MY MORNING ROUTINE
I’ve always been a morning person. Something about waking up with the sunrise gives me a natural energy boost for the rest of the day. I genuinely believe in the romance of it!
Whenever I vacation near the ocean (which I recently did on my trip to Hawaii), I love waking up and walking on the sandy beaches with my feet in the water as I watch the sunrise.
My mind is free during my morning walks on the beach, and my body feels lighter and more relaxed. It’s my favorite way to start my day.
However, I’m not always on vacation! So, when I’m not near the beach, my day begins a little differently – albeit with a similar amount of daily inspiration.
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RESEARCHING THE BEST MORNING ROUTINES AND DAILY RITUALS
Now, I’m an avid collector of information. I love reading, and I love learning and gaining knowledge. One topic of particular interest is morning routines and the daily rituals of successful people: from authors like Jane Austen and Charles Dickens to entrepreneurs, artists, and more.
But I don’t just read about the morning routines of famous people. I love checking out what bloggers and everyday people do for their routines and what works for them.
And that’s the key to creating your own morning routine: finding what works for you. While my perfect morning routine is influenced by the daily rituals of successful people throughout history or other writers out there, I’ve also added my own touch to it to suit who I am as a person.
What works for one person may not always work for another.
Some of the morning routines that have influenced me include Benjamin Hardy’s morning checklist (which is like a comprehensive guide) and the daily rituals found in *this book by Mason Currey.
I’ll also read numerous articles or talk to people and mentally collect a piece of information that intrigues me.
After a few years of trying what works, I finally have the proper morning routine for me, and it has helped me make sense of my chaotic life.
CREATING MY IDEAL MORNING ROUTINE
About three years ago, I began attending graduate school full-time while simultaneously working part-time and working full-time on this blog/entertainment site. It didn’t take long for me to become completely overwhelmed.
It was then I decided it was time to start creating a morning routine and my own daily rituals to get through each day to be more productive while also feeling more inspired and grateful.
The days I started incorporating a morning routine into my schedule were when I got more done! I felt better mentally and physically.
The days I didn’t dragged on and were full of stress, anxiety, and the familiar feeling of overwhelm. I wished I could be Hermione and have a time-turner of my own because it never felt like I had enough time in a day.
As a full-time writer and blogger, I have a lot on my plate! And having a morning routine forces me to take some time for myself. It also helps me align to the life I want to lead (which you can see in our Romantic Manifesto!)
A morning routine ultimately helps me be more productive, optimistic, and even healthier. It’s changed my life for the better, and I can’t recommend creating one of your own enough.
So, here is my morning routine step by step. Afterward, make sure to check out my top tips for putting together your own morning routine.
MY MORNING ROUTINE: STEP BY STEP
My morning routine begins the night before as I prep for the next day. Without setting my priorities for the following day, it’s unlikely I’ll be able to do my morning routine.
Here’s a quick rundown (all of this takes me about an hour):
- Before bed, 1-2 times a week, I do an at-home facial or wear a sheet mask. This is for relaxation and skincare. However, I always follow my night skincare routine. Sometimes I also take a hot shower, put on fancy lotion, and drink some tea.
- I make sure not to look at my phone for at least 30 minutes before going to bed. I admit, I still do use my Kindle for reading. I also do not check my email or social media when I’m in bed. It’s a bad habit of mine to want to scroll on my phone at night, but whenever I do, I find it’s harder for me to sleep – especially since I struggle with insomnia on and off.
- Then, I write in my journal and describe my day: the good, the bad, and everything in between. Sometimes, I even write about my goals and priorities for the next day. This gives me something to think about when I sleep.
- I read a great book for about a half-hour.
- I pray and/or meditate before bed. Meditation helps me prepare my mind for sleep.
- My bedtime gives me enough time to make sure I’ve scheduled at least 7-8 hours of sleep.
- I set my alarm for 6:00 am. It is a sunrise alarm clock that wakes me up with light and the sound of ocean waves. Heimvision is the one I own and use.
6:00 am – My alarm goes off
The sunrise alarm begins about a half-hour before, slowly giving the effect of the sun rising. This makes me ready for when the actual alarm sounds off.
It takes me about 5 minutes to wake up, depending on the day. I’m not a jump-up first thing and start sort of person. Although I don’t hit the snooze button.
Many successful and productive people wake up as early as 4am or 5am. I am just not that dedicated! I like my sleep and feel drained if I rise too soon. But earlier does work for many individuals.
6:05am – Pray
A great way, I’ve found, to start the day is with a prayer of gratitude. If I give thanks for what I have, I begin the day with a better attitude. And that can make all the difference.
Even though it’s tempting to grab my phone and scroll, it’s better not to take my focus and put it on the outside world full of distractions. That tends to lead to more procrastination and distractions throughout the day.
6:08 am – Drink Water and Splash my face with ice-cold water
Out of the many morning and daily routine lists I’ve read, most recommend taking an ice-cold shower. I have tried that and do not enjoy or like it.
What I found works for me is to grab a cup of ice, pour it in the sink and splash my face with ice-cold water. It has the same effect, waking me up for the day.
I hear it’s also good for your skin and increases blood flow.
I also drink a glass of water to hydrate.
