How to Create Your Own Winning Morning Routine


Episode 94 – How to Master Your Morning – Creating Your Best Morning Routine

Welcome to the Inspiration2grow podcast, the show to follow for optimizing your health through mindset, nutrition and exercise.  I like to refer to it as the trifecta of wellness. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss a beat.

Did you know that the first 20 minutes after waking up is the most important part of your day?

These early moments are called the alpha stage. It’s been called the gateway to the subconscious mind. That time frame is when your subconscious mind is most impressionable and soaks up information like a sponge.

Learning this and striving to understand my subconscious mind on a deeper level inspired me to create a consistent morning routine. This simple commitment was a game changer for me.

It’s the reason I became so passionate about taking this information and inspiring others to establish their own winning morning routine!
The start of your day is a powerful time when you can immerse your mind with things that help you become a better version of yourself!

You can also use this time when your brain is most impressionable to manifest your greatest desires, create your vision for the day, calm your brain down through breathwork and meditation, and set yourself up for the most amazing day.

Ultimately, there are many different ways you can spend your morning, and not everybody’s morning routine will be the same.

What you do as soon as you wake up can have a major effect on the actions you take and the results you see. So let’s talk about how to create the habits that create the success you desire and deserve.

Let’s get real for a moment.

Take a moment to consider how you are spending the first 20 minutes of each day right after you wake up?

– Is it always the same routine?
– Do you deviate from your routine some days?
– Does life throw you curve balls in the mornings?

If you’re truly serious about maximizing your morning, creating a process that sets you up for a great day and perfecting your own tailored routine, I want you to track the first 20 minutes of each day for a period of a week.

Have a notebook where you can detail how you spend the time, what you do, what you don’t do perhaps.  Write down if you keep to a routine or if it gets overridden by unforeseen circumstances.  Because, that happens whether we like it or not.

I have practiced and perfected my morning routine over the last several years and not only has it decreased the anxiety and overwhelm I feel, it’s made me more productive and helped me with reaching many of my goals.

This is why I am such a big advocate for morning routines.

Sure you may not love mornings.  In fact, I used to dread mornings a lot.

But here’s what you need to know…
if you take back your mornings you can literally transform your life.

The best part is that you don’t need more than 20 minutes and it will save you so much more time in the long run that it becomes a no brainer.

I’ve been there! I know how hard it can be to get started on something new. That’s why I’m so excited to share this with you. Here are some of the things we’ll be covering in today’s show:

– Why having an effective morning routine can change your life

– How to set yourself up for success (it’s not as hard as you think!)

– How to create a routine that fits into your day AND still allows time for other important things (like sleep!)

But just remember, this is the Cole’s Notes version of how to set up a strong morning routine.  We could take a very deep dive into this topic but since I like to keep my podcast episodes around 15 – 20 minutes in length, I am going to provide as much helpful guidance as I can in that amount of time.

So, just in case I haven’t made a compelling enough argument for having a winning morning routine…

Research says that the mind is the most vulnerable during the first 20 minutes after you wake up.

For most of us, we’re scrolling social media, checking text messages and maybe responding, looking through our emails and maybe writing back, turning on the TV and consuming the news… and it’s no wonder we start off in an anxious state and carry it with us throughout the entire da
Starting your morning off overwhelmed decreases your productivity and impacts your emotional regulation.  This is why having a structured, reliable and thorough morning routine can be such a game changer.

I went years without having a morning routine that really met my needs and now, I wouldn’t trade my new morning routine in for anything.

So, how do we go about setting ourselves up for success through our morning routines?

1.    First of all, you need to fully understand HOW you are spending those crucial 20 minutes.  This leads me back to the question I mentioned earlier – How are you spending that time and the only way to know is to track it for a few days?  If you days are consistent, then you will likely know what activities you do to start off your morning. Nevertheless, I challenge you to track how much time you spend on your phone scrolling, how much time you spend watching TV, in short – how much time you spend consuming as opposed to taking action.
2.       Next, Decide what needs to be in your routine. Do you want to get more exercise or more alone time? Do you need to start the morning slowly with mindful practices or are you more of an energized bunny in the mornings? This is important in designing your routine to meet your needs. 
3.       Then, you will have to establish if you are going to drink something like tea, coffee or water with lemon squeezed in it. This may sound odd as the third step, but the vast majority of us start our days off by dragging our feet to the coffee machine and pressing the button OR boiling water for a cup of tea.  There is mounting evidence that drinking a glass or two of water on an empty stomach BEFORE sipping your morning java or tea has huge health benefits and some of these include: positive effects for flushing toxins from the body, increasing energy and immunity, reducing weight and increasing metabolism, and preventing headaches and kidney stones.
How much water should we drink: You should drink at least 650 mL (3 cups) of water right after waking up.
Drinking water first thing in the morning immediately helps rehydrate the body. Your six to eight hours of sleep is a long period to go without any water consumption. Drinking two or three glasses of water right when you wake up is a good way to rehydrate your body quickly.
For those of us who exercise right after waking up, this may not be so difficult to do.  For others, gulping down straight water first thing can be challenging.  Just think of all the health advantages related to sipping water and surely this habit will become part of your morning routine.
4.     Set aside some “me” time. Make sure you’re taking some time for yourself in the morning. This can mean reading a book, meditating, journaling, or just taking some time to think and relax. This will help you start your day off on a positive note and give you the mental clarity you need to tackle the day’s tasks.
Two episodes that might be helpful here are:
A recent podcast show, Episode 87 – The Practice of Meditation for Newbies and Skeptics
And, The Powerful Practice of Journalling in Episode 37.

