Setting Your Best Foot Forward
We all know that getting a head start on a productive day means a little forethought and pre-planning, but are you setting the stage for your day before you even roll out of bed in the morning?
I recently created a morning routine just for me, and it sets the tone for my day.
I’ll admit that I’m not 100% on it yet – though I do love it. Sometimes, routines and toddlers do not mesh. I swear my toddler can hear me set my alarm in his sleep and KNOWS that Mama is going to try waking before does. I also swear that he can sense the moment my eyes flutter open and instantly wakes then too.
That said, I do my best to stay on track and I know that by doing this for myself, I am also setting a positive example for him. One day I hope to incorporate him into my morning routine so he can learn the benefits of a calm, nurturing morning too.
I was hesitant to set a routine for myself and have fought it for years. As the mom of a three-nager, sleep is limited and I despise waking to an alarm so the thought of rolling out of bed an hour or more before I absolutely had to, and to the sound of a dreaded alarm to boot, was almost more than I could fathom.
I kept reading about how morning routines are the key to success and how they can miraculously change your day, let alone your life, and I believed it. I truly did. I just thought that maybe I could try it in a few years when a little more sleep was on my radar and my son’s priorities switched from playing to sleeping – I hear that happens eventually (we are still waiting…).
Needless to say, with another sweet little on the way this year I realized that if I ever want regularly scheduled “me time” again I was going to have to sacrifice something. Thus, I decided to take the plunge and test out a morning routine – on my own terms.
Now, I want to start by saying that however you choose to implement a morning routine it needs to be FOR YOU and it needs to be ever so enjoyable for you. Realistically, it has to pull you out of bed in the morning – and stop you from throwing your alarm clock out the window (that last part may only be relevant for me…).
I chose to keep it short and simple to start. The less sleep I lose out on the better, plus if my son does wake with me then it is less time that I have to try and occupy him with something else before I get disturbed again.
I chose to break mine down into a schedule that looks something like this:
6 am: Gratitude – sometimes this is journaling and other times it is just going through the list in my head before I actually roll out of bed.
6:10 am Read – I have SO many books that have been desperately calling my name since my son was born but carving out the time seemed impossible. Now I take 20-minutes to dive in and enjoy.
6:30 am Meditation/Tapping – I feel out what I need in that moment. Sometimes my reading pulls out some of my own blocks that require some tapping and other times I just need to sit and digest what I’ve taken in through some quiet meditation time.
6:40 am Stretch – These days I need a good stretch when I wake. My muscles are often achy from sleeping in the same position for too long through the night (hello, pregnancy) and a good stretch allows me to breathe some life into my stiff body before I start chasing my son around for the day.
6:50 am Make the Bed – Drink Some Water – Make Coffee
7 am Wake my son and start our day – or at least kickstart him from whatever activity he is doing and get the train moving before it’s time to go to preschool.
As you can see, it is simple. Some days I only get to half of it before I get pulled away. Other mornings, I don’t get more than a cup of coffee before we are high-tailing it out the door. BUT, when I do get that lovely hour to myself in the morning, I feel the difference all day.
Morning routines and schedules are not there to make you feel like a failure when you can’t make it happen. Instead, they are there to remind you of the greatness you can accomplish when the stars align and how incredible it feels in that moment.
I fought the morning routine for far too long, and although I’m not perfect – nor will I ever be – I do know that in the moments I feel blissful and at ease. I know that for the rest of the day I manage stress, overwhelm, and tantrums with a sense of humour and patience. My morning routine makes me a better person and for that reason alone I strive to accomplish whichever piece that I can each morning.
So, how can you carve out a few minutes or more each day? What activities will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to face the day?
Already have a routine? Leave it in the comments! I’d love to hear what leaves you feeling amazing each morning.
Are you like me and have avoided a routine like the plague? Share one thing in the comments that you can do tomorrow morning to start your own routine. It doesn’t have to take an hour, but even 5 minutes of YOU time makes all the difference in the world!