Look, I get it…
Not all of us are morning people. And more to the point, not all of us have the luxury of spending an hour journalling away or indulging in whatever morning habits our hearts desire.
I’m going to take the liberty here and call BS on the, “There’s NO TIME” excuse.
There is, always. (I’ll get to that in a minute).
First, let me reassure you that this post is NOT about…
Fluffy nonesense like suggesting you get up at 4.30am, drink some green tea, do some yoga, and say a few positive mantras in the mirror before you start your day.
(Because trust me, I’m a little tired of reading those wishy washy posts, too!)
Seriously, who does that?
Anyway… moving on…
WHAT DOES YOUR IDEAL MORNING LOOK LIKE?
If you could imagine it in an ideal world, what would you be doing?
Enjoying coffee outside in the garden?
Writing for 10-uninterrupted minutes?
Getting in some exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise?
How you start your day, directly impacts how the rest of your day is going to go.
So there is something to this whole morning habit / morning ritual / morning routine thing. What’s so great about them, you ask? Well, for starters, they help us get into the groove and feel like we’ve actually accomplished something before we jump into work.
Side note: You’d never believe it, but apparently, doing the dishes in the morning (not right after supper), makes you feel like a superhero. I tried it after a friend mentioned she’d been doing this, and I have to say, it kind of surprised me how good it made me feel! So weird.
I’ll be the first to admit it: the second I hit my alarm and snooze for an extra 30 minutes, my day is pretty much screwed. Rushing and panicking because the day is “running away” isn’t fun.
Know what I mean?
And it doesn’t matter if you work for yourself, at a boring admin job, or at a super stressful marketing job – we all wake up every morning with time to get ready for the day.
But here’s the thing…
We don’t all have the same work hours.
Also, our personalities are different; so are the priorities in our lives.
So what might work for me, doesn’t mean that it’s automatically going to work for you. We’ve all got totally different blueprints.
The key to designing a morning habit or routine that’s going to work for you?
Be REALISTIC about it.
And be prepared to experiment a little, until you find your groove.
If you’re not a morning person, relax!
Like I said, this isn’t about getting up before the crack of dawn just because. But, I swear, when you find the thing (or things) that make you want to jump out of bed all happy and excited, it changes EVERYTHING.
(Especially if you’ve got a stressful or boring day job).
HOW TO FIND YOUR MORNING GROOVE
So like I said, this is really a trail and error thing.
Maybe you find something cool and then three days later you’re bored, or it’s stressing you out because it takes way more time than you thought it would.
Relax. You’ll find it.
Here’s what I suggest you do to help find your ideal morning habit:
1) Work Backwards to Find YOUR Time
What time do YOU need to leave home for work (or start your day job)?
Write that down.
Now comes the interesting part…
Figuring out when to wake up.
What’s the absolute earliest time you’re prepared to wake up?
Maybe it’s 5.45am but you know you’re going to feel like death warmed up the next morning.
That’s when you look at your going to bed time.
I love using the Clock and Bedtime app on my phone. You just move the dial to the time you want to wake up and then it tells you what time you should go to bed to get your 7-8 hours’ sleep.
It’s a pretty cool trick.
You could just use a calculator if you don’t have the iPhone app and work backwards from there.
Quick recap: Write down your earliest waking time; find your new bedtime. Easy!
2) Get Real About What’s Important to You
What’s something you’d like to change RIGHT NOW?
Maybe you’re not as fit as you used to be, but you feel like there’s NO time for exercise because work is so busy.
Or, maybe you’re frustrated because you want to be more creative, but your job just doesn’t allow for it right now.
Maybe life is just so crazy right now you feel like you and your partner or family are living “past” each other.
Whenever I feel overwhelmed or stressed out or frustrated, I know I’m focusing on the wrong things (like going to bed after 10pm, browsing my phone or reading the news… then lying awake for an hour and waking up late).
Or rather, not pouring enough time into the things that matter most. Like my health, relationships, and down time.
And that’s where a morning routine makes everything better; it’s the one time of the day I have complete control over.
And so do you.
So what are one or two things you wish you had more time in the day for?
Get out a notebook or open a Word Doc and just write it all down. Then narrow it down to the heart of what makes you really happy. For example, maybe your list might look something like this:
- Family time
- Passion project
- Self care
3) Map It Out For a Trial Run
So, let’s say you really want to get (back) in shape but you feel like there’s no time whatsoever.
You can’t find extra time, so you’ve got to CREATE IT.
Now that you’ve gotten honest about what you really want to do – and your sleeping hours, all you need to do is find something that’s going to get you excited to work out!
(Because seriously, it’s super hard getting into it when you haven’t in a while, but once you do, helloooo happy mood and energy!)
Let’s look at an example quick…
Say you need to leave home by 07h30 to get to work on time. That means you need to be in the shower by 07h00. You’re not prepared to wake up a second before 6am, so that leaves you with about 45 minutes (minus 15 minutes to wake up, etc.) to exercise.
Okay, now we’re getting somewhere…
But seriously, you don’t want to work out for 45 minutes.
And to be honest, you’re not all that keen about rushing to gym and home before work.
The more honest and realistic you are, the easier it is to make this morning habit happen!
Now you’ve got a realistic list of exercises you can easily fit into your day, for example:
- A walk around the block while you listen to a podcast
- A couple of good stretches to some calming music
- A HIIT YouTube workout video
- A jog around the neighborhood
- Skipping in place and a few bodyweight exercises
See? There’s SO MUCH you can do!
It just takes a little experimenting – and you can switch it up. Nothing is set in stone here.
Remember this is your time, YOUR rules.
Maybe a walk tomorrow and a stretch the next day?
Whatever works for you; the trick is to try things and see what you like and what you don’t.
FINAL TWO CENTS?
Don’t think that you’ve got to have exactly the same routine every day. Also, maybe what you like now will change in a month or two.
Keep it fresh, keep it fun and I swear, you’ll be loving your morning routine before work so much, you’ll start looking forward to that alarm going off. (Okay, maybe not every day… but you know what I mean!)
Are you ready to design your new morning habit?
I’m actually pretty excited to design a new one now!
Let’s keep this conversation going…
What are some of your favourite morning habits or rituals that help you start the day right? Share your faves in the comments below!