The alarm clock is doing that annoying buzzing thing it does every morning and you’re trying to hide from it and eek out ten more minutes in bed just like you do every morning. Pretty soon you’ll crawl out of bed, get your morning mug of wake-me-up, and head into your day feeling five steps behind before it’s even started.
What if it didn’t have to be that way? Because it totally doesn’t!
Imagine instead that your alarm sounds and you turn it off, sitting up as you do so. Your feet hit the floor and you smile. You start your day and by lunch time you’ve accomplished more than your normally do in a full day. Plus, you’re not exhausted doing it, either.
It’s possible. Truly. It just takes ten carefully planned and executed minutes each day. All you need is a morning routine.
Essential Ingredients To A Successful Morning Routine
It doesn’t matter if you’re waking up to get to class on time, hustle into work before you’re late (again), or simply heading to your kitchen to get breakfast going for your family – a simple morning routine will make all the difference.
A morning routine will help you get to class, ready to learn. It will help you get to work to balance those account logs, walk those dogs, or pour 18 lattes for people rushing into the office. It will help you smile as your family crowds into the kitchen wanting food.
It doesn’t really matter where you’re going or what you’re doing with your morning, honestly. What matters is that you start your morning off well so the rest of the day will flow more smoothly.
A solid morning routine helps put you in the right frame of mind mentally, it prepares you emotionally, and it even gets you moving physically. It’s literally the foundation upon which the rest of your day is built.
Here are a few ingredients for a simple, yet successful morning routine.
Go To Bed Well
There are two essential elements to a successful day: a good evening routine and a solid morning routine. When you end one day well, it makes it a lot easier to start strong the next day.
So the first step in having a good morning routine is actually having a good evening routine. You sleep better, too, which makes it easier to wake up better.
Consider laying out your clothes, reading a book, and anything else that will give your morning a smoother start for part of your evening routine. Personally, I like to pick up the kitchen and wipe down my bathroom counter. Waking up to that clean space makes me happier.
What are things that would make you feel better in the morning if they were already accomplished? This is your evening routine and doing it will make your morning routine sparkle.
Know Why You’re Waking Up
You need to know why you’re getting up and getting going. If you don’t have a destination in mind, you’ll never arrive anywhere. In this case, it might be class, work, or the kitchen.
Or perhaps you’re getting up to have a fun day hiking, a lazy morning reading a favorite book, or to go shopping with some friends before the crowds hit the stores.
Regardless, before you go to bed at night, remind yourself of what tomorrow holds so you can stick with your morning routine.
Keep It Simple
Don’t try to pack 18 things into your morning routine. A simple morning routine is all it takes to launch a successful day.
Simplicity in an overlooked key to success. When you try to do too much in the morning you start out overwhelmed and running behind before you’ve even had your lunch. That’s no way to live, and certainly no way to thrive in your life.
When you stop trying to do all the things and do a few well, the quality of your life increases even if the quantity of your work decreases. It’s a fair trade.
Ten Minutes Every Morning Is All It Takes
Now, depending on your lifestyle and your schedule, your morning routine could start at 5 a.m., 8 a.m., or even noon. It matters less what time it starts and more what you do with the minutes that start it.
Here are some elements to a solid morning routine that will work no matter what your routine.
Don’t Hit The Snooze Button
I know, I know. You love your snooze button. Or at least rely on it.
But it’s time to break up with the snooze button and let your feet hit the floor within 15 seconds of hearing your alarm buzz.
Say Thank You
Grateful people are happy people. Start your morning off being thankful for your life as soon as your feet touch that cold morning floor.
Say a prayer, whisper a list…just be grateful.
Treat Yourself Well
When you go to the restroom, take a moment to brush your teeth, wash your face, and comb your hair.
Do something else that makes you feel good, too. Maybe it’s rubbing lotion into your skin or clipping in a favorite pair of earrings.
Stretch It Out
Even if you only spend 30 seconds, stretch your body. Ideally, spend 5 minutes doing some morning stretches. This will help wake up your brain, refresh your body, and get things moving.
Dress Your Body & Your Bed
When you get dressed, make your bed. It’s amazing how many successful people say that making their bed is a non-negotiable part of their morning. Getting dressed, including putting on shoes, is also a common thread.
It will help you feel more motivated and ready for whatever is coming…even if it’s just a trip to the kitchen counter to start the coffee and read the news.
Pick Your Big 3
Look at what you have to do for the day and make a plan. Recognize that the 18 things on your to do list likely won’t all get done and pick your 3 most important tasks…and get them done ASAP.
Whatever time you have left? Well, then you can count it as a bonus and start chipping away at the rest of your list. But your big 3? Those you’ll be able to get done because you got up and got started.
Make Your Morning Happen
See, you can do all that in less than ten minutes, and it will make such a big difference!
But there is one more thing you need to know: tomorrow, when your alarm goes off, you’re going to have to make it happen.
It’ll take a few weeks to really settle into a rhythm and adopt your routine. But once you get used it? Once it’s second nature? These ten minutes will help give you better days regularly.
About The Author
Lisa Yvonne is a busy wife and mom of 8 who works from her laptop in the middle of beautiful chaos every day. She considers her morning routine to be absolutely essential to living the life she enjoys and getting things done. You can read more at Graceful Abandon, where Lisa offers encouragement and practical advice to women who are ready to embrace their God-given purpose.