A powerful morning routine can be the catalyst for a productive day! Try these 7 Steps that Will Radically Change Your Mornings that I’ve put into a routine, in partnership with Hyland’s Good Morning, to lead to a more productive and happy morning!
I gave myself a little bit of time after Aria was born to not worry about schedules, sleep cycles and routine with the freedom to instead focus on taking care of her (and myself when possible) and my kiddos. Plus, we had a move thrown into the mix, so routine and schedules were pretty much non-existent. Now with school back in full swing, Aria arriving at a bit of a schedule and more on my plate each day, it’s forced me to look at my own schedule and find ways to make it productive. My goal has been to spend more time with family while spending less time on “work” and to accomplish that I need a routine that empowers me to reach my goals while maximizing my time.
I find that when I can start the day the right way, it sets me up for a better day overall. Instead of mornings being a chaotic, stimulant driven mess, being intentional about how we start our day can set us up for success… at least I’ve found this to be true in my own days. I have to say, I’m definitely not opposed to stimulants, I’ll take my cup of coffee, thank you very much! But I am over the chaotic mess, rough mornings and cold coffee left on the counter, even after I’ve warmed it three times. Now, with four kiddos, I’m not going to completely avoid chaos and cold coffee, BUT I can set myself up for a productive morning with a morning routine that I’m slowly making a habit.
The thing is, there is no “right” or “wrong” way to set up a morning routine, although there are some key ingredients that will help you create the best routine and ultimately a more productive and happy morning for you.
1. Get up earlier. Getting a quality 7+ hours of sleep is essential to a healthy lifestyle, although it’s one essential I haven’t quite been able to master yet. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) reports that more than 40% of adults experience daytime sleepiness severe enough to interfere with their daily activities at least a few days each month while 20% experience problem sleepiness a few days a week or more. On the flip side, proper sleep is linked to increased memory, focus and creativity with lower stress, inflammation, fat retention, depression and more. So yeah, sleep is pretty important.
If you go to bed earlier, even starting with just 15 minutes earlier than normal, your mind will be less groggy in the morning helping to start your day! I know this one is easier said than done, and ironically as I write this, I just woke from one of the most sleep-less nights in awhile. A baby with a stuffy nose + a little boy who wet the bed + another little boy who couldn’t sleep all led to minimal rest for me. So, these next steps are what’s going to get me through the day. Ultimately though, a great morning begins where a good sleep ends.
2. Drink water. Water should be the first thing you drink in the morning, then you can drink your much needed cup of coffee or whatever else you drink for some caffeine. 😉 I don’t know about you, but sometimes hydrating in the morning is the last thing I want to do. Set yourself up for success with a bottle of water on your nightstand so you’re ready to get your glass (read: 8oz) of water upon waking. Your skin will look great and you’ll feel so much more awake after this boost of hydration, since we tend to dehydrate overnight.
Don’t like plain water? Infused water tastes great and even adds in some extra detox benefits while you get in your daily water needs.
3. Make the bed. When you hop up out of bed, just quickly make it. Don’t let yourself walk away first, it doesn’t take very long and it’s one small thing that makes a huge difference in your room, in how you feel and in starting your day.
Seem insignificant? Check out what McCraven, the commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command that organized the raid to kill Osama bin Laden, had to say about it during a commencement speech at the University of Texas.
“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day,” he said. “It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. ”
4. Brain dump. Grab a notebook or a couple pieces of paper and let yourself “get it all out”. Your to-do list, everything that you know you need to get done, future events, things that you want to do, every thought, idea and plan that comes to mind, get it down on paper. There doesn’t have to be order to the things you’re writing either, that can come later. Once it’s written down, you can see what needs to happen and plan your day. It can be so freeing for our minds and creatively stimulating to write everything down.
After your brain dump, you’ll be able to see what things need to be done and before beginning any kind of work, you can make your checklist. Everyone likes to cross things off a list right?! This way, you’ll know more clearly what your triage list it… what absolutely has to happen, and can prioritize the rest accordingly. Ultimately with getting it all out of your head and down on paper, you’ll at least feel more ready to tackle the day with a clear mindset.
5. Leave your phone alone. Your morning routine should make you happy to get out of bed in the morning. What makes you happy? Usually it’s not getting online, sucked into the black hole of emails or in scrolling through others’ updates. In fact, studies have shown that regular social media usage leads to a less-satisfied life. Starting the morning off by checking updates or inboxes leads to a reactive mindset instead of proactive, and the rest of the day can tend to follow suit. So instead of finding which fires you need to put out before you’re even fueled up to face the day, use YOUR morning to prepare for the day ahead.
6. Nourish yourself with a natural energy boost. The standard American diet doesn’t usually give much energy or nutrition, and that is if we eat anything in the morning at all. I’ve been finding options that are still quick and easy in the morning (like our simple protein overnight oats) while being filling and nutrient dense… at least that’s the goal. And I get it, not everyone likes to eat in the morning, but do something, no matter how big or small. I’ve also found the morning is the best time for me to take my vitamins for a good boost, because if I don’t right then I’ll usually forget once my day picks up speed.
When those sleep-less nights do happen, because even with the best intentions some things are just beyond our control like dirty diapers, wet beds, pet messes, crying babies and sometimes just the endless to-do list that runs through our minds all night long, I’ve found another solution to help regain the day. Hyland’s Good Morning is a natural, caffeine-free alertness aid that actually addresses the effects of a sleepless night, not just the sleepiness itself. Many times the side effects of losing sleep, like irritability, lack of concentration and fatigue, aren’t really addressed, and that’s where Good Morning has come in handy for me on days like today! Even though last night was far from those recommended 7+ hours of sleep, I can still keep a positive outlook on the day, and this definitely helps. Plus, I can still drink my cup of joe and go on with my day.
7. Do something for you. Build into your morning routine something that makes you feel good. I’m not naturally an early riser, so this one is taking some time to build in and I’m working myself up to an early morning routine. But finding something that makes you feel good and energized is important.
A few activity ideas to get you started:
- Exercise and get your body moving.
- Stretching or gentle yoga.
- Reading something that inspires.
- Dance to some happy music.
- Journaling, writing or drawing.
- A walk outside in the fresh air.
- Sitting in the stillness with a cup of tea or coffee
Maybe you’re like me and can’t commit to getting up an hour earlier every morning just yet, and that’s totally okay! But choose an amount of time that works for you, even if it’s 10-15 minutes earlier each day, you can create an energizing morning routine that will make a difference in your day.
Once you’ve found something you love to add to your morning routine, make sure you’re set up for success with the tools you need. Is your alarm set? Do you have a water bottle filled and ready? Is your journal or notebook nearby with a pen that works? Do you have a yoga app or your morning reading ready? (Depending on what activity suits you, remember if using your phone for an alarm, for music or other apps, DON’T check social media, email or get online just yet.)
Want to try Highland’s Good Morning for yourself? Here’s $1 off coupon just for you!
What is your morning routine? Tell me about it in the comments below!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hyland’s Good Morning. All opinions are my own.