5 Morning Habits Worth Considering

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Have you ever come across the quote, “Win the morning, win the day”?  If we take a deeper look at this quote, it implies that a winning morning routine is the key to crushing the day.  What this looks like can be very different for each of us. I’ll talk about some valid reasons why you should re-think your morning routine and offer 5 habits to consider implementing for increased energy, productivity and self-care during the day.

I have only recently started rising before the crack of dawn to have pensive, quiet time for my writing.  There is a feeling of blissful solitude while I sip my morning coffee and the message is pouring out of my heart through my fingers on the keyboard.  After spending about 60 productive minutes working on my writing, I go to our basement gym and cycle my little heart out for about 45 minutes.  After accomplishing these two morning tasks, I feel on top of the world.  Not only because I followed my plan, but also because I could check off two of my MITs (Most Important Task) before anything could get in the way. My motto for the rest of the day —  Come what may, I have won the day!

Is it essential to start winning your day before the sun rises?  Not necessarily.  Everyone’s sleep routine and bedtimes are going to vary.  However, I will say this… If you don’t begin before 8 am, you had better be able to religiously carve out an hour or two eliminating ALL distractions that may occur from that point on.  You will have to be the master of setting boundaries during your ME time.  Life can get hectic at the drop of a coin and suddenly what seemed like a normal morning can take a turn for the worse quickly.
Some reasons why starting your morning before everyone else is advantageous:

1.        You will be uninterrupted because most people are still in slumber mode.  This allows you to move around the house in stealth mode to get your morning started in the best possible way.
2.       Your thoughts are fresh and clear after a good night’s sleep.  This means you can fully concentrate more on the task and do it with intention: meditation, reading, praying, moving your body, stretching, yoga, writing, journaling, lighting a candle and thinking about the day ahead, etc.
3.       Our minds are pure and not yet inundated with the day’s events. Our daily lives are made up of so many insignificant but also crucial tasks that require deeper thought and consideration.  Decisions must be made, plans must be put in place, strategies executed in order for the day to go well both at work and for the family.
4.       Our bodies are strong and rejuvenated.  We are ready to tackle the day, and this might mean early morning exercise for some people, which is easier to accomplish if the body is well-rested as opposed to being exhausted after a long workday.
5.       Jump starting your day in a positive state of mind will have ripple effects on all other activities throughout your day.

You owe it to yourself to begin each day in top form with clarity about your priorities, energized and jazzed, mentally calm to take on anything the day throws at you.

I believe that “Success leaves clues”.  It’s one of the most powerful ideas meaning, if you can learn the methods that someone else used to succeed, then you can do the same thing.

So, if we want to achieve more success in our lives, all we need to do is find a way to model those who have already succeeded.

With this in mind, I did some research, talked to some women and found a common theme.  Today, I would like to present the 5 most common morning habits successful women practice, and I have also started implementing a few of these into my own early morning routine. 

The tone we set for our entire day begins with our morning routine and the thoughts we feed our minds with from the second we wake up. How you set up and spend your morning will ultimately influence the rest of your day.

Having a winning morning routine, one that is suited to your needs and priorities, isn’t about adding more items to your already full to-do list.  It’s about establishing a solid morning routine which will boost your mood, provide you with much-needed energy to tackle the day, decrease anxiety, increase levels of productivity AND make you feel better overall. It also puts you in control of the day, it keeps you on track and puts you in the right frame of mind for the day.

Here are 5 morning habits worth considering:

-> Get up early  – Now, I do realize the sheer thought of rising and shining before the crack of dawn may be an absolutely daunting thought for some of you.  And, I am the first one to admit that it’s not easy.  But establishing new habits is never easy.  They only become more palatable once you begin to see a difference in your life.

Getting up early will help you set the stage for a productive, successful day.  There is something quite special about the peace and quiet a household offers in the wee hours of the morning when everyone else, your dog and cat included, are still slumbering and dreaming sweetly. 

-> Leave your phone alone – Do a digital detox by switching your phone to airplane mode until you are done with your morning routine whatever that is going to entail and however long it will take.  Distractions such as text messages, calls, emails, etc. will derail all your good intentions and interfere with the sacred ‘me time’ you are trying to implement.  It’s also a good idea to leave your phone in the bathroom overnight as opposed to being close by on your night table.  Get used to time away from social media and being available 24/7. 

-> Workout early to get it done – You may have heard the saying, “Get your workout in before your inner bitch knows what’s going on and convinces you otherwise.”  This will keep you energized throughout the day due to the release of endorphins exercise brings.  I can’t stress how much moving your body sets you and your self-confidence up for an awesome day and whatever comes your way.

-> Write a priority list – This is fairly straightforward, but I think people underestimate the importance of listing out their must-do items.  Once you are aware of the priorities for the day, you can concentrate on accomplishing these.  If they aren’t in writing, left front and center for constant viewing, your day might get busy and hectic, taking your focus off what matters most.  One NEW priority I’d like you to consider is allocating ‘tiger time’, which is me time for you that nobody can take away.  Make yourself a priority! 

We have heard the term self-care being thrown around a lot but there’s so much truth in it:  you can’t take care of others until you take care of yourself first.  Tiger time might be a walk in the park, a cup of tea while reading a book, journalling, meditating, doing your creative hobby with NO disturbances.  Tiger time can be any length of time and can be scheduled at various times of the days.  But remember to be as fierce as a tiger when it comes to sticking to this much-needed me time during your day.
-> Meditate & Visualize – Take a few minutes to begin with if you are new to meditating.  Close your eyes and allow your thoughts to wonder.  Be free and open to explore whatever pops into your head.  You can turn on calming, quiet music in the background.  There are no right or wrong methods of meditating.  I simply want you to sit, relax and be present with your thoughts. 

Set the timer for 2 – 5 minutes to start with and work your way up to a longer time period if you enjoy it
Once your time of meditation is up, I would like you to keep your eyes closed and paint a picture in your mind of how you want to show up for the day ahead. I call this -> forward reflection <-
What will my new self look like? ~Polished and vibrant (new outfit, well put together)
How will she show up today? ~Strong and confident (stand tall, body language)
How will she speak to others? ~Eloquently and with conviction
How will she be a bold example to others?
With this short visualization exercise, you picture yourself, your new self, as the person you aspire to be. 
So, let’s recap the 5 morning habits that could have a hugely positive impact on your entire day, not just the early hours.
v  Get up early
v  Do a digital detox
v  Work out
v  Write a priority list
v  Meditate & visualize

But, a successful morning routine really starts the night before.

In order for your mornings to be a special time for you to carve out time for yourself and get ready for the day ahead, it’s imperative to put a few things in place the night before.

1.        Workout clothes and water bottle should be ‘grab-and-go’ ready. 
2.       Your outfit for the day should be planned and laid out. Whether that’s for work or home, think ahead and lay out your clothing so time won’t be wasted and decisions about this will not distract or side track you the following day
3.       In order to have improved sleep, I want you to set a notebook or notepad on your night table.  Do a brain dump before falling asleep on all the things you want to remember to do the next day:  appointments you have to make, groceries you need to pick up, calls you want to make, etc.  Having these on paper will allow your brain to rest better during the night and knowing what needs to be done will help you create your priority list the following morning.
So, that’s a wrap for today’s talk on reasons why you should start getting up earlier and squeezing in some much-needed quality time to set the right tone for your day and 5 morning habits of successful women, like you and me.

I’ll leave you as I always do…

In case you haven’t heard this yet today, let me be the first to say it…

You are amazing, capable and extraordinary.  I believe in you.  Now, go out and show the world what you are made of.

Til next time,