Get Excited for Your Morning

We can’t wait to get up in the morning.

Yep, you heard that right. Over the last while, we’ve established a morning routine that makes getting up in the morning exciting.

If that statement seems like voodoo magic to you, you’re not alone. Before we created a morning routine, our AM ritual was three words: rushed and chaotic. We had no plan. We rolled out of bed with blurry eyes at the last possible moment and slugged through our morning.

And our day followed a similar trajectory.

Then we started seeing topics on morning routines splashed across social media, popular blogs, and even science-backed publications. So, we decided to give it a shot. We did some research and tinkered with our routine until we established a ritual that worked for us.

And now we want to share our discoveries with you, so you can regain the power of your mornings.

If you own the morning, you own the day

Rachel Hollis

1) Wake up Earlier

This section may seem a tad bit obvious, but it’s probably the most important element of creating a productive morning routine.

You have to get out of bed earlier.

There’s no getting around it. To find the time for a consistent routine, you first have to create it. So, if your alarm clock is typically set for 7:30, and you have barely enough time to scrub your face and scarf down a muffin, then try setting your alarm for 6:30.

Don’t cringe just yet. By getting up an hour or more earlier, you’ll have more time to live a healthier and more productive life.

If you’re anything like us, by the time you complete a full day’s work, the last thing you want to do is go for a run or spend 10 minutes meditating. No, you want to celebrate the day’s accomplishments with a nice meal and some quality time with your loved ones. And, in our case, our pet family.

So, by creating a space in the morning where you feel fresh and ready, you can add that necessary balance to your life.

But it all hangs on one clear necessity: you have to get up earlier.

Don’t panic, though; we have a few practices you can implement to make it a bit easier:

  1. Start small: Rather than setting your alarm an hour earlier right off the start, try getting to your desired time gradually. Start setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier until you reach your goal.
  2. Set a bedtime alarm: We first heard of this practice in the Happier Podcast by Gretchen Rubin. And, we must say, it’s hella effective. Part of getting up earlier is going to bed earlier. So, if you set an alarm reminding you it’s time for your shut eye, you’re more likely to adhere to a consistent bedtime that gives you enough sleep. That way, you can wake up without feeling weighed down and groggy.
  3. Tell everyone you know: If you struggle with holding yourself accountable, try telling others, especially family members or your partner that resides under the same roof. By announcing your new healthy intention, it can do two things: it can empower those around you to try creating a productive morning routine, and it can give you a support system.

We hope one – or all – of these practices help. And, if not, there’s a wealth of information in books or media that you can research. The most important thing is finding a system that works for you.

2) Seek Inspiration

Inspiration can come in many forms, and it differs from person to person. For example, we like to listen to podcasts, read books, and watch Youtube videos for our morning dose of inspiration. But others may choose to listen to their favourite music, watch their favourite morning television special, or create art.

Whichever form of inspiration places you in a space of creativity, carve out the time to schedule it in your morning routine.

You’d be surprised how effective this action is.

3) Make Your To-Do List

Some studies show that creating your to-do list the night before is a preferable strategy. However, for us, the moment we start thinking about the tasks we need to complete, the more we want to start taking action. And worrying about tomorrow’s stresses is not an effective nighttime ritual.

So we always make our to-do list in the morning. We write out all the things we have to complete, then we narrow it down to the most important.

To stay productive, we ensure that we finish our tasks in a chronological order, meaning we won’t start the next task until we completed the one that came before.

This method ensures we actually finish our to-do list in an efficient manner and don’t get caught only completing tasks we want to do.

4) Meditate

At first, we were both reluctant to add mediation to our morning routine. We thought our brains were too active to sit still for longer then a minute. And, when we first started, that was true.

But, as we stuck with our practice, we slowly became better at sitting in stillness. And now we spend 15 minutes each morning mediating.

Our work has improved; our mindset has become more positive; and our focus has increased. All because we allow ourselves some time to find and establish balance. In fact, a recent statistic states that regular mediation can improve productivity by 120%.  That’s amazing, and, in our experience, completely accurate.

But those results won’t happen overnight. It took some time and patience. Below, we’ve outlined some steps we took to  improve our meditation practice:

  1. Download an AppThere are free meditations out there, but having an app that tracks your progress and posts consistent content helped us stay on route. Personally, we use the Calm app and absolutely love it! However, there are other apps, like Headspace and Gaia that have great reviews and are used by millions of people.
  2. Practice in the Morning: For a while, we tried to meditate before bed. Which isn’t a terrible decision, but we lacked the attention and focus to actually dive deep into our practice. Alternatively, when we practice in the morning, we feel more fresh. And it also carries that sense of peace and balance throughout the day.
  3. Start Small: Your brain will need time to adjust to your new practice. And starting with an hour long meditation will likely seem like torture. Instead, start with 10 minute meditations and slowly work your way up.
  4. Be Patient: When we first started, we would get frustrated and impatient with our inability to keep our minds quiet. But those negative emotions will only hurt your practice. Instead, release any thoughts that enter your mind without judgement.

