“Everything that we do affects who we are becoming, which is determining the life that we will ultimately create and live.” -Unknown
I am speaking from first-hand experience when it comes to the power of a morning routine. Think of the flow of your day. Most of us wake up after several alarms, scramble to be ready on time, get caffeinated until we can function normally, go to work, come home, watch T.V., and do it all over again the next day.
We leave little to no time to create a fulfilling life of growth and health (mental or physical). Your morning routine sets the tone for your entire day. Whether your morning routine is anxiously rushing out of the house or stepping out feeling grounded is completely up to you.
What if you spent 10 minutes to an hour of your morning bettering yourself? If you spend only 10 minutes every morning improving yourself, that would be over an hour in the course of a week. That is over an hour more than you invested in yourself last week!
What if you enjoy your morning routine (this is what happened to me), and you decided to spend an hour instead of 10 minutes? That would be almost 30 hours a month on self-improvement! The most important things to remember is that you should tailor your morning routine to align to your personal needs! (Oh, and stay consistent!)
So, what does a morning routine look like? It is a time that you dedicate to personal growth. It is a positive start to your day, rather than a hectic morning. Feel free to customize the order and time spent engaging in each activity. My daily routine stays pretty consistent, but there are days where I have to condense everything to accommodate a busy schedule.
- Morning Mantra: The SECOND I wake up I repeatedly tell myself, “I love life, the past is over, and my future is glorious.” I used to wake up and let my to-do list run wild in my mind. My stomach was in knots before I even got out of bed. By starting my day with an affirmation, I center my energy and mood. (I do this for about 3 minutes while I let my dog out).
- Meditation: With all the physical and emotional benefits of meditation, it is no surprise that this is part of my morning ritual. I start with noticing my breath. I watch my thoughts without any judgment or attachment. I continue to focus on my breath for a few minutes, letting my thoughts come and go while I sit as an observer. At the end of my meditation, I focus on a quote and reflect on what it means in my life. (Looking for a quote? You can use a Bible verse or just google “empowering quotes.”)
- Journal: After meditating I usually have a clear mind and I love to take that to my writing. My journal consists of three things. 1) I write down something I am grateful for. 2) I write down my goals for the day. 3) I list any ideas I may have. Did you know that sitting with the thought of gratitude for just 20 seconds produces feel good chemicals in your body?! It is so easy, almost second nature, to dwell on the negatives in life. This is your chance to flip the script. (This normally doesn’t take more than 5 minutes for me).
- Movement: I do a ten-minute yoga/stretching routine on most days. You can do whatever feels right for you. I have a stack of yoga cards, so I pull a few out and stretch to some relaxing music. It’s just nice to get your body moving and your energy directed toward something useful. Some of you schedule your daily cardio/strength training in the morning, and that is great!
- Study: Before I started my morning routine, reading was NOT a priority of mine. I will say, my world has grown thanks to the time I have invested into reading. I love spiritual and self-help books, but you can use this time to study ANYTHING that interests you. Maybe it is reading blog posts about self improvement, maybe it is studying for a career change, or maybe it is researching how to self publish a book! Use this time to invest in yourself!
All in all, my morning routine takes about an hour a day. This is because my “study” time is something I enjoy. I have a hard time putting down my books because I know there is tons of valuable information I can use for this blog!
There are days I condense the practices to twenty minutes. If you are not a morning person, it may be difficult to make this a habit. If this is you, I suggest with starting by completing your morning routine a couple of days a week and then working up as you see the benefits in your daily life.
Please comment or send me a message letting me know how your morning routine is going!
Jocelyn Soliz is an educator, certified Yoga teacher for adults and children, and a mother to a feisty toddler. Read Jocelyn’s inspiring comeback story, “Medicated to Meditated.” Feel free to send Jocelyn a message here.