I have always known that the best way for me to get all of my tasks done for the day is by sticking to my routines. Not only do routines reduce stress and anxiety, they offer us a little bit of predictability in a world that is anything but. Every day I know what I need to do in the first two hours of my day following my morning routine, then at 9 am I get to work and tackle my work tasks one by one in their priority order, and finally I finish off my day with the few things I love to do at my evenings.
I do understand, however, that it can be difficult to establish a routine and actually stick to it every single morning. So if you have just started your efforts in creating morning habits that can keep your organized and motivated for whatever lies ahead during the day, this post is for you! Here are my top tips for establishing a morning routine that’s easy to follow.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER
First and foremost, it’s really important to understand that everyone’s routine will be different – what excites you and gets you out of bed in the morning is likely very different than what gets someone else out of bed in the morning. But not only that – not everyone has two or more hours to spare every morning to follow a strict routine. I cannot imagine a mom to have two free hours in the morning to spend on working out, reading a self-help book, preparing breakfast, doing her makeup and planning her day while still nursing her newborn.
That’s why it is essential that you keep things realistic and simple. Don’t overcrowd your routine trying to include things that you don’t have the necessary time for or don’t even like. Even if your favorite influencer says that you need to drink a kale smoothie every morning, don’t feel the need to actually do so if you don’t like kale. I believe this should be self-explanatory but the reality is quite different – we feel bombarded every day with different messages from social media about what is a healthy lifestyle so it can be difficult to pin point what will actually work best for us.
So personally, my morning routine includes only five things that I genuinely love to do – I make up the bed and tidy up the apartment because I hate a messy home; I do my workout 3 to 4 days per week to wake my body up; I have a shower and prepare myself for the day because even a tint of makeup will get me in the mood for some work; and finally I sit down and plan the day ahead noting the key tasks in my planner. That’s my simple and efficient morning routine.
HOW TO CREATE A MORNING ROUTINE THAT’S EASY TO FOLLOW?
Let’s dive in a bit deeper in the exact steps you need to follow to create a simple morning routine that’ll be easy to follow. Start with choosing a time to wake up – ideally, the earlier you can wake up, the better, but understandably we all have different sleep patterns, careers and schedules. Whatever your schedules calls for, you want to wake up at the same time every day. If you have difficulties in maintaining the same wakeup time, try not to hit the snooze button every morning. You can even put your phone across the room so that you have to force yourself to get out of bed.
Next, it’s time to add something that wakes you up immediately and get the blood flowing – this could be splashing cold water on your face, drinking a glass of cold water, stretching, etc. I personally get up and go straight to the bathroom to splash some water on my face. After that I have my morning coffee with Kaloyan that wakes me up completely for the next phase of my morning routine.
Mornings are usually the only time of the day that I am not being asked to do something by other people so I try to take this time and use it to the fullest. Every day I make time for something indulgent, something that is good for me that I will not have the necessary time for later on during the day. This could be a good workout, some time to journal or read, a cup of coffee, some yoga or stretching, etc. Whatever your preference is, allot a bit of time so that you can do something that you genuinely love and look forward to.
And finally it’s time to do something constructive that will set the tone of your day. Whether this is setting an intention for the day or filling the main priorities for the day in your planner, the simple act of planning will give you the momentum you need to get started. Personally, I always fill in my to-do list for the day by 9 am every morning and try to do the most important task in the morning. If I don’t do my most important thing in the morning, here’s what happens: I will intend to do it at another time during the day and there’s a (small) chance that it will actually happen. But there’s a bigger chance that it might not even get done at all. And I’ve fallen into this trap enough times to know that I need to prioritize!
If you still find it difficult to stay motivated and stick to your routine, try adding a reward at the end (like a cup of coffee or tea). I promise you it will be all worth it at the end, so it’s better to put in the efforts now.
I’d love to see what your morning routine looks like! Let me know in the comments below.