I am a big believer in having an intentional morning routine. Over the years I have come to find that it not only helps me be more productive, it assists my sanity as well. And here’s the thing, we all have routines in the morning. Whether it’s how you brush your teeth, when you make coffee or which shoe you put on first, most of us have created habits. They are valuable because they allow our non-thinking brain to take over so we can use our conscious brain to be used for more useful activities.
You likely have your morning routine. But have you created it on purpose? Does your morning routine serve you?
I have created my own intentional morning routine to make sure I do the things I know i need to do. But, if I wait until later in the day to try and do them, I often will not do them. It’s not a willpower thing. Decision fatigue is a real thing. That’s the reason I have created this set of activities each morning so I start my day off on the right foot. These are mine and are not prescriptive. But hopefully by seeing mine, you can create one that makes sense for you!
Wake up…and get up
When I hear my alarm clock, my goal is to get up and turn off the alarm right away. I don’t want to disturb Amy, so it helps me get up quickly. Once I am up, the goal is to stay up! Hitting the snooze bar not only sets you back 9 minutes, it puts your body into another sleep cycle. That is why you often feel groggy all day when you hit the snooze button. Your body thinks it’s supposed to be still asleep. When it’s time to get up…get up.
As I stumble out in the dark, I head straight for the coffee maker. I generally make it each morning. I don’t drink coffee all day. But I usually have a cup or two to kick start my day.
Put some good in my brain
This is often where I can let myself get derailed. It’s easier to jump on social media and see what is happening. This can often lead me down a road of negativity and frustration. The best days start with a jump to a few blogs that make me think and push good into my brain. One of my go to blogs is Seth Godin’s blog. Short, sweet and valuable to get me thinking each morning.
Write something (push out something)
One of things that got me thinking about this routine is the fact that I spent about a month skipping this step. I write about that here. For me, creating and writing is a therapeutic exercise. By taking the time to push something good out into the world, and hopefully provide value to someone, it helps to spin my day off in the right direction. And often, it’s a message that I need to hear too!
Science will tell you that if you get 20 minutes or more of activity that it will actually help you engage your brain to be more effective. Exercise helps you think more creatively, deal with stress and have more energy. Some people are able to roll out of bed and jump right into their running shoes. I am not one of those people. Over years and years of fits and starts, I have found this time in the morning is when I will not only do the exercise…but I will look forward to it.
Shower and Meditate
Meditation is not something that comes naturally to me. I am high strung by nature. That is why this part of the routine is important. It creates a space and a place for me to slow down, breath and give myself headspace. This is another place I can get derailed. It takes a little more time but I am always glad when I invest those minutes.
Breakfast at the Hospital
This is the part that most people laugh a bit about. I want to make sure I get some protein each morning. So I go to our local hospital in Coshocton and get scrambled eggs and bacon…every day. At this point, I don’t even have to order. I walk in and let them know I am there…then I go pay. When my breakfast is ready, they hand it to me in a to-go container and I head on my merry way. Yes…nearly every day.
Head to work
After I get through all of those simple steps, I head to work. I notice that if I skip any of these steps, I just don’t feel the same. This intentional morning routine sets me up for success each day.
As I said, this is not prescriptive. These are my steps. They are based on science and they are on purpose. I hope this creates a framework where you can create your own intentional morning routine!
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