Setting Your Day up for Success


What exactly is a morning routine? It’s whatever you do in the mornings to set yourself up for success. Many experts tell us that the only way to have a successful day is to wake up at the crack of dawn before everyone else in the house is awake and immediately start going through your checklist. For me, that just doesn’t work. My morning routine looks like this:

  • Get out of bed
  • Brush my teeth
  • Wash my face
  • Run my fingers through my hair
  • Get dressed
  • Eat breakfast
  • Head out the door for work

What part of that is actually setting me up for success? Maybe the breakfast part, but that might be it. I don’t immediately go through my checklist and start working for a lot of reasons. Mostly because I’m not a morning person. I’m not a good sleeper, I like my rest and I like to have slow mornings. Are you like this? If you said yes, you probably don’t have a morning routine that is “expert-approved” either.

But I’ve tried to wake up early…

If you already wake up before the kiddos, you’re probably thinking I haven’t tried. Unfortunately that’d be wrong.

I have tried to get up earlier. I eased into waking up earlier by setting my alarm for 15 minutes earlier, then 30 minutes earlier and then an hour. . .but the weekend hit and I was thrown off.

My workout clothes were laid out for me as a way to motivate myself. And when that didn’t work, I slept in my workout clothes.

I even got an accountability buddy to send me a text when my alarm went off. Unfortunately, this fizzled out too.

I literally feel like I have tried everything but nothing has stuck. According to the experts, I’ve failed. But have I really?

What Should my Morning Routine Really Look Like?

The easy answer is, however you want it to look like. When I finally had this epiphany I realized that these so-called experts that are telling people to wake up one to two hours earlier than normal aren’t living my life. They don’t know what’s on my plate, who lives in my house and how I like to live my life. Therefore, my morning routine should be just that – mine!

Despite this, the experts are experts for a reason. The methods they teach indicate that morning routines are meant to be productive. I agree with this mentality, but I think being productive is different for everyone. For some, it means going through the tasks list for the day and determining where the priorities are. For others, it means having a cup of coffee and practicing yoga. Ultimately, I think it boils down to this.

In your morning routine, include the following:

  1. Something that feeds your brain
  2. Something that feeds your soul
  3. Something that feeds your heart

Sounds simple, right? Here’s a few ideas to help you understand each category.

Something that feeds your brain

When I think about feeding my brain, my focus goes to learning. Most of us tend to stop learning once we finish high school or college but in reality, we need to continue learning so we can keep growing and become better people. To feed your brain, you could read a non-fiction book or take a few modules of a course on a topic you’re interested in.

Something that feeds your soul

Feeding your soul is something that goes deep. It pulls at the emotional heart strings, but also helps you learn who you really are as a person. while this might sound like a woo-woo type of action, I think it’s necessary because it allows you to discover your true self. Ideas to help you feed your soul include meditation, yoga or brainstorming a list of ideas you can do to help others in your community.

Something that feeds your heart

Like what feeds your soul, activities that feed your heart tug at your emotions. These actions can make you feel anything from happy to sad, fearful to excited. The point of this inclusion is just that you feel something. You could watch a TED talk related to something that makes you cry, you could do something you’ve been too scared to do in the past or you could do something that makes you feel overjoyed.

What Will My Morning Routine Look Like?

Before I do anything, I’ll be having coffee. As I’ve said previously, I am not a morning person so if I want to do anything and be a decent human being, then I must have a cup of coffee. Once I’ve done that, I can get to the day. If I incorporate these three categories, I’ll be reading the Bible (feeds my brain), practicing a short meditation (feeding my soul) and reviewing and setting my schedule for the day (feeds my heart). These activities I’ve chosen actually fall into more than one category too.

Reading the Bible is something I’ve always wanted to do, not because I’m super religious, but because I believe you can learn something from everything.

A short meditation will help me get in the right mindset for the day. Even if I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, a short meditation can snap me out of it.

Reviewing and setting my schedule is a MUST if I want to be productive. It will allow me to see the meetings I have, the tasks I need to do and the white space I can use for the random things that get dropped on my plate.

The key with each of these is that I’m going to limit my time for each activity to 10 minutes. Why? Because I only have so much time to work with before I need to get out of the house.

Now that you know my thoughts on the concept of a morning routine and what mine will look like, how are you going to plan yours? Remember, setting your day up for success doesn’t have to be complicated or hard. It just has to be productive, planned and something you define.

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