6:10am – Meditate
I love doing a guided meditation for about 10 minutes in the morning. A few of my go-to choices include Kris Carr meditations (we also love her monthly Inner Circle guidance), the Calm App, or the ones I like on YouTube.
6:20am – Write in Journal
In the morning, I take a different approach to journal writing. I have vivid dreams nightly, so I write about my dreams, what I’m thankful for and what I hope to accomplish that day.
I also write about my goals from short-term to long-term. It’s more mindful.
6:30am – Read
While I prefer reading my fun books at night, I like to read more inspirational non-fiction books or even the classics in the morning. I read about one chapter.
It helps me feel more motivated for the day while also turning on my thinking skills.
6:40am – Make the Bed
I learned this one from grad school. In a video (a video that went viral years ago) I watched in a Publishing class, Naval Adm. William H. McRaven talks to grad students about why they should make their bed.
He said: “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.”
You can watch his speech on YouTube.
Well, I found that pretty inspirational. While I made my bed most days before, now I always try to make it in the morning for this reason.
6:45am – My Morning Stretch
For about five minutes, I stretch my whole body to prepare for exercise and the entire day.
As a former cheerleader, I’ve never gotten out of the habit of stretching daily to increase flexibility. I stretch and feel much better afterward.
6:50am – Early Morning Exercise Routine
My exercise routines differ on various days and make up a combination of strengthening/toning, aerobics like dancing, walking, swimming, qigong, yoga, and kickboxing.
You can see some of my favorite free online workouts HERE.
However, my absolute favorites include going on walks, GrowwithJo workouts, Lucy-Wyndham Read workouts, and TaeBo.
7:50am – Get Something Done On My To-Do List
I take ten minutes to pay a bill or clean up my room or something else small but essential I need to get done that day.
8:00am – Breakfast
I cook a healthy breakfast with my sister, and we usually eat it together.
We typically eat oatmeal with fruit and a green smoothie, make a Sakara breakfast from their cookbook or online, cook a Kris Carr recipe, have avocado toast, have an egg scramble with vegetables, eat greek yogurt, or make homemade pancakes with fruit and pure maple syrup.
We follow a healthy meal plan and meal prep at the beginning of the week to make our lives easier.
8:45am- Shower/Get Ready
On days I work from home, I simply take a quick shower, do my skin-care routine (an important step), and get going. Having healthy skin is a priority for me.
9:00am – Creative Writing
Before I do my regular work, I work on my fiction writing. Because running a website can take a lot of time, I need to set aside time every day for fiction writing; otherwise, it will fall to the wayside.
9:30am – Work on Website in Time Blocks
On workdays (I do less work on Saturdays and Sundays), I begin my day by working on the website. I’ve found that working in time blocks works best and helps with time management.
I do either 25 minute or 50-minute time blocks. That way, every hour, I have about ten minutes to exercise and move, so I’m not sitting all day.
I typically finish my workday between 5 and 7 pm. I also take a lunch break in the middle of my workday for an hour.
And that completes my morning routine!
It’s Not About Perfection
I should add that I try not to be too hard on myself if I’m imperfect with following my routines. It’s better if I don’t expect perfection from myself, especially since I’m a perfectionist.
I don’t always follow these steps in order, sometimes I skip steps, and sometimes my body needs more sleep, and I sleep longer. Other days require me to shift my schedule, so I try to be flexible.
And then I do have bad days where I don’t do my morning routine.
It’s all about the journey and learning to listen to my mind and body and what it needs. That’s the best way to approach routines, in my opinion.
That said, I do try to follow my morning routine most days. And that has made a significant positive change in my life.
HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN MORNING RITUAL – A FEW TIPS
A morning routine doesn’t have to be a lengthy one. It can be as simple as getting up and drinking a glass of water, going for a walk, or making breakfast.
However, my advice is to take the time to do something that will make you feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally before starting your day.
Do Your Research First
If a morning routine interests you, but you don’t know where to start, begin researching as a way to send you in the right direction. Read books, articles, blog posts. Numerous experts and amateurs have written on the topic.
Learn what others have done for their routines and what has worked for them. Start there. Emulate. Seeing other examples works like a part instruction manual.
Eventually, you’ll be able to start finding what works for you, your schedule, and your personality by trial and error to create the right routine.
Set Your Priorities The Night Before
To have a successful morning routine, having an evening routine is a good idea if only to decide your priorities for the next day, including when to wake up.
Begin Your Day with Gratitude
Find a way to start your day with gratitude in whatever way works for you, such as prayer, journaling, creating a gratitude list, or following a meditation routine.
Even if you have to dig deep, there is always something to be thankful for. This sets the tone for the rest of your day.
Make Your Bed
Yep, I’m circling back to this one! It really makes a significant difference to your day. Small things like this help create productive habits.
Do Something For You
Maybe it’s reading a good book, drinking tea while watching the sunrise, exercising, watching your favorite period drama for a few minutes, reading the morning news over breakfast, or walking to clear your head. You can even Marie Kondo your wardrobe.
Whatever it is, add something that allows you to have some “me” time separate from our busy lives. Pick something you enjoy.
Well, that wraps up my morning routine and best tips for creating your own. Do you have a morning routine or an ideal day? What are your suggestions? Share below!