Okay, you’re not going to like it. It’s called a morning routine.
I love to sleep. Like, LOVE. But waking up earlier than my family in order to get my head straight is absolutely the best thing I ever learned to do for my health, my sanity, and my relationship with my self (the most important relationship there is!)
A simple morning routine helped me get myself out of post-partum depression, showed me my path to becoming a life coach, and keeps me feeling awesome and inspired even on days that I really just want to crawl back in bed.
Look, I’m not going to make any fake claims here. Like with any sort of healing, many things and modalities helped me out, including therapy, going back to work full-time so that I felt like I had a purpose again, and using a lot of Cognitive Behavioral techniques.
But my morning routine is my touchstone. My guidance system. It’s helped me create an amazing business and more importantly, be freaking happier.
Go without it for a couple of days, and I’m lost. And I know how important it is for other people. I’ve seen it change lives with my clients.
And research says…
So I went looking for the research on morning routines. Does it have to be in the morning? Could you possibly do the morning routine later in the day and still get the same results? What does the routine need to consist of?
I couldn’t find a lot of answers other than anecdotal and small sample sizes for any of these questions, i.e., for big science people, not definitive.
But let’s just do a test. Pick a person you really admire. Someone who’s successful in all senses of the word (fulfilled and has financial freedom), and I’m betting they have some sort of morning routine.
How do you feel?
Another test: how do you feel when you do it? How does your day change?
I know most of you reading this are like “Okay, but Erin, seriously, one more thing to add to my already overwhelmed life?”
The morning routine helps with that overwhelmed feeling; it sets you up for less overwhelm. And you don’t have to start with an hour long Kundalini sesh in order to see the results.
So please, let this this blog be a source of inspiration and encouragement and not another source of shame or guilt. (We have more than enough of that.)
Below are my tips for getting started with a morning routine and for working it in an easy and manageable way, but first, I need to tell you why this is important.
Because most of us (especially women) are super great at taking care of others. But who is taking care of you?
Making yourself a priority:
If you don’t take care of you, nobody else will.
Your husband can’t exercise for you. Your kids can’t set goals for you. Your mom can’t write your gratitude journal. You are the only one who can take care of you, and for me (and many others) that starts with simple routines in the morning.
You know, it’s that whole “you can’t fill another’s cup unless yours is full” kind of thing.
And creating this morning routine just may be the first step towards making your dreams a reality.
Okay, now for the tips on how to make this actually work:
Like, really small. Like, ten minutes small. Get up ten minutes earlier, pick one thing that you know helps you to get your mind right (prayer, meditation, dancing, walking, hugging at tree, gratitude journaling, whatever…) and just do it.
Change sucks. Our bodies resist it, our mind resists it; we just don’t really like to change. So even getting up a few minutes earlier can be super daunting. And I hear you on that.
So just do a few minutes of whatever floats your boat. The key is consistency. Try to do it every day for 30 days. (Kind of like a Whole 30 for your head.)
Pick one thing. What resonates for you (including timing)?
There is no “one size fits all” approach to personal change. People are built differently. If you can spend half an hour before you go to bed getting inspired and pumped up for the next day, go for it. If you’re an afternoon exerciser and that’s the only way it gets done, cool.
Pick just one thing that you can get done before the stress of the world (emails, texts, kids, work, everything!) starts to impede on your motivation and energy.
The reason I love mornings, though, is that no one else can bug you during that time. People aren’t emailing or texting at 6 am (not usually). Kids are hopefully still asleep. No neighbors running around with their leaf blowers. It’s just you and your quiet space.
My personal morning routine:
The routine has changed over time, and new things get added or subtracted on a daily or weekly basis. And no, I don’t do all of these every day; I do whatever is calling out the most. (Though exercise and meditation and/or journeying are every day musts.)
- Don’t look at the phone or computer until after you’ve done your stuff.
- Meditation: need help? Check out my blog on how to meditate.
- Shamanic Journeying: Check out my PDF on Shamanic Journeying.
- Gratitude Journaling: Writing down all of the things you love in your life.
- Inspirational Reading: whatever feels right to you.
- Love: I simply say “I love you, I love you, I love you” to myself and to whatever situation is currently annoying me or frustrating me.
- Money work: Looking into old stories around money, manifesting, creating new scripts. Try my blog on 21 Powerful Ways to Manifest Money Today.
- Fear releasing: Try my Confidence Booster Worksheet for an easy process to work through fears.
- Forgiveness work: I love Colin Tipping’s Radical Forgiveness, but if you don’t have time for the whole long forgiveness process from the book, try the simple Hawaiian one: I’m sorry. Please forgive me.I love you.Thank you. (Keep repeating it until you feel a sense of lightness or neutrality around the person or situation.)
- Goal Setting (daily and overall)
- Physical Exercise: I know, you want to tell me that things are too crazy in the mornings for exercise. I used to think so, too. I won’t argue with you (though I will ask you to revisit the “make yourself a priority” section); I’m just going to quote someone else. This is from a blog writer who surveyed Fortune 500 CEO’s about their morning routines.
If you think you don’t have time to exercise, think again. Those extremely busy executives, CEOs, and founders fit in an average of 45 minutes of working out every day.
Need more inspiration? Some great articles + research on the morning routine:
- You know how sometimes you feel like you’re being super productive, really rocking out? Is it from about 2 to 4 hours out from when you wake up?
- Some of the science behind behavioral change as well as many different options for morning routines, including stretching and exercise: (Lots of the comments said “The best morning routine article out there!”)
- Research behind the correlation between proactivity and “morning person-ness”
- Other possibilities for your morning routine.
And if you would like to see the results you can get from starting a morning routine, book a quick call with me. We’ll talk about ways to work together to get you started on your big dreams…with just a few new mindset tools.