Creating a Morning Routine can be TOUGH!!
Having a morning routine has made my life run smoother and I'm happier in my day to day life. Gretchen Rubin writes in 'Better Than Before' her book on habits that she wants us create an :
"...everyday life in Utopia. Everyday life with deep, loving relationships and productive, satisfying work; everyday life with energy, health, and productivity; everyday life with fun, enthusiasm, and engagement, with as little regret, guilt, or anger as possible."
There are so many experts out there telling you to create a morning routine, which sounds a lot easier to do than it actually is. I've been there many times, creating and recreating my morning routine and now I'm here to help you create your own morning routine! And I have a free workbook to help you do it! It seems to be the biggest trend right now, there are lots of tips on what to include (meditating at 4:30 anyone? no? ok.), but not a lot of help in actually creating one that suits your unique life and how to implement it.
Most of those morning routines consist of getting up at 5:15, doing an hour of yoga, reading a spiritual book and then meditating. Now, I'm not knocking all of this stuff, I even do some of it myself, just not at 5:15 in the morning. The problem with this routine is that it would just not work for me! And it probably won't work for most of you. Most other people's routines won't work for me or anyone else. We must create our own morning routine that is as unique as we are.
The key is to create a routine that flows easily for you, that makes your life easier and to do the things you want to accomplish. The goal is not to try and cram as many things into the shortest period of time, you don't want to be a slave to a constaining, demanding schedule. It should serve you and make your day run smoothly.
Here's my rountine that I shared a few weeks ago.
I absolutely LOVE this routine, but I'm sure it would NOT work for everyone! Or even ANYone else. Heck, it may not even work for me in 6 months' time ;)
Let's create a personalised routine for you shall we?
Here are 7 steps to create your perfect MORNING ROUTINE. It doesn't matter if you work from home like me, or outside the home of if you don't work at all. These steps will work for everyone. We are going to set the first 3 hours of your morning so that you can get your day off on the right foot to make the rest of it run smoother.
- Look at what you are already doing in the mornings. We are going to start slow and work on the first 3 hours after waking up. If you have a rough base of a morning routine already, then feel free to build a longer rountine, but if you are starting from scratch, don't go over 3 hours. If there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to what you are doing in the morning that's ok! That's what we are going to fix!
- Analyse the good and the bad, in other words, what you want to keep and what you want to change. One thing I highly suggest is getting up at the same time everyday, even on the weekends (give or take an hour)! It will set your internal clock and you'll get more consistent sleep and feel a lot better. My Dad doesn't need an alarm clock because he's gotten up at the same time everyday for years. I wake up at 5:45 on weekdays and about 6:30 on weekends. I honestly cannot sleep later unless we have been out really late the night before. You can get up at 9am or 4am, it's all up to you, but just make it consistent throughout the week and weekend.
- Make a list of the things you would like to do in the morning. Estimate the amount of time you need or would like to spend on each task. Some of the tasks will be things that need to get done and already take a certain set amount of time. ex: shower, breakfast dishes or the drive to work/school etc., so allot the time needed to finish those tasks.
- Look at this list realistically and compare it to what you are already doing and want to keep. (from step 2). How much of it is actually doable first thing in the morning? Can you tweak the timings so that it'll work? If you have to cross some things off of this list, it doesn't mean that you can't add it in a few months from now or that you can't do them later in the day. It just means that they don't fit into your morning routine right now. That's ok!
- Sit down with a piece of paper and a pencil and write your tentative schedule. Leave some space to write in edits and tweaks as you live with this schedule.
- Live with the schedule for some time to see if it is working well for you, I suggest 3 weeks. Feel free to tweak and change things as you see whether they are working or not. Give yourself some grace in the beginning. It's hard to change old habits. Don't worry about sticking to the schedule to the minute, this isn't the military! However, if you find that you are always 15-20 minutes late for the next step, ask yourself why and maybe tweak the schedule.
- After you've been able to follow the schedule to a T, with no more tweaks, for about a week, then you are probably ready to set it in stone... or at least in your planner! D
Ok, that is a LOT to tackle right? Well, no worries!! I've got a free workbook that walks you through the steps!
Here are a few extra tips and tricks!
*If you have children, I highly suggest that you wake up before them. There is nothing worse than a child with endless energy bounding into your bed to wake you up. You will be bleary eyed and still sleepy and his energy will be a dramatic contrast, making you cranky and reluctant to cater to his needs first thing in the morning. Instead if you are awake even 5 minutes before his arrival, then you are ready to meet him with love and kindness instead of dread and resistance. Ideally, I like to be up and dressed before I greet them, because then I'm fully awake and ready for hugs and cuddles.
*If you want to get up earlier on a regular basis, give yourself some grace, it may be hard to do at first. Make sure you are going to bed at a decent hour to get the sleep you need. If you are finding the shift difficlut then maybe setting the alarm 15 mins earlier each week until you reach your desired time might be a kinder way on your body.
*Remember that you are the boss, this routine is supposed to help you start your day off right. If you feel like you are a slave to your schedule, and that it's the routine that is ruling you, then that's a sign that something is not right and needs to be tweaked. Are you rushing to finish all the tasks in the allotted times? Then give more time for each one.
*As you learn to live with this new routine, give yourself grace and don't expect to be able to follow your routine every single day. There will always be exceptions, appointments, emergency calls, last minute costumes to finish, etc. This past week, for example, I had something come up every day and I wasn't once able to complete my routine, that's ok! I did what I could and next week my routine will still be there. The point is to be as consistant as possible to get your day started on the right foot.
I told someone just the other day, that my whole day feels off if I don't get those first 3 hours of my morning routine done.
Remember that this routine can work well for you now but, life changes and evolves so don't feel like you need to stick to your routine longer than it is working for you.
Download this worksheet right now, to help create a Morning Routine of your own!
Here is an example of the Morning Routine worksheet filled out. This lady, let's call her Abigail, decided to try this method to come up with her own morning routine and this is her workbook:
hmmm, she seems to have similar handwriting to mine and the same Cyberman mug as I do ;)
In this video, I walk through a blank version and then the one that's been filled out:
After a while your morning routine will become second nature and you'll simply do it without thinking.
Right now, the second half of my morning routine is still pretty new to me, so I've got it listed in my planner reminding me to keep up with it. As you can see in my planner perfect planbook here, I remind myself each day to check it and crank it out.
I've got a quick video walking through my thought process of decorating these pages (which you can also use to decorate your morning routine page or any planner page).
Or there is this video, where I decorate my morning routine.
You can also check out the blog post from a couple of weeks ago where I walk you through the evolution of my current morning routine:
Once you are settled into the first 3 hours of your day, feel free to add to your morning routine. Then, you can move on to evening and afternoon routines. Don't be worried if these are different for each day depending of activities, just try for as much consistancy as you can. Let me know how you are getting along! Feel free to email me pix of your worksheets and routines at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also email me if you have any questions at all. If you post your Routines, please use the hastag #hootmorning on IG and tag me @caravincens. Can't wait to see what you come up with!