My love affair with mornings…
The other day I couldn’t sleep and I ended up wide awake at 3:30 am. Which, in my opinion, is kinda awful. Unless you live on a farm and need to tend to your dairy cows (I don’t ☹). With the crazy work demands and insane hours lately, I’ve been pretty zonked out and just not sleeping well. So that particular morning I made a choice. I chose to get my ass out of bed and to reclaim my mornings as a gift to myself.
Yes, early mornings are a gift. To yourself.
I’m pretty OK at morning routines in general, but I get off track with the best of them. I got into the whole idea of a morning routine when I started trying to really launch a blog and a coaching business. And then I read The Miracle Morning. Great shit, that book. So many great ideas and points about productivity and mornings as a tool to launch yourself into the stratosphere of personal development. I was pretty hype about it. For like two weeks.
I kept cramming more and more expectations into every corner of my life, including 4:30 am. Even though I enjoy personal development and getting more done in a day, I just could not make myself get out of bed. I wasn’t excited about anything. This was just adding another “to do” to my already endless list.
And then it hit me….Mornings are a gift. One that I can give myself amidst an otherwise endless sea of demands, expectations, and requirements on my time and brain space.
I realized I can claim mornings just for myself. I can make them exactly what I want. Do what I want. Or do nothing. But when I start my mornings on the right page, I open myself up, expand my day, and am way more in control of how my day goes. Just by consciously choosing my mornings.
My morning ritual consists of a variety of things: pleasure, blog work, creative pursuits, reading, cuddling on the couch with the pups, anything. It’s mine and it sets the tone for my entire day.
There’s also something really magical about seeing the sun come up…seriously, a real gift. And seeing/hearing the birds and other animals wake up and start their day…heavenly. I love living in the woods.
With the crazy schedule lately, I’ve noticed how much I miss my mornings, so I’m reclaiming them with intention. This is my self-care month and this ritual, or routine, is one that genuinely makes my life so much better. It makes me happier, more focused, more grounded, nicer, etc. Sooo worth it.
And the best thing about super personalized and intimate mornings for yourself? Morning rituals can evolve as you need them to. As your priorities unfold or as the Seasons change. I can tell you my body and brain don’t feel the same way in Winter, so my routine may start a little later and pare down if needed. It’s all about feeling good and giving yourself the gift of pleasure, intention, and peace every single morning.
What my mornings look like…
Here’s a snapshot of how I like to plan out my weeks, including my super special morning time. And yes, I am totally a list-making-organizational-psycho. Don’t judge.
I generally have variations throughout the week because there are different’ things I want to enjoy/achieve. But these are some of my favorite options…
- Quiet time & journaling
- Reflecting on & visualizing my goals (you might recognize this as manifestation work)
- Mantras & Affirmations
- Some sort of yoga/stretching, etc.
- Walking Copper at least one morning a week
- Working on my “side hustle” (blog/coaching)
- And an item I stole from Racheal Cook: Monday morning CEO dates – time to reflect on my business and where I want it to go. Check out her post here.
- Occasional meditation, but I generally find that I prefer to meditate at night because it makes me sleepy in the morning Find what works for you.
How to build YOUR perfect morning…
- First, determine how much extra time you’re willing to build into your morning. Can you start with 15 minutes?
- PS if you’re a quick riser, give yourself an extra 5 minutes to get up. If you’re a snoozer, you might want to build in an additional 10-15 to actually get you started.
- Start with one thing at a time. Don’t overload or try to do it all at once. Start small and let it become a habit. If your morning ritual feels like a chore you are sooo much less likely to get up and get to it. This should feel good.
- Start with something that lights you up. What is something you always wish you had more time to do (reading, drawing, etc), but can never seem to fit into your “real life”? Pick that instead of a “should”. You’re not going to leap out of bed to do the same shit you’re doing all day long. Be strategic with this choice.
- Prepare. Set any necessary tools, accessories, etc. out in a convenient and pleasing place the night before (make this part of your evening ritual to prepare for the next day).
- Set your alarm for the next morning
- Be in the moment. During your morning ritual, set a timer on your phone so it feels structured and you’re not constantly looking at the clock for when you “need to stop”.
- Don’t do it! DON’T CHECK YOUR PHONE! Seriously, trust me on this one. Let this be uninterrupted, unmarred time. No outside world, no social media, no one else’s opinions or demands. Set a time and say “no phone before this time”. You can keep it with you for alarms or whatever, but don’t start checking in to the real world. Don’t even look at texts if you can help it.
- Give it time. Try your new routine for at least 2 weeks. Build consistency and notice the changes in your emotions, your brain, and your whole day. They say habits take 21 days, so go for that if you can, but sometimes real life doesn’t allow us that much time.
- If you aren’t enjoying it after 2 weeks, scrap it and try something else in that newly found time. Don’t beat yourself up or dwell on the thing you didn’t love. This is supposed to be a gift, remember that.
- Go Big. Once you’ve established your first ritual, determine if you’d like more time in your mornings and then work backward from that. Decide what time you will get up to give yourself this gift of time, then work backward…
- Example: “I want one extra hour in my mornings”
- I’ll spend…
- 15 minutes writing/drawing/etc.
- 10 min journaling
- Now I still have 35 minutes. Do I want to add in a morning walk? A short yoga flow? Time to read or meditate? (hint: pick what makes you happy).
- I’ll spend…
- Example: “I want one extra hour in my mornings”
So, tell me…do you already have a morning ritual that works for you? What’s your favorite part?? And if you don’t have a morning ritual yet, what are you excited to integrate to make your mornings feel more intentional, peaceful, and like a gift of time and love to yourself?