For us, we like to sit in a comfortable, straight-back chair when we meditate. But we also know several people that prefer walking meditations.

Opt for whichever style works for your lifestyle, body, and preference.

5) Journal

Journaling is a healthy, effective way to work through conflicting thoughts or overwhelming emotions.

Typically, we like to journal after our morning mediation. In most cases, a thought or emotion arises during our meditation that’s worth noting.

Your journaling practice shouldn’t be complicated, but it should align with whichever methods work best for you.

For instance, many people claim that breaking their writing into difference sections, such as the emotional body, the physical body, and the spiritual body allows them to specifically target different feelings.

However, we find the free writing (without any limitations or formats) is the most effective way to dive deep into our emotional states.

If you’re struggling with creating a journaling practice, we’ve outlined three habits we implement:

  1. Don’t second guess your words: journaling is not an expression of perfect writing or expertly crafted verse. This realization took me a while to embrace. As a writer, perfectionism is my curse. But journaling is not an expression of talent; it’s a space to allow emotions and feelings to surface without judgement or fear.
  2. Write every day: Like anything else, consistent practice leads to better results. Chances are, at the beginning, it will be difficult to put your emotions, fears, and stresses into words. But, overtime, it will get easier.
  3. Re-read past entries: Reading past entries is an incredible experience. It allows you to track your growth and reevaluate your progress.

Also, always remember, that a huge part of personal growth is being 100% honest with yourself. Use your journal as a place of transparency and compassion.

6) Exercise

Now, just to clarify, by exercise, we mean movement. We don’t mean that you have to add a rigorous Crossfit routine into your morning. We do, however, believe that moving is an essential component of creating a productive day.

Every morning we take our dog for a walk. And every morning we practice Yoga and some form of strength training.

We don’t have fancy equipment. We don’t spend hours working out. But we do carve out time to move and exercise our bodies.

Countless studies show that daily exercise increases mood, improves focus, and creates a foundation of balance – all important elements of running a successful and fulfilling business.

7) Make a Healthy Breakfast

To have energy, you first need fuel. And a healthy breakfast stands at the foundation of this concept.

I have to admit, I’m not a breakfast eater. I typically don’t eat until well after 11am. If you’re like me, you’re not alone. About 44% of Americans neglect to eat breakfast every morning.

Sultan, on the other hand, starts each day with a healthy breakfast. And, I must confess, he has more energy to tackle his tasks.

So, take his example and include breakfast in your morning routine.

8) Make up Your Bed & Tidy up

An organized space fosters an organized mindset. And the more organized your mind is, the more productive you are. It’s cause-causation factor.

And the best way to create balance in your space is to make up your bed each morning. It signifies the passing of your sleep and the start of your day.

Also, those who make their beds in the morning are 26% more likely to follow their schedule and complete their tasks. And, as Gretchen Rubin says, “your bed is a symbol of you. There’s something about having your bed orderly that makes your life feel that way.”

9) Stay off Social Media

Social media is great for business. You have potential access to millions of users. Currently, there are 3.48 BILLION active users on social media. And, not to mention, you can get your product or service on their feed for a small marketing budget.

Seriously, social media has forever changed the online space.

But it’s also easy to get stuck in unhealthy comparison cycles. How often have you scrolled through a competitors feed and felt that nasty green envy arise? Be honest. We’re only human.

Now, more than ever, we get small, curated glimpses into other people’s ‘perfect’ lives, and it can cause a wide plethora of unhealthy emotions to boil to the surface.

So, make a commitment to yourself. You will use social media to scale your business and spread positive messages. But you won’t get trapped in comparison narratives.

Also, try to limit your social media usage to only 30 minutes a day. A recent statistic has shown that the average social media user spends 2 hours and 22 minutes on their platforms. That’s insane. That’s more than 2 hours that you could be taking action in your life of business.

By limiting your time spent on social media, you will increase your productivity, improve your mindset, and carve out more time in your day.

10) Embrace the Quiet

We live in a noisy world. We’re constantly bombarded with emails, texts, calls, ads, videos, and more. But, in the morning, find the space to embrace the quiet. Ignore the temptation to check your social media or open your emails.

Instead, try to look inward. You can accomplish this through meditation, journaling, or simply enjoying a warm cup of coffee.

Whichever version suits you, try to sit in the moment and ignore distractions. It doesn’t have to be for long. Even 10 minutes of quiet can do wonders for recharging your brain.

Excited Yet ???

You should be excited to create your very own, personalized morning routine.

And, if your have any questions, feel free to send us a note, and we’ll do our best to help!

One last thing, don’t forget to follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter! Stay up-to-date on all of our great content!