Every morning I do the same seven things. I wake up, and the whole process goes on autopilot. It is my morning routine.
We are creatures of habit. And a routine doesn’t have to be a four-letter word. A daily routine or ritual provides comfort during times of change and transition. There have been times when the whole day falls apart, but I was able to spend a quiet moment with coffee at my table. That gives me a bit of comfort on those days.
We all already do this naturally. With a few tweaks, you can quickly start your day off more mindfully and focused. Trust me. Or don’t, but try it for a few weeks and see what you think.
How do you create a morning routine?
Take a look at your natural rhythms in the morning. You are probably 75% of the way there. Now add a few simple things that bring you peace and help you focus — things like a walk, meditation, prayer, or daily devotion.
I also recommend taking a quiet moment to plan out your top three tasks of the day and loosely plan out your schedule. You can always choose more to do and be more structured about your program, but try to give yourself a break. Things happen and only have three things on your to-do list will help you feel accomplished at the end of the day.
Curious about my morning routine?
Here it is! I do this every morning, even weekends and days off from the day job. It is more structured and fast during the week because I have a time constraint (my boss does not like tardiness), but on the weekend I may sleep in and go through the flow slowly.
Wake up early.
During the week, I get up at 4:30. I know, that is crazy, but I start the day job at 7, and I have found out over the years that if I do certain things right away in the morning, it makes the rest of my day that much smoother.
On days I am not working, and the weekends I let my body wake itself up (unless I have a breakfast date), so I may wake up at 4:30 naturally or I may get up at 6:30. Usually, it is around 6.
Drink a large glass of water.
Drinking water is the newest addition to the morning routine. We ended up with cases of water after my dad passed, and they were taking up precious beer space in our garage fridge. So I started to keep a handful upstairs to drink in the mornings. I read somewhere that drinking water first thing was useful for you, so I thought I would give it a try.
So now I walk, in a zombie fashion, to the upstairs bathroom and grab the glass of water I put out the night before and start to drink while sitting and probably not thinking about anything important. I used to spend this time scrolling vacantly through Instagram, but drinking water and staring into space seems like a better use of my time.
Getting ready for the day is pretty self-explanatory and doesn’t take long for me, as I work in a warehouse. Makeup is simple, and hair is natural (I don’t own a curling iron and the only time I use a hairdryer to put plastic on the upstairs windows before the cold air sets in the fall).
I also set out my clothes the night before, so there is no staring at the closet trying to decide what to wear.
Another self-explanatory item. Coffee is essential to me, more as a habit than caffeine.
10 minute tidy
While I am waiting for the coffee to finish brewing, putter around the downstairs of the house, cleaning up. I unpack and repack the dishwasher, wipe down the counters and table, clean up any glasses or other dishes from the living room, fluff the pillow, wipe down the bathroom sink. . . .
You get the idea.
Spending 10 or so minutes do this in the morning helps keep the house clean and makes it a much lovely place to come home to.
Mediate/Walk the Dog
I have played around with meditation on and off for years. Since I focused on creating a daily meditation habit, I have been calmer and more focused. 10-minute meditation practice also fits easily into the day and I, for one, like to start my day with a bit of quiet.
When I have the time, and the weather is beautiful, I grab my dog and do a walking meditation. When I have more time, I do meditation and a walk separately.
Plan for the Day
My very last task is to pour a cup of coffee and sit at my kitchen table with my planner, and figure out what is on my plate for the day. I set 3 need-to-do goals and a handful of other to-do items. The way the planner is structured, you set three goals for the week and then the idea is that your daily tasks should move you toward meeting those goals.