You don't need to meditate for an hour, then journal, run, stretch, breathe, have a kale and wheatgrass smoothie followed by an ice-bath and then write a chapter of your next book all before 9am.
Morning routines are about setting you up for the rest of the day with energy and happiness and that's about it.
Different people do different things and that's great. What they apparently delight in has nothing to do with YOU and your routine may be 10x more or 10x less woke than theirs. It doesn't matter.
We need to be more kind to ourselves. For me I feel great doing the things that get my head straight and are things I won't do later. I have ended up with three ingredients that are the only things that matter for a morning routine.
Ingredient 1 - Do the thing that you find hard to do any other time
I have been trying to squeeze running, meditating, journaling and music all into my morning routine. However, exercise is a non-negotiable for me and if I don't do it in the morning it will still get done. I enjoy meditating and journaling when I go to bed and that's easy to do.
I struggle to get the time to write during the day. As the day fills up my head with thoughts or when I am tired I find writing original thought pieces the hardest thing. Maybe it's my dyslexia but who cares.
I want to be a someone who writes daily. That needs to be my biggest priority in my morning routine before the rest of the day takes over.
Doing it makes me happier and more at peace with myself.
So I'll start with that and if there is time for other wokeful things that's a bonus. The huge list of miracle morning tasks is not something to feel anxious about failing to do!
Ingredient 2 - Plan the day before
Plan the next day before you go to bed or as you wind down in the office. This already get's you ready for what you are doing the next day and saves the foggy brain sitting around not really doing anything for the first hour.
It prevents surprises and keeps you more level headed. It also reduces the chance that you will use external cues to dictate what you do (like email or other notifications)
Look at your schedule. Check for any meeting clashes, put a time in for exercise and any other priorities.
Try and put something in there as a treat for yourself (call a friend, have a bath, listen to favourite podcast)
Ingredient 3 - Sleep
Getting up early to smash the day is no good if you don't go to bed early. Most of us operate on less sleep than is healthy for us and could be amazed how much more energy we would have and how much we can do if we slept more.
Some of us are genetically pre-disposed to be night owls and struggle to go to sleep early. Forcing a super early 5am morning habit is an atrocious idea for both your health and productivity.
Chill out and make sure you get enough sleep. It will set you up for a day of happiness and productivity much better than one hour of headstands.
Advice for your routine
My priorities might change from writing to something else. Playing music or yoga or who knows what's best for me. Maybe I will become more of a morning person and fit in a big run as well.
There is nothing wrong looking at other people's morning routines and trying them for size and how they work with you. Morning pages and different journaling systems have some great benefits as does meditation which I'm a huge advocate of.
Just like dieting I think it's great trying different things and seeing what you enjoy. Being curious instead of fixed in our ways means we can adopt new healthy habits that work for us and drop any that hold us back.
Match what you want to do, with you want to have done
Ultimately, It's great making a list of things you 'want to have done' but it also needs to be a list of things 'you want to do' .
Find things that make these two match up and you'll enjoy your routine and accrue the benefits from being able to follow it.
- What do I struggle to do in the day but would get done with a period of concentration in the morning?
- What do I need to change to plan for tomorrow better?
- How can I improve my sleep?
- What is on my 'want to have done' list but doesn't appear on my 'want to do' list? Can I make them different or easier to make it happen? Or can I remove it from the list?
Now stop listening to other people and focus on yourself already 😌