create Quick Wins
It’s no use having a morning routine that looks impressive on paper that you never complete; especially if you are just getting started with this idea.
No, you need something that will get past the gatekeepers of change – those hyper-vigilant fear-receptors in your brain that drive humans to resist any change, even when it is positive. So the actions you choose need to be small enough to not raise any alarms, but still make you feel like you ‘won’ at something that is meaningful (e.g, making your bed).
You’ll also need to be consistent with it and keep winning, since repeated failures are very de-motivating (5 minutes of yoga daily is better than no yoga for 90 minutes!!).
And you need to be committed to it – so make it meaningful and enjoyable. Then you can throw your whole self behind the activity. If you do it and do it well, you’ll feel like a better person for doing it, and that’s good because you are likely to keep repeating it every morning.
Some Ideas for Morning Routines
If you are having trouble knowing where to start, here’s some ideas:
Here’s my morning ritual as it stands today*:
6 Steps to Your Very Own Morning Routine
Now it’s time for you to design your own morning routine with these 6 steps:
1. Figure out how much time you have in the morning to devote to your morning routine (It might be 15 mins or 3 hours).
2. Think about your ideal start to the day and what would happen.
3. Clarify further by writing down your priorities and life goals; reflect deeply on what kind of life are you trying to create for yourself.
4. Write a wish-list for your ideal morning. Brainstorm ideas.
5. Review your ideas and start to structure your morning routine.
6. Take it for a test drive. Try it out. Review. Modify. Improve.
A carefully crafted morning ritual will set you up for all kinds of success. Like getting out on the right side of bed, this can put you into a great frame of mind to power through the rest of your day. Early wins are likely to lead to wins throughout the day. (You can also create an evening ritual for the last 30-60 minutes before bed.)
Finally, remember, you want to be in control, you want to be proactive, and you want to be deciding how you begin each and every day based on your priorities and life goals. That’s what creates fulfilment and that’s how you build a foundation for success.
Of course sometimes there might have to be exceptions, but for the most part, try to follow your schedule and as you continue to invest in your mornings, you will see the impact this has on your days, weeks and months and your life will begin to transform before your very eyes!
* This is a work-in-progress and I certainly don’t achieve this every morning. I started off with making my bed and over time built the rest of the list to what it is today. It’s what I aim for and I feel best when I can complete them all. Some days I really need to rest and a sleep in or reading takes up more time.
** I can flex the length of some activities (like yoga and running) depending on what I have planned for the rest of my day.
NB: Also, you’ll notice that ’checking social media’ or ‘responding to emails’ doesn’t appear anywhere on my morning ritual. That’s because both these things are extremely distracting and can lead you down the proverbial garden path, taking you off-track and into reactive mode and mindless scrolling. (Yes, I found this out by wasting a lot of precious, unrecoverable time doing these exact things).