5.     Eat a healthy breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it’s important to make sure you’re eating a healthy breakfast. This will give you the fuel and energy you need to start your day off right. Try to avoid sugary cereals and pastries, and opt instead for something more nutritious, like oatmeal or a smoothie.
This can be a controversial point – to eat breakfast or not.  People who practice intermittent fasting, might argue against eating breakfast first thing in the morning.  Personally, I practice intermittent fasting but only on certain days of the week.  On those days, my ‘breakfast’ meal is consumed at around 11 am – noon.
Let me refer to Jennifer Harris, who was my guest in Episode 80 entitled “Better Body Performance with Holistic Nutrition”.  She emphasized that WHAT we eat for our first meal is far more important than WHEN we eat it.  She also stated that our first meal should consist of: protein, fiber, health fats.  Her go-to easy, breezy breakfast is a 2-egg omelette with broccoli in it and a side of avocado.  Please have a listen to that episode.  It was filled with awesome tips on nutrition, balancing blood sugar, why we need muscles, and so much more.
6.     Rise with the sun – or as close as you can get.
I’d like to tell you to get up at the crack of dawn like I do but getting a good night’s sleep is more important in the grand scheme of things than forcing yourself out of bed after a terrible night.
It’s true that people can get a solid ‘jump start’ on their day by rising with the sun or even before that.  Many highly successful people list this as one of their keys to a winning morning routine.
But for those, who have young children, this isn’t always doable.
For those, who don’t sleep well, this isn’t recommendable.
For those, who work crazy shifts, this isn’t feasible.
So, this blanket statement – simple doesn’t work for everyone.  I will say that carving out a bit of time in the early morning before your household (meaning your children and pets) or partner rises, can be very effective in implementing some of the “me” time practices you’d like to start. And, this may be the only opportunity you have to schedule in some alone time to read, journal, meditate or exercise.
Find out what time works best for you.  But the main thing to remember here is…don’t sacrifice your hours of sleep to rise and shine.
7.     Commit to a ritual – whatever that may be.
If you want to upgrade your morning routine, you will need to commit to a ritual that you practice NO MATTER WHAT.  That could be any number of things that you enjoy doing or possible new practices you haven’t tried yet but are interested in exploring.
Let’s see… it could be breathwork to calm your mind, a gratitude practice to set yourself up in a positive way, an exercise routine – even a shorter one will be beneficial for your body and mind at the beginning of the day, reading, lighting a candle and reflecting (a form of meditation), writing a to-do list for the day but making note of the priority items (the MITs) that will measure a successful day when completed. 
 Hal Elrod, author of the popular book, “The Miracle Morning”, is convinced that a combo of six rituals make up an ideal morning routine: silence (meditation, prayer, etc.), affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing (writing, journaling, etc.).”
But, only YOU know and can discover over time what the perfect morning routine is for you personally.  I encourage you to try some different practices and find the winning combination for you.
You don’t have to LOVE being a morning person.
You just have to be committed to changing your morning routine for the better.
Find what lights you up and a routine you really, truly look forward to doing.
Don’t waste the most precious time of the day on useless, overwhelming activities. 
Start to leverage the first 20 minutes of each day in a powerful way.
It’s up to you to utilize your time to work in your favour.
My hope is that you start to implement some of the ideas, tips and strategies that I talk about and I would love to know which ones have been beneficial for you personally.

I would also like to invite you to become part of the Inspiration2grow community on Facebook.  The group name is: Inspiration2grow for Female Goal-getters.  It is meant to be a community of like-minded women who want to grow strong from the inside out.  There will be journalling prompts, nutrition and fitness tips, exercises to try, encouraging conversations among the community and lots more.  So, be sure to join this group for support, new ideas and the necessary rocket fuel to propel your health and wellness to new heights.

But before you look up today’s show notes or before you join us on Facebook, I would be very grateful if you could leave a review of my podcast.  A favourable one, I hope!  This way it will be shown to more listeners and the messages shared on this show could possibly reach more people who need it – with your help.

And remember…
You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself, show up for yourself and become the best version of YOU.
In case you haven’t heard it yet today, let me be the first to tell you…
You are incredible, capable and your potential is limitless.  Never forget that I believe in you 100%.  Now, go out there and show the world what you are truly made of.
I hope to have inspired you to grow.
Til next time,
Lisa  xoxo

5 Morning Habits Worth Considering


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,