Ramp Up Your Morning Routine

About three years ago, I purchased a special Black Friday online package from No Meat Athlete.  It was a great package filled with all sorts of programs and audio and handouts and downloads.  One of the downloads was Jeff Sanders’ “5AM Miracle”.  This came with a full book and a bunch of very cool tracking sheets for daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly recording of habits and goals.  I would say that Jeff’s take on a morning routine was somewhat inspired by Hal Elrod’s audio book, “The Morning Miracle.”   Which I eventually picked up from Audible and digested those words as well.

Between Jeff Sanders and Hal Elrod, I was completely and totally down with the morning routine.  It was a total game changer.  While I was already getting up early to go workout, the added items suggested by these two gentlemen gave me more to do for mind and spirit as well as my body.  And it made a huge difference in the way I approached my day.

Fast forward a year later and my hubby and I were moving from our current rental place to a new place about 15 miles away from my work.  I had been spoiled in the previous house, because I walked to work every day…having to commute by vehicle now AND get in a workout meant I had to change up my morning routine.  Which meant not doing anything but the workout for a while.

It sucked not being able to do my routine for those few months.  And the car commute required me to change my routine as well.  It took awhile to get back to a decent Morning Miracle routine, but I’ve found something that really works for me.

WHY should you have a morning routine?

Here are a few reasons:

Self Care

Taking the extra minutes to do some good things for yourself each day make a huge difference in your self care and work/life balance.  Especially if your morning routine focuses on mind, body, and spirit.

You Can Actually Gain Time

Having a routine means doing the same things day in and day out…since you’ll be less likely to forget something, you can probably sleep for five more minutes every day!

You’ll be a happier person and more pleasant to be with

According to Melissa Ambrosini – doing something healthy and supportive for yourself each and every day will lower your blood pressure and give you that little bit of oomph.  It boosts your spirit!

Now – what kinds of things can you add to your morning routine?

You can probably brainstorm your own list of tasks that will both put a spring in your step and aid in your peace of mind.  Some suggestions…

1.  Drink a big glass of water

2.  Meditate

3.  Stretch/Do Yoga

4.  Write

5.  Work Out

6.  Do affirmations or visualizations

7.  Eat breakfast

8.  Read

9.  Listen to an audiobook or podcast

10.  Set your intention for the day

I’ve done all of these in some shape or form while perfecting my routine…and it’s a small combo of things for me and things for my hubby.

I wake up around 4am and go make coffee for my hubby 🙂  It’s a nice thing to do.

Let the dog out.

Take my vitamins.

Meditate for 8-12 minutes

Write for 5 minutes

Dress for the pool

Eat some breakfast snack

Listen to Erica Mandy’s “The Newsworthy” on the way to the pool

Swim with my team for 1 hour

Shower, Dress and head to work

On the way to work, I listen to whatever audiobook or podcast is carried over from the day before.  I consume a great deal of content in my daily commute even though I really only drive for about 15-20 minutes each way.  And I LOVE taking in all the new information.

But sometimes I do need to rock out and that’s when I sit in the parking lot of my office and whip up a quick little Rush Hour Playlist.  I currently seem to be on a big Queen and Pat Benatar kick.

In any case, this morning routine has really worked for me and I can get my head on straight before turning on the computer and getting to work.

Now, not to be a Debbie Downer, but there are a few things that probably should not be part of your morning routine…for example.

1.  Hitting the snooze button.

Enough said.

2.  Extra cuddling with your dog.

Well, I can’t completely argue against that.  But I will tell you that my sweet mutt, Duke, is the ultimate saboteur.  Damn him.

3.  Pick up your phone and Start the Scroll.

According to Michael McQueen, the author of Momentum: How to Build it, Keep it, or Get it Back, those first ten minutes of day are crucial to the success of our week.   Talking to News.com.au, he said jumping on your phone first thing in the morning puts you in a reactive frame of mind.  Instead, we should be doing something proactive that makes us feel in control.   

“Something simple like making the bed or being grateful for what you achieved the day before can make all the difference,” he said.   “The idea is it’s you deliberately doing something rather doing something unintentionally.” 

4.  Turning on the TV

Stay away from negative news.  tailor your news to positive and uplifting stuff.  Seriously look into The Newsworthy Podcast!!

5.  Getting up at different times each morning

This adorable You Tube video from Thomas Fran is actually quite thoughtful and filled with great tips.  

Go Slow….

This new routine can definitely be a grind, especially if you are not an early riser.  So don’t knock yourself out to suddenly get up 90 minutes early and barrel through a bunch of stuff.

For starters, just set your alarm for ten minutes earlier and try one new thing.  Try that for a week.  Meditate for five minutes and stretch for five minutes.

Or read for five minutes and then eat your breakfast.  Do that a week or so and then add five minutes and wake up 15 minutes earlier.

Mix and match and try a little bit of everything before you settle on your Morning Routine.

So – leave a little note in the comments and tell us what YOUR morning routine is!

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