Call me crazy, but I have always dreamed of being one of those people who jumps out of bed early in the morning, smile on my face, ready to take on the day full force and wide awake! One of those successful people with a perfect morning routine that they follow every single day without issue.
But . . . My sleep schedule was soo out of whack and far from ‘perfect.’ The problem was I usually didn’t get into bed until 12 AM, sometimes as late as 2 AM, which meant I wasn’t falling asleep until about 3 or 4 AM. So waking up two hours later at 6 AM wasn’t very realistic if I really wanted to ‘take on the day full force.’ And only a rockstar can pull off a 3 AM – 12 PM sleep schedule!
What could I possibly be doing that kept me up so late, you ask? Well, I somehow convinced myself that getting things done was more important than getting enough sleep. ‘Getting things done’ for me involved finding the best pins to post on Pinterest, or looking up new products posted on Etsy (that I would probably never buy), or reading up on the latest self-love or mindfulness tips.
Ultimately, my willpower became my worst enemy!
Even if I did manage to fall asleep at 12 or 1 AM (what I thought was a reasonable time), morning would come, and the idea of getting up early didn’t seem that appealing anymore; the idea lost its magic.
“I used to get myself up for failure every morning . . . without realizing it.”
– Chris Winfield
Something needed to change. I had to take control of the issue; not because I was embarrassed about constantly showing up late to work or embarrassed about begging my mom to help wake me up at 24-years-old. I needed change for my own well-being. When you wake up every morning without purpose and without a plan, you are selling yourself short on reaching your fullest potential. You were made for more: more living, more meaning, more doing. And for me, I was able to bring myself back to life simply by implementing a well thought out morning routine.
Make Your Mornings The Most Enjoyable Part Of The Day
It’s hard for me to believe that so much has changed from a little planning and some action. By taking control of my mornings and starting my day off with a positive mindset, the rest of my day automatically follows suit. I now have access to the most peaceful hours of the day and allow my mind to operate FULLY and without distraction.
So today I am going to walk you through, step-by-step, what I think is the perfect morning routine for my lifestyle. And hopefully I can help you out with your own ‘perfect’ morning routine and make your mornings the most enjoyable part of the day!
My ‘Perfect’ Morning Routine
*Side Note: My routine does vary a bit depending on what I have going on that day. The steps are the same, but not always in the same order and on my days off I will add some time to a few tasks. I work on Monday and Wednesday – Saturday, so that’s the morning routine I’ll be talking about in this post.*
1. Wakey Wakey – 8:00 AM:
Like I said, waking up used to be very hard for me and I guarantee I was the Queen of “just five more minutes . . .” so I couldn’t just go from waking up at 11 AM to all the sudden waking up at 6 AM. So I had to take baby steps. I set my alarm for 10 AM in the beginning. The first couple of mornings didn’t go as planned, but by the end of the first week I was able to get up after the second alarm! The second week I set my alarms for 9 AM – again, it took a couple of days to adjust, but was able to get up out of bed from the first alarm. The third week I went to 8 AM, and right now that’s where I feel most comfortable.
*Side Note: Falling asleep with your fun in bed seems insignificant, but does more damage than you may think. I have to place my phone on the other side of my room if I really want to wake up. This part is absolutely crucial for me, or else I will just hit the snooze button and fall right back asleep; making myself actually get out of bed to turn the alarm off has really helped.*
Most mornings I like to get on the Lumosity App to get my wheels turning. (If you want to get on your phone right after you wake up, I think it’s super important to sit upright without your covers. Laying right back down underneath you warm, cozy covers ain’t gonna get ya outta bed.) Then I drink a glass of water and make my bed.
2. Getting My Zen On – 8:15 AM:
I think meditating in the morning is without a doubt super essential to my morning. I enjoy getting centered; my body, mind and soul becoming one! I usually use the Headspace app, and I also like to use Insight Timer every now and then. I sit on my nicely made bed with legs criss-cross applesauce, nothing fancy or difficult. After I meditate, I like to say a few affirmations out loud, get myself in the right mindset for a successful, positive day. They are natural dose of confidence and happiness. Some examples are:
- I have everything I need to make today successful.
- Today I fill myself with gratitude for another day on Earth.
- I have the knowledge to make smart decisions for myself today.
- I will stay focused and finish important tasks that need to get done.
Following my affirmations, I then mentally ask myself what my intentions for the day are and think about what needs to be accomplished. Usually this all takes about 15-20 minutes depending on how long the meditation is. Then I turn some music on using my blue-tooth speaker (which often leads to a mini dance party) and head downstairs for breakfast.
3. Breakfast Time – 8:30 AM:
I rarely miss breakfast in the morning. I either heat up some oatmeal with fruit or make a simple smoothie with a couple of egg tacos. Nothing special, but a lot better than what I used to eat for breakfast . . .
Literally, every morning I would go to McDonald’s and order an Egg White Delight sandwich with a strawberry pie and large Dr Pepper. Every.Single.Morning! I somehow managed to get there 4 or 5 minutes before 10:30 (they stop serving breakfast then), eat in my car on the way to work driving down the highway, and stuff food in my face quickly without thought before I finally made it to work.
Before, breakfast used to be such a blur and I didn’t have the luxury of making my own breakfast at home because my mornings were so rushed. I now give myself the ‘luxury’ of making my own breakfast at home. I allow myself to eat a little more mindfully, taking one bite at a time and actually savor what I’m eating.
4. Put Pen To Paper – 8:40 AM:
When I sit down to eat breakfast, I pull out my notebook and write out 3-4 main tasks I want to accomplish for that day. I get very distracted at work and when I wasn’t planning out my tasks, I often found myself using the last 15 minutes trying to fit in 30 minutes worth of work! Mistakes were made and my carelessness was becoming noticeable. But by writing out a simple to-do list (that takes no more than 2 minutes to jot down) helps to keep me on track and serves as a reminder for what needs to get done whenever I get sidetracked.
After jotting down my list, I spend the next 20-25 minutes writing anything and everything. A gratitude list, thoughts for a blog post or series, lyrics for a new song idea . . . I try not to give myself any rules or guidelines to follow because I want whatever wants to come out, to come out naturally and without judgement. Just like Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages, but I don’t necessarily aim to write ‘3 pages.’ My goal is to de-clutter my brain of any ideas, thoughts, goals, dreams from the night before . . . anything and everything!
5. Everything Else – 9:05 AM:
I then clean up my mess from breakfast and start getting ready for work. Shower, wash my face, brush my teeth, dry my hair, get dressed, and apply makeup. I started to set my phone timer for 8 minutes when I’m in the shower. Just enough time to get in and out without feeling rushed. If the timer goes off before I’m done, I simply acknowledge my time is up without stressing myself out and finish up.
I use my timer throughout the whole process really, which has been such a big help in keeping track of each task.
And that’s what my morning routine looks like! It’s not always perfect and doesn’t always go as planned, but that’s the great thing about a morning routine; it doesn’t have to be ‘perfect.’ The only criteria is knowing why you’re waking up each and every morning. Figuring out what puts a smile on your face. And what helps you in taking on the day full force!
This whole process has not been easy, BUT it’s definitely been worth it! To be able to get up on my own at a reasonable hour with purpose has helped take back my life.
+Do you have a daily morning routine? Or have you made one of your resolutions getting up earlier this year? Leave me your thoughts in the comments and let me know what your perfect morning routine is?