I’ve woken up at 5AM more or less consistently for a little over a year now, in order to have about two and a half hours to myself before getting ready for work. I use this time to build habits that help with my anxiety (yoga, meditation, journaling, prayer) and to do things I might not have time for during the rest of the day (exercise and reading).
Having quiet, leisurely time to myself in the morning has the biggest impact on my day – I always feel more centered and focused when I actually follow my entire morning routine and don’t snooze through it.
Inevitably it’s impossible to be perfectly consistent with a habit 100% of the time. During my recent two-week vacation to Milan to visit my family, I haven’t practiced my morning routine at all, in fact. I decided to take some time now that I have this new blog and new tasks and goals that come along with it, to redesign my morning routine and remotivate myself to follow it.
Here is my strategy for how to create a morning routine for yourself, and look out for a post on my redesigned morning routine next week!
How To Create A Morning Routine That You’ll Be Excited To Wake Up For
1. Pick One Thing That Will Really Get You Out Of Bed
This is my #1 morning routine trick. If I don’t have something more than just habits that are good for me to look forward to, half of the time I won’t be able to get out of bed. If you decide to start your morning routine with exercise, and you hate to exercise, chances are that snooze button will look VERY tempting.
I choose to front-load my morning routine with two things that really motivate me to get up and going – a delicious cup of rooibos tea with milk and sugar and a good 10 minutes of snuggles with my bunny Sammy. This way when my alarm rings, I know I’m getting up for something that always feels special and rewarding.
What you pick can be anything that you’ll REALLY look forward to, whether it’s a particular morning drink, a certain breakfast, a guilty online social media habit, a 10 minute walk or time with a loved one.
2. Determine Your Goals And What It Will Take To Accomplish Them
Any kind of success is built through a small series of actions, so even if you only dedicate 10 or 20 minutes each morning to a particular habit, over a year of time it’ll make a huge difference in your abilities at it.
Maybe your goal is to read more, to take better care of yourself or to feel more relaxed, to be more in shape or flexible, or to develop a talent you haven’t had time to practice. Here are some suggestions of elements that done in 10 to 20 minute sections can really help you build towards a better version of yourself through a morning routine. You can pick as many as you’d like or have time for, or come up with others of your own.
Keeping A Gratitude Journal
Taking Time For A Side Hustle
Reading A Book
Prepping Food For Your Day
Using A Face Mask Or Doing Your Nails
Practicing An Instrument
Learning A New Language
Taking An Online Course
3. Define How Much Time You’ll Need For Your Routine
I spend two and a half hours on my routine, and in order to have that much time to dedicate to it, I’ve progressively moved my alarm time to 5AM. This means I go to bed no later than 9:30PM or 10PM at night. Right now I’m single and thankful for all this time I have to focus on myself.
However, having such an early wake-up time and bedtime may not work for everyone’s schedule, and you definitely don’t need over 2 hours for a morning routine that will have a huge impact on your day. I’m sure that in a different phase of my life, however, I may have to seriously rethink my routine into a shorter framework.
Make sure you’re realistic in defining what you want to accomplish in the morning and how much time you’ll really need to do so. I think starting with at least a half hour to one hour of time to yourself is ideal, but even 10 minutes to meditate are better than nothing.
4. Get Started.
It may take a few weeks to get into your new routine and you may have to progressively move your wake-up and bedtime 5 to 10 minutes per day until you’ve carved out enough time for yourself in the mornings.
If you end up skipping a few days – or few weeks – don’t get discouraged. ANY extra time you dedicate to yourself in the mornings will help you start off your day on a positive note. Please don’t judge yourself if you’re not always consistent at it – I always try not to 🙂 Just get back to it the next day!