Make your mornings: adopt a routine

I recently started a new morning routine that has made me happier, more productive and motivated every single day.

The routine involves learning, reflecting and moving, and was inspired by Hal Elrod‘s book “The Miracle Morning.”

I was first introduced to Elrod on Jess Lively’s podcast. (I recently blogged about the takeaways I got from listening, including the importance of challenging your own beliefs.)

Elrod inspired me to start my day with one question: “what is the one thing I can do today to get me one step closer to the place I want to be tomorrow?”

Fiv eminute journalI haven’t been able to shake that question from my mind, and have used it as motivation for creating this new morning routine.

Each activity in my morning routine brings me one step closer to creating the life I want to live. 

Each time I follow through with this routine, I pat myself on the back for being one step closer to becoming the person I want to be.

I created a simple routine because I wanted to set myself up for success.

The routine incorporates pieces from scientifically proven studies about the power of morning routines, and touches on the things that are the most important to me:

  1. Reflect and write: The first thing I do when I wake up each morning is spend a few minutes reflecting. I think about the day ahead and set a daily affirmation. I also think about the day before and make it a point to focus on the actions I was most proud of. (I wait until the evenings to reflect on the actions I want to improve upon, as I haven’t found it beneficial to start my day reflecting on past, negative behaviors.) I then pick up my Five Minute Journal and write about what I am grateful for, and what I can do today to make it a fantastic one.
  2. Meditate: Although I haven’t been able to do this every single day, I am working on taking 5-10 minutes each morning to sit in silence and focus on my breathing. Clearing my head and feeling centered first thing in the morning has helped decrease my anxiety and increase my mental clarity. Yoga has been a fantastic way for me to incorporate meditation and the next activity: movement.
  3. Move: Exercising in the mornings helps to kick-start your metabolism and wake up your brain. Even just one minute of jumping jacks is enough to result in increased oxygen and endorphins, and that helps boost your productivity. I have found myself to be happier and more focused on the days I exercise before coming to the office.
  4. Learn: This is the newest, and my favorite, addition to my morning routine. Each morning, I listen to a podcast while I am getting dressed and doing my makeup. I started doing this when I realized that listening to my self talk every morning wasn’t serving me; being in my head was only giving me permission to run through my daily to-do list, and that only made me stressed. Although I usually don’t get to finish an entire episode, replacing my mental chatter with a thought-provoking and/or inspiring podcast has been tremendously stimulating and empowering. Not only do I feel productive for having killed two birds with one stone (did my makeup and learned something new!) I find myself feeling more awake and alert because of the mental energy it takes for me to process what the podcast is teaching me.

While my exact routine may not work for you, I highly encourage you to try to incorporate learning, writing, moving, meditating and reflecting into your morning.

Do you have a morning routine?

I would love to hear about what works for you in the mornings. Comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences in creating a morning a routine!

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