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Build Your Own Perfect Morning Routine

Updated: Apr 23, 2020




I am a huge believer in morning routines.


Especially in these trying times, I desperately need structure. Yes, I’m pretty much a child. Tell me what to do so I won’t lose it!


But whether you get up before the sun or not, the first hour after waking up can set your day up either for success or disappointment.

But I also believe that no one routine fits everyone!


Please do not look up Oprah’s morning routine or try to copy exactly what Bill Gates does. I used to do that! And it never fit my lifestyle, my goals or my preferences. But I do think there are some things that you can use to structure your morning routine.


Below I am going to share about some aspects that you can focus on. Pick an activity or two from each and customize your own personal morning routine.


Disclaimers and Shortcuts


Don't Over Complicate


Your morning routine does not have to be so complicated and convoluted that you can't remember what you are supposed to be doing. Please do not make your list a mile long, this will only discourage you. Start slow and implement a couple things at a time. Whether you realize it or not, you probably already have some kind of morning routine already, you just need to improve on it.


Don't To Do All The Things


You do not need to hit every area on my list or to accomplish all the things by 8 am. If you can't spend an hour on meditation or workout for 2 hours every morning, that's okay. Just focus on what is most important to you.


Be Realistic


I have seen too many videos of people doing their "four-hour-break-down-of-what-I-do-every-morning" routine and it overwhelms me. I do not have four hours to spend on myself per day and neither do I want that much structure in the morning. My morning routine used to be 15 minutes (with a tiny baby, and married) and it has been 2 hours (single and free). Both are good and there is a place for both, but be realistic.


Combine Things Together


This is a huge time and energy saver. You can listen to an uplifting podcast (spirit and mind) or creatively think through a relational issue (soul) while going on a run (body). You can read a book that both teaches you (mind) and inspires you (soul). Be creative! When you can combine a couple of these things, you will be able to make the best of the time you have.

Your Space - What do you want to be surrounded by?



This is the first part of a morning routine that you should think about when setting one up.

What kind of environment do you want to be in during your morning routine? This will greatly determine the kind of day you will be having.


Things to consider when setting up your own routine space:

- do you want your space to be calming or motivating?

- do you want it dark with a few lamps on or bright with sun streaming in from every window?

- do you prefer to be outside in the nature or inside under a cozy blanket?

- do you want to hear the morning silence or your favorite pump up music?

- what kind of smells do you like in the morning? Something warm like vanilla or refreshing like lemon and peppermint?

- does your space need to be perfectly clean or do you not care if there are dishes in the sink?


My morning environment is simple: I make my bed, turn on the heater if my room is too cold, light a candle and turn on my desk lamp (clean off the desk if necessary). It all only takes about 3 minutes but these actions send a signal to my brain that I’m up, ready to get my day started and find my peace.


If you need some ideas for what you can do specifically for this part of your morning routine, click here!

My Body - What nourishes me physically?


I will admit, this is the one I struggle with the most, because there is an expectation that in order to have a great morning routine, to be healthy and to be successful, you have to work out in the morning.

I would LOVE to say that I get up and workout, go for a run in the fresh morning air or do yoga to stretch and center myself. But I don’t, because it’s just not my personality or what brings me joy in the morning.

And working out is NOT the only way you can take care of your body.


My morning routine includes a coffee or tea with caffeine so I can feel semi awake, hopefully a glass of water and my daily vitamins.

I try to stay active throughout my day and I eat healthy, but I simply can’t get working out to be a part of my actual morning routine. It’s just not a priority for me in this season. Maybe one day it will be. But for now, it’s not and I’m okay with it. No reason to feel guilty. And you shouldn’t either. And honestly, what my body really needs, I actually do before my morning routine: SLEEP.

It is crucial for us to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. So much research has been done on this and bad sleep is related to dozens of health issues. Everything hinges on sleep and if you don’t believe me, read “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker, PhD.


If you need some ideas for what you can do specifically for this part of your morning routine, click here!

My Spirit - What grounds you in your purpose?



This is the most important part of my morning because this is where I remind myself of my purpose.

- Why was I created?

- Why have I been placed with these people, in this family?

- Why am I in this particular place and time?

I think all of us have these questions, and we desperately need the answers. When we have these answers, they would ground our entire lives. I think I might know some of these answers...some of the time...but in those moments that I know, they ground me.


I nourish my spirit by reading the Bible, praying and talking to God.

There is no better place to find out who I am and why I was created than to ask my Creator. He knows best and He is never going to sell us short as He knows our full potential.


These answers remind me to not simply react to the world however I feel like; in anger, frustration, and hurt. Though those feelings should not be ignored or dismissed, they are not always a healthy place to interact with other people from. Instead, I want to operate from grace, peace, forgiveness, patience, hope and joy. I am not always perfect at doing this (far from it) but I see a huge difference in the way my day goes if I remind myself of my purpose in the morning.

If you need some ideas for what you can do specifically for this part of your morning routine, click here!

My Soul - What makes my heart sing?


What gets your creative juices flowing? For a long time, I considered creativity as self-care that I only had time for once in a while. I had to make a night of it, pull out my paints and create something magical or I needed to set up a time and go into nature with my camera like a National Geographic photographer or I had to write an incredibly vulnerable and well-thought out blog about my life. And though I still do those things every so often, now that I have a business, I realize that creativity is everywhere. Brainstorming is also creativity. Coming up with a new product or blog idea is creativity. Figuring out how to make my dreams come true by setting goals is creativity. So I have made it part of my every morning to spend some time (sometimes 10 minutes, sometimes an hour) on allowing my mind be creative. Sometimes I write, sometimes I brainstorm about our next organization project, sometimes I conjure up some new ideas for Instagram posts. All of this makes my soul sing because it is all creating. It is all my ideas and thoughts having some kind of physical outlet so they can be in one way or another enjoyed by the world. If that's not art, I don't know what is.


If you need some ideas for what you can do specifically for this part of your morning routine, click here!

My Mind - What feeds you intellectually?


This particular part of my morning routine usually overlaps with another part.

When I am reading the bible as my spirit practice, I am also reading commentary and learning about history. This feeds me intellectually. When I am brainstorming for my creative/soul practice, I am often doing research and growing my knowledge on the subject. Often feeding myself intellectually means reading the thoughts of someone else or looking at research someone has already conducted.


But I think REAL learning - the kind that stays in our long term memory, the king that makes us change our mindset or way of living - happens when we are simply living; and often that means messing up and failing. Learning from our mistakes and failures is crucial.

I used to run from my failures and deny my mistakes. It was just too painful to admit that I am not good at something or I could hurt someone else. So I would often vow, "I will just never ever do that again." But I was not learning. I was just living in denial of my past and in fear that I would repeat it.

So part of my intellectual/mind practice is also to process and learn from my mistakes and successes through journaling.

- What did I do wrong?

- What did I do right?

- What does that teach me about myself?

- Does that line up with what I know God says about me? (Ah, we are even connecting the spirit in here too!)


I bet you can learn more from your own life experiences than from any self-help book!


If you need some ideas for what you can do specifically for this part of your morning routine, click here!

Conclusion


It has been amazing to share my morning routine with you all and I hope you have enjoyed it too.

I hope you are inspired and encouraged. You can be in total control of how your mornings go and you can make sure that the rest of your day is set up for success.


There is no better time to start than right now.


If you need some more specific ideas for what you can do during your morning routine, click here!

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