My Morning Routine

I am NOT a morning person!

If I had my way, I would stay up late and sleep in each day…but I am a wife, mom and business owner with people who depend on me, so that “frat boy schedule” sadly just doesn’t work for me. I’m sharing this routine because this is NOT natural for me, it’s a struggle EVERY SINGLE DAY! And I’m not perfect, I have days that I sleep in, but I am less productive and less motivated when I do. I know first hand that having a morning routine WORKS if you make the commitment to the practice.

About a year and a half ago, I took an end of the year challenge from author Rachel Hollis. She calls it her Last 90 Day Challenge, and the idea is to end the year with the same drive and intention many of us do at the start of a new year. I took the challenge and for the first time, didn’t quit on myself! I will go the extra mile for others, but I realized when it came to things just for me or things I used to see as “selfish”, like working out or personal development, I wouldn’t follow through. This time, I made a change. I got up early, exercised every day, practiced gratitude, drank enough water even when traveling and tired I DID IT! The results were powerful, I found myself so much more productive and more energized for not just me, but also my family. My simple, consistent changes made a massive impact on me and so many around me. So I stuck with it!

As I type this in April of 2020, we are in the midst of a global pandemic. For the first time, many people are now working from home - or not working at all - and finding themselves with more time on their hands. Because of that uncertainty, you may have MORE anxiety and LESS motivation. NOW more than ever a morning routine and maximizing your productivity are VITAL, not only for your physical but also for your mental health. This uncharted time is not a race or a competition, but I believe it also is NOT AN EXCUSE!

I love this quote from author Brendan Burchard, “A power plant doesn’t have energy, it generates energy!” What does that mean? It means you have to move your body, get the sleep, drink the water and eat the foods to fuel your body to make the energy you desperately need! You are tired because you likely are NOT doing those things, so you feel like you can’t possibly exercise! In fact, the reality is you MUST exercise and eat right to generate the energy you need to change your current reality. 

 I’m no health expert, so please consult your doctor before making any major health and fitness changes. But this I do know…. START TODAY and just move a little more than you did yesterday! Add a little more tomorrow, and the day after that. Little wins add up to big rewards!!!

This is NOT about being thin, or a number on the scale. I LOVE FOOD and I don’t deprive myself. Perfection is not the goal, but PRODUCTIVITY is!! If I make a little bit of progress each day, if I have the energy to stretch and tackle one more skill that brings me closer to my bigger dreams, that is SUCCESS. My current energy level and productivity will NOT get me to where I want to be in five or ten years. So I have to make the small, daily changes and sacrifices necessary to show up each day in a way that moves me closer to those goals.

This is what my routine looks like, and some tips on how to maximize your morning:

Alarm 5am… no snooze. Set the phone across the room or in your closet; somewhere you must get up to turn it off. I even titled the alarm as a visual reminder, “You are STRONGER than the snooze!”

Set out your workout clothes the night before in your closet next to your phone. Cute workout clothes always help me with that motivation, if you need some I got you covered HERE.

Don’t look at messages or email right now!! No one else is awake, this is your most productive quiet time, don’t waste it on something you can tackle at 9am when you “start your day”. This is a hard one for me, but so powerful. Fight that urge to tackle those messages or mindlessly scroll!

Start the coffee. I look forward to that quiet cup each morning by myself, it’s what gets me out of bed. ;) Maybe yours is tea or hot cocoa, I drink iced coffee year round throughout the day but in the morning that hot cup of goodness is comforting and gets me going.

Drink a huge glass of water. While you sleep your body dehydrates and needs to be replenished. I have a hard time getting in all the water I need (at least half your body weight in ounces each day) and end up with headaches and ofter over eat junk because of it thinking I’m hungry when really I’m just dehydrated! So I chug a huge glass as fast as I can first thing in the morning before anything else to replenish those fluids and kick off that effort to consume all those ounces.

Gratitude. I have never been a journal or diary person. My 9 year old has dozens and loves it! I consider myself a very positive, glass half-full person, but I see the benefit of gratitude daily. I start each day with writing down things I’m grateful for and goals I’m working to achieve. I am very driven, but not always as focused and productive as I’d like to be. This practice helps me start the day with a positive outlook and laser focus on what’s important. If I write down my gratitude each day, I have noticed I am more likely to look for and find those gifts throughout the day.

Coffee. I savor that cup of coffee while I work on something creative. Writing a blog post, or brainstorming ideas for new products, customer marketing or business ventures. This is time I once used to answer emails or put out fires, which made my day start on the wrong foot with all that was WRONG in my business and life it WRECKED my creativity. Now that time is MINE.

Move your body. We have a small home gym so I go downstairs and move my body for 30-45 minutes. For months I just googled “at-home arm workout”, or ”at-home cardio”. If you are motivated, there are plenty of FREE resources on the internet if you just look. After creating the habit of moving my body every day, I decided I wanted to take it up a notch and I reached out for expert advice. @Michele_fit_official put together a program for me that keeps me accountable. I have to check in and mark each workout as complete and I love it! You can contact her HERE from more info on personal programs.

It’s 8 am now and during the regular school year, this is when I see kids up and off to school.

Shower. Get up, dress up, show up! If I stay in workout clothes or sweats all day I am FAR LESS productive. That’s why I make it a point to get ready for work each day, even though I work from home. If I take a little time for me, find an outfit I feel good in, fix my hair, and add a bit of makeup, I immediately feel more confident and ready for whatever the day throws my way. Since my work is online, I’m far more likely to be active on social media and Instagram stories throughout the day if I “get ready for the day”. If you are struggling with consistency, make it a goal to be “up and ready” each day before 9am. This consistency makes a HUGE difference for me.

By 9am I am WORKING. My goal is to get as much work done as possible while my kids are at school, giving me a block of time from 9am-3pm. During a normal school day there are less distractions at home so that time between 9am and 3pm are my most productive hours and I don’t want to waste them.

Big three. To help with being productive I make my BIG THREE list each day. These are the three things I have to tackle - the top priorities - and I take great satisfaction in crossing them off the list! My “to do” lists seem endless like most moms and business owners and it can be overwhelming and down right discouraging! So i took back control and do my best to focus on the BIG THREE each day! Even if my day doesn’t go as planned, if I accomplished those three tasks it’s a WIN. Don’t beat yourself up for all you didn’t get done. Focus your time and energy and celebrate your accomplishments so you have the confidence and energy to tackle the next big three tomorrow!

I hope these morning routine tips are helpful. Find a mix that works for YOU! Let me know what habits you are creating to start your day off strong in the comments. If you enjoyed this post and tips, please leave a comment, share this post with your friends I want to hear from YOU! I’ll draw some winners to get the Start Today Journal I use each day on me, so you can do the practice too.

I’m cheering you on! Take back your mornings, you deserve the rewards that come with finding a morning practice that works for YOU!