I’ve been hearing a lot of people talk about morning routines, how beneficial they are for mental health and how they can have a hugely positive impact on your attitude all day.
What is a morning routine?
It is a set of activities you perform as soon as you wake up and before you start your day. It helps to set the tone of your day, and depending on your routine it can help bring you the most success. Most people have a morning routine without even knowing, for example; wake up, clean your teeth, make some coffee, read the news, get ready for work, this is your morning routine.
What does a morning routine look like?
For me my routine used to be, wake up, brush teeth, coffee, vitamins, go to gym, come home and get ready to go to work. To some this would seem like a pretty good routine, going to the gym every week morning helps me set the tone of the day to be active, and makes work a little more bearable.
However after listening to a few different routines of people who seem to really be achieving all they are aiming for, I realised I was missing something. I wasn’t practicing gratitude or creating an actual life to do list. Sure I have constant to do lists in my head, which organised person doesn’t, but I wasn’t writing them down.
If you are driven my results, like me, crossing something off your to do list is very rewarding. I even draw little boxes next to my to do lot so I can actually tick something, hah, reward driven, right.
How I developed a morning routine
So I started off adding a daily to do list to my phone. It had things like; drink 3L of water, buy coffee (you can probably tell by now, I lovvvvve coffee), spend time with D, write back to texts (I’m terrible at this, I actually have to put it on my to do list or I won’t do it).
This was working, and it was making me realise I have plenty more time in the day to be productive, plus getting to cross something off a list gives me so much gratification.
I practised this for around 3 months, it really helped me to create and keep my drinking 3L of water per day.
Fast forward to 28 October 2019, and I was watching an IG story of Simone Anderson (definitely go check her out, she is hugely inspiring) and she went through her weekly routine. She used a planner that I couldn’t get in the UK, so I went in search of an undated daily planner. I found this one, and with amazon prime of course I had it delivered the very next day.
How I use my planner?
The planner consists of a few different sections, firstly you work through your 12 week goals, across 8 different areas of your life. This includes career, health, money, social life, fun and adventure, creativity, family and personal growth. You rate how where you are currently from 1 – 10, and write down what your goals are.
Then you move onto an undated monthly view, which I filled in with the dates of November (and what was left of October). Here you write down your monthly focus, and you goals for November. It has a page to complete and assess your month once it’s over, to check in on how you are feeling and if you are working towards your goals in a beneficial way.
It then breaks it down into weekly goals. What do you want to achieve each week and what habits are you working on to hit your goals. Again at the end of the week, you can sit back and assess how the week went, and where you found challengers, what your achievements were, and where you can improve for next week.
Finally the last section is my favourite and it is daily undated diary entries. Here you write down your top 3 actions for the day, you set you gratitude and write down you to do list.
One thing to note is that if you don’t hit your goals, or you don’t finish something on your to do list, you mustn’t beat yourself up over it. Either this particular activity isn’t a huge priority after all, and you can drop it from your to do list. Or you still view this as an important goal and you need to list as your top 3 tasks of the day, and knock it off. But it’s a growing practice and I don’t hit all my tasks in one day, and some definitely get kicked to the curb, cos ain’t no one have time for that.
Now how does this fit into a daily routine, I hear you ask.
Well each morning I get up at 5.50 and I clean my teeth, hop into my gym clothes, make an espresso, have my vitamins, and sit down to write my daily diary entry. It only takes a few minutes to set my intention for the day.
I focus my gratitude on what I have, and what I’m my thankful for. And usually its things like good health, great supportive family, shelter, food, and sometimes my morning brain can only get out, am thankful to be alive.
But by focusing on the positives for the day, my brain is slowly starting to be wired to pick up all the good things that happen around me. Rather than going straight to the negatives.
My to do lists are also quite simple, for example, drinking 3L of water is always on there, going to the gym will sometimes feature if it’s not the first thing I do that day, I also put down things like, post on social media, check in with my family. Just simple little tasks that are going to help me be the most productive for the day. I also tend to add to it throughout the day as things crop up.
I keep a separate notebook for work, so this particular planner is just for my personal life.
And on Sunday afternoon I sit down and focus on the week just passed, and set my intention for the week ahead.
How has this changed my mind-set?
So it’s been around 25 days since I’ve started with this planner, and I’m finding myself feeling more positive throughout the day. I’ve also been significantly more productive, not only at home but also at work. One of the things that has really impacted on my productiveness, is adding: clear my work emails and to do list, which means I finish work on time and organised. On my to do list each day is to clear my emails and to clear my work to do list. Who know I was so driven by reward, hah.
I actually look forward to getting up each morning and setting my intentions.
Do you have a morning routine?
If so, what is in your routine?
Peace out for now