Do you ever wake up feeling like you have 10,000 things to do? An intentional morning routine can help tame those thoughts as well as set your day up for success. I think of my morning routine like a set of dominos. When dominoes are set up properly, once the first one falls, the rest fall into place easily. Your day is like that, too. When the morning falls into place, the rest of the day tends to go more smoothly.
How do you build an intentional morning routine?
Assess the situation
You already have a morning routine. It might involve grabbing your phone when you wake up and scrolling through social media or checking email or catching up on the news. It might involve hitting snooze or snuggling back into your warm bed. It might involve making your bed, getting dressed, and eating breakfast.
The goal is to make your morning routine intentional. An intentional morning routine reflects what is important to you by making conscious daily decisions about what enhances your life.
Grab a piece of paper and write down the answer to these questions:
What do I do when I first wake up?
What works and what doesn’t work?
How much time do I have in the morning?
When you want to make any change, the first step is bringing awareness, so be kind to yourself as you do this.
Determine what you want from a morning routine
Morning routines are different for everyone and also change as you move through different seasons of life. The goal is to prioritize what’s important to you now. Answer these questions too:
Do I want to feel less stressed and overwhelmed in the morning?
Do I want to create time for a hobby or start a side business?
Do I want to write, meditate, or pray?
Do I want to prep my meals or exercise?
Draft your routine
As you plan your intentional morning routine, write it on a post-it note and place it on your nightstand or your bathroom mirror. When you are trying to change something in your life (i.e., creating a more intentional morning routine), the visual cue helps remind you!
You can also use your written note to evaluate what might need to shift. Maybe you are going to have company and need to spend extra time on yard work rather than journaling. This makes it easier to be intentional about how you are spending your time in the morning.
My current intentional morning routine:
Get completely dressed
Make the bed
Take a quick morning walk right as the sun rises
Journal for 10 or so minutes
Review my to-do list
Work on my side business (researching, writing, creating social media posts, updating website, etc.)
Don’t hit the snooze button
Before you wake up, your body and brain start releasing hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) and raising your body temperature slightly. Your alarm interrupts this natural process. When you hit the snooze button repeatedly, you are repeatedly interrupting your natural wakeup process.
If you want to stop hitting the snooze button, try one or more of these things:
Move your phone or alarm across the room
Count down "5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1" and get up
Set your alarm for the time you actually wake up
Plan for tomorrow… today
I think of the evening as a launch pad for a better morning. I created my evening routine by asking the question: “What can I do tonight to make my morning go more smoothly?”
Here are a few ideas:
Clean off your desk
Pack your lunch for tomorrow
Put your laptop in your backpack
Prep your coffee pot (use a timer if you have it)
Create your to-do list
Set your journal near your bed
Place your exercise clothes, shoes, and socks near your bed
None of these take a long time to do, but when you are tired tonight, you might think "I'll feel like it tomorrow." Instead of waiting until you feel like it, ask yourself if you can do just one thing to make tomorrow morning go more smoothly.
Are you ready to take action on creating a morning routine? I’ve created a 4-Day Morning Routine Challenge that will help support your efforts. The challenge will help you create small wins and make progress every day. Click here to get signed up! I can't wait to support you!