Mornings set the tone for the entire day, but most of us just find ourselves rushing through them for the sake of getting dressed and out the door. However, a daily morning routine has the potential to set the foundation for our day and help us achieve our goals, no matter how simple or complex.
When creating your daily morning routine, it’s important to plan it out with as much detail as possible. “Map out the exact time you wake up and list each activity, in succession, that you plan to do until your workday begins,” says author Jeff Sanders, in his book, The 5 A.M. Miracle. “The more detail you include, the better.” Doing so will allow you to design a morning schedule that is simple for you to follow and leaves little room for excuses. Use the tips below as you create your ideal morning routine and you’ll set your day up for success.
The first step in creating your ideal morning schedule is to identify what you’d like to accomplish by having a set routine. This could be having time to make yourself a hot breakfast and enjoy eating it at the kitchen table or to start exercising everyday. No matter what you choose, make sure it’s something you would really value adding to your day. That way, you have something to look forward to each morning and it gives purpose to having a morning routine.
Preparing the night before is key for a successful morning. Start by checking the weather before you head to bed and picking out the clothes you’re going to wear. Lay out each item of clothing, down to your socks, as well as your shoes and accessories so you don’t have to search for them in the morning. This will prevent you from thinking you’re going to wear something only to realize it’s at the bottom of the laundry basket.
Another helpful thing to do the night before is to pack your lunch. Not only will it save you time in the morning, but it also gives you the time to prepare healthy food rather than grabbing something that’s simply convenient. Any preparation you’re able to do the night before will contribute to a more relaxing morning routine.
This might be the most difficult part of creating a morning routine for some, but it’s one of the most important. Waking up 15 minutes earlier is a small enough time difference that it won’t shock your body, yet large enough to give you extra time to move mindfully throughout your morning. If your first thought is, “I didn’t get enough sleep,” or “I don’t want to get up,” rephrase it immediately, says Tristan Coopersmith, Chief Inspirologist of Life Lab in Hermosa Beach, California. “We become the thoughts we think so if we start the day in lack, lack is what we give and get,” she says, “so I quickly rephrase into a thought of abundance.”
After waking, give yourself a few minutes to tune into yourself and to set an intention. Find a space in your home where you can sit, undistracted by your phone or other devices. Begin by close your eyes and checking in with yourself. Then bring your attention to your breath. Inhale and exhale deeply through the nose, allowing your stomach to expand and collapse. After a few minutes, return your breath to your natural breathing.
Finish your practice by setting an intention for the day. “It could be something very tactical, such as finish a report, or something more energetic, like be inspiring to my coworkers,” Coopersmith says. If you want to enhance that intention, she recommends doing a five-minute visualization of that intention coming to life.
The main purpose of a daily morning routine is to move mindfully, giving yourself the time needed to start your day with presence. Doing so will allow you to hold that same calmness and attention throughout the day. Try not to multitask, and, instead, solely focus on what you’re doing at the moment, whether that’s moving through a short yoga sequence or applying your favorite beauty product.