Morning routines are a big topic on social media. Famous athletes, creators, and high performers are often asked about their morning routines. Their answers are often treated as a glimpse into the tools and tricks it takes to perform at their level. The transparency that social media provides allows us to see others’ routines and advice on living well.
Morning routines are a vital part of living well, and I think those routines should be tailored to every individual. Following a celebrity or social media influencer’s morning routine can be helpful, but it’s more helpful to rework their approach to fit your needs and goals.
This post is about creating a morning routine that works for you and your ever changing priorities and schedules. The concept of a morning routine ties in well with some of our precious posts on designing a home office and many of the concepts we have explored in sustainable building certifications. Your home and office interior environments can have a great effect on how your morning goes and set you up for a great rest of the day.
Picture Your Perfect Morning
Everyone has an ideal morning where everything seems to go right. Everything happens on time, and everyone is in a good mood. These mornings seem to only happen every once in a while, but there are some ways to make them happen more often. I think it’s helpful to picture your perfect morning routine with as much detail as you like. You can pick out a wake up time, things you want to accomplish, and anything else that makes your morning perfect (or close to perfect). If your day starts with a cup of coffee, can you set out the French press, filters, or other coffee making supplies the night before? That way, your coffee process making supplies clean, within reach, and ready to go. You also won’t have to search for a coffee filter when your eyes are still half open.
Think about what else makes your mornings go right. Maybe it’s quiet time with your partner, playtime with kids, watching the sunrise, going for a walk, or something completely different. What are steps you can take to make these wonderful moments happen more frequently?
For me, sticking to a regular schedule has helped me tackle my mornings. If I keep my bedtime and wake up time fairly consistent (even on the weekends), the morning alarm doesn’t cause me so much grief. A consistent schedule is tough to maintain in today’s world that doesn’t seem to turn off. There are stimulants, news cycles, and constant updates on social media that make it hard to wind down. Adults and kids alike sometimes need an extra push or reward to turn off the devices and get a restful night’s sleep.
For those of you who like to exercise in the morning (I’m trying to be like you!), try setting out your workout clothes and shoes the night before or even sleeping in your workout clothes. If you are running or cycling, have your route planned and any equipment you need ready to go. That way, you won’t be scrambling or forgetting something before heading to the trails or the gym. Small rewards like trying out a new upbeat playlist or accomplishing goals on your fitness tracker can keep you motivated and consistent.
A little pre-planning can go a long way when it comes to meals, laundry, and overall schedules and can make a big difference in how your mornings go. Even with a big plan, things may not go quite as you thought they would. That’s just life reminding you about the things you can’t control. I invite you to be kind to yourselves and others on days like this and acknowledge that not everything in life goes to plan.
For those of you who don’t share my Type A characteristics, pre-planning and scheduling may sound awful. You can try some tactics like getting your clothes ready the night before and sticking to a somewhat consistent schedule. There is no need to make a spreadsheet or calendar if that isn’t your style. Just recognize when certain things work for you and when they don’t. Then just repeat the steps that work for you. I think your mornings will improve in no time.
Find ways to make incremental improvements and adjustments that result in you feeling and performing at your best. This process can be a form of self care and keeps you in tune with your mental, emotional, and physical needs.
When I keep a good, productive morning schedule for several days in a row, it builds my trust in myself. Setting a plan and sticking to it always boosts my mood overall and sets me up to reach other personal goals even at times when I don’t realize it. Another approach is finding ways to slow down your normally fast paced mornings to focus on you, your partner, your kids, or even your pet. Enjoying that relaxed, yet intentional time in the morning can help keep you motivated to get out from under the covers.
Finding What Really Works for You
As you go throughout your day, take some time to notice how you feel at certain points. When you wake up are you thirsty or hungry? Try hydrating then making a healthy breakfast to satisfy those physical needs. Does drinking coffee as soon as you wake up give you a headache? Or maybe not drinking coffee too early gives you a headache. Whatever they are, find ways to tweak your processes so that you can feel at your best.
Do you need to create a schedule that works for others in your household? Most people do. With those extra considerations in mind, what are some ways you can have some “me time” as well. Whether it’s journaling, reading a good book on the porch, or something else, I think you will be better for it.
We can see how much our mornings impact our days. A little planning and discipline can give us more peaceful days and higher performance at work and in our personal lives. It may take some time to fully get a handle on the morning routine that works for you, so be patient. Get support and tips from others with similar schedules and goals. Talking with others that have different schedules can give you a glimpse into other strategies you may not have thought of before.
So, I hope these tips improve your mornings from now on. Also, I hope your improved mornings improve your days.