WARNING: The answer to this question isn't going to be something earth shattering that you've never heard before, but my hope is that because you're reading this today your mind is open to not just hearing this, but taking it in and sparking the willingness to put it into action in your own life.
Do you have a consistent morning routine?
Quick, what do you think of when you read that - a morning routine? What does that mean to you?
Does it mean, "ugh - that's work!" or do you think to yourself "I don't have time!" or are you reciting the phrase "yeah, yeah, yeah, heard that before, doesn't work for me"?
Whatever it is you're thinking or whatever your past experience with creating a morning routine or ritual that didn't work out, I simply ask that you stay open minded long enough through today's blog to consider it may have value in your life.
Nothing spoils discovering solutions more than the unwillingness to experiment. You've heard the saying contempt before investigation...don't be that person!
Here's the why of it all - when you have a morning routine that you consistently practice (notice, it's a practice - it won't always go perfectly), you trust yourself more and have more confidence, this in turn makes you approach your day with a can-do mindset.
And yet more important than any of that is with a consistent morning routine, you feel safe and secure.
It's a base human need, so it makes sense we should take actions at the start of each day that reminds us of our safety and security in this world.
And here's the real kicker of it all - a morning routine that truly works for you is something unique to you. The combination of habits and practices that work best for you are unlimited. You are the master decision maker and depending on where you're at in your life, your health, your work, your relationships, etc. your morning routine should fit your intentions for your day.
Over time your morning routine will change - almost like when the season changes from Fall to Winter to Spring and then Summer. You may have a workday routine and a weekend routine and a traveling routine and when family comes to visit routine.
The KEY point is that you have a routine and that it is consistently practiced. Consistency over quantity of activities or duration of time is hands day more important. So don't get overwhelmed by the idea of having a morning routine. Some may spend 30 minutes doing various activities and practices, others spend 3 minutes.
Rid your mind of rigid "must do" thinking. Instead, open your mind to what will make you begin your day from a place of calm, feeling self-assured, and help organize your thoughts and plans for the day?
And think about the things that take you away from those things - what do you need to stop doing? What do you need to start asking for help with (remember, asking for help is a courageous act, not weakness!)?
So let's get started - you game? Willing to experiment, give it a go? I mean a REAL solid attempt - like a 30 day challenge. I promise you, if you truly put forth effort to design a morning routine, practice it as consistently as possible over 30 days and stay open to tweaking/refining throughout, you will see your health, perspective on the world and the quality of your days improve.
So if you're still reading, you must of said yes, I'm willing to take on this 30-day morning routine challenge. YES!
Here's a list of activities and habits you can draw from to create your morning routine. Remember, the reason you're doing this is how you start your day is the greatest predictor of how your day will go. This doesn't mean you can control everything that happens in your day, but you can control how you respond to what happens and if you're coming from a place of calm, self-assured and being organized in your intentions and thoughts, you will navigate the ups and downs and curve balls thrown at you exceptionally better - and that my friend is the name of the game, progress!
Here's a baker's dozen list to give you some ideas, but add yours to the list and have fun experimenting.
1. Drink water - decide how much before you drink within the first hour of waking
2. Get organized using 3x3: Write down the 3 "must do" things that are non-negotiable in your day - 3 for work/career and 3 for your self-care (you gotta take care of you to have any chance of truly taking care of others)
3. Get grounded in calm - you can do this with breathing exercises, meditation, going outside and sitting in the stillness of nature, yoga or stretching exercises, etc.
4. Music playlist - have a set of tunes that really make you feel alive, confident, at ease, ready for whatever the day may bring? Tunes that a pep in your step and get that good energy mojo flowing.
5. Gratitude list - begin your day listing the things you're grateful for - either a mental gratitude list or written down (the latter tends to have a deeper intensity to it).
6. Get your body moving - do some stretches, take a short walk, dance to your music, if you have stairs in your house walk up and down them a few times, etc.
7. Get outside - be with nature. Breath in that morning air. Look around and acknowledge the beauty around you. Listen to the sounds of nature and your environment. This practice goes well with gratitude - thankful for the ability to see, hear, experience nature.
8. Read something inspiring, motivating or that captures your imagination.
9. Recite a daily mantra or affirmation or statement that captures what you want to get out of the day ahead. For instance, "I have the ability to choose in all areas of my life" or "I will have a good day today, my mind is open to whatever comes" or "I'm going to be the reason others smile today"...things like that.
10. Email and Social Media ban - make a deal with yourself that you will NOT start your day off with other people's agendas, i.e. email and social media. This is probably the #1 killer to a good start to the day. Make this non-negotiable for a set amount of time upon waking, i.e. first 1/2 hour or hour.
Eat breakfast at the table (or outside dining is great too) and do so slowly, with full presence on your meal and limit distractions. You're telling your body you care how you nourish it.
11. Pack your lunch and snacks - and don't forget more water! So often our days get derailed when we get hangry and reach for the nearest whatever mid-day to squelch the cravings, but when you're at that ravenous place, food choices tend to be less healthy and satisfying...so the cycle of poor eating continues into the night.
12. Stop that cycle by prep/planning ahead with your lunch and afternoon snack and be sure to get lots more water in.
13. Set your phone alarms at periodic times to remind you to stop, pause, take a breathing break, re-calibrate your mood and energy level and acknowledge yourself - the ways in which you have performed and followed through on the intentions for your day. This reinforces the good mojo and builds more confidence and trust in self. This is different than a destination mindset where you only reward or acknowledge yourself when you reach the peak goal or performance measure. It's FAR more important to acknowledge yourself all along the way for every step of progress and increasing consistency...trust me on this one!!
So what else? What would you add to the list? Which of these are you going to build into your 30-day morning routine challenge?
And remember - it's not about quantity or time duration - it's about the quality of the things you choose to do consistently each morning to start your day. So if your morning routine is 5 minutes and two habits - great! If it's 45 minutes and 7 habits, terrific!
Make it a custom fit for you!
Don't delay - start today. Make a decision that you want to feel safe, secure and be able to better predict how your day will go. Make the investment in yourself by building in a consistent morning routine and watch your life soar to new levels.
Need help getting going in the right direction with your mind-body health and improving your quality of life? Have you tried Health Coaching? You may be surprised how incredibly helpful it is to have a coach guide you, shorten your learning curve and accelerate your progress. To see if my coaching services would be a good fit for you - give me a call. I offer a 20 minute free phone consultation to determine if I could be of help to you.
Have a comment? I’d love to hear from you - leave one and I'll be sure to respond to you.
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In good health,
Coach Rusti Q
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