Before I start, I wanted to let you know I'm hosting a 7-day challenge that will help you create and follow a morning routine that works for you! If you tend to skim through blog posts, check it out at the end of the post ;)
I wouldn't typically go as far as to say that anything I talk about on here applies to everyone, across the board. But I do think that this topic could truly benefit anyone. I'm going to talk mostly about the benefits for women and moms, as usual, but whoever you are, this can totally help you, too.
It doesn't really matter who you are. Full time career woman? Great! Full time stay at home mom? Awesome! Work from home mom, mom that works part time, not a mom, college student, busy, not busy, etc. I really, truly believe that a morning routine can benefit anyone.
So let's dig in.
How I used to wake up.
The way I used to wake up can be described as simply, without a plan. Before Gemma, I knew I was getting up to get ready for work, and on most mornings, honestly, I didn't even think in advance enough to know whether or not I needed enough time to shower.
I'd roll out of bed at the last possible minute, after pressing snooze several times. Actually, before rolling out of bed, I spent some wasted minutes on Instagram, email, Facebook, and just mindlessly scrolling.
I'd find myself getting breakfast and lunch together in an anxious, unhappy tizzy, spiraling downward before the day even started. I'd end up out the door a few minutes later than I intended to be, and I'd have to calm myself down in the car from the wreck of a morning I had.
After Gemma? Multiply the "wreck of a morning" part times a hundred, especially when it was a day I had to get to work (before this year, I taught part time and stayed home with her on off days). I can say I was almost always a few minutes late to work. I was almost always stressed. And I almost always wondered how in the world I was going to get out the door and not cry my way to work because I hated to leave her behind.
In conclusion: My mornings were full of negativity, and it was my fault. I started the day without a plan, other than knowing where I needed to be. I didn't have planned out the steps I'd take to get me there, or to at least set a positive tone to my day. And since there was no planning, no set routine, I ended up unhappy and anxious and late.
The saddest part? I had all the great intentions. I'd set all the goals to wake up early, read a devotion, maybe even work out or take the dog for a walk, listen to a podcast, music, etc. At one point, I had intentions set that I'd wake up and work on one of my part time jobs.
None of that ever happened because I never created a routine that would help me establish those goals, or even come close to trying to carry them out.
The breaking point
The breaking point came when we moved, and we were living with family until our house was ready. I knew I was not going back to work, so the habits I started to set would be the habits I most likely continued as a stay at home mom. My mornings continued in the same manner, but they got one step worse. I started letting Gemma be my alarm clock. Granted, this had to happen because she was in the same room as us, and my alarm would wake her up.
Either way, I found that I was the crankiest person there ever could be starting my day in this way. It didn't help that Gemma wasn't sleeping well and was waking up super early. But I knew, at that point, I had to change something when we got into our new home.
By the way: There are going to be seasons where a morning routine might not work for moms. When your baby isn't sleeping well, give yourself more sleep. But most seasons, I do believe this is something pretty essential.
The first thing that had to change before I was able to wake up before Gemma and have some kind of morning routine? She was going to have to wake up a bit later. I'll talk more on a separate blog post about how I got her to sleep in later, but we tried a strategy that worked, and she wakes up in between 7:15-7:45 now, for reference.
I did try waking up and working before Gemma was awake as a routine, but found myself still with an anxious start to my day.
Then, I stumbled on The Miracle Morning, and everything changed.
I started following the Miracle Morning specifically (there are 6 parts to the routine) and then I adapted it for what works for me. Here is what my current morning routine looks like. This has really made me a happier, less anxious, more energy-filled person. I wouldn't write an entire blog about it if that wasn't true.
My Current Morning Routine
I'll detail this more for you if you join the "More Purposeful Days: A free 7 Day Morning Routine Challenge" that you can see more about at the end of this post, but here's a little glimpse of what my morning routine typically looks like:
- Wake up 1-2 hours before Gemma
- a short 30 minute or less workout
- journaling before or after the workout
Why you need a morning routine
I hope my story above conveys why I believe morning routines are important. To make it more clear, here are the main reasons I believe morning routines are a good idea for almost everyone (other than maybe the people on crazy work schedules or brand new moms who need their sleep):
- A morning routine takes a good amount of decision making out of your day. I said this in my meal planning post, but adults, on average, make about 35,000 decisions daily. This can definitely cause anxiety and decision fatigue, so the less decisions, the better. If you can wake up and not have to make many decisions in the first hour or more of your day (because you are carrying out your already-decided routine, which becomes habit), you'll start the day on a much less anxious, more energized note.
- A morning routine will start your day on a positive note. To go along with the first reason, and assuming you are choosing positive, life-bringing tasks for your morning routine, your day will start on a better note than just rolling right out of bed and getting to it.
- A morning routine will create a more purposeful day. When you start your day purposefully, the rest of your day is more likely to follow on that track, to put it simply.
- A morning routine will allow you to fit things in to your day you wouldn't have time for otherwise. For example, when it comes to my morning routine, working out is the big one that I couldn't find a space for in my normal day. I knew it was important, but I couldn't prioritize it over working when I only have very few hours during naptime to fit these things in. I couldn't find a time to fit it into my day, so I added it on through waking up early.
This is how I would describe morning routines in general: You are adding to your day. Typically, you might wake up at last minute, or just not really think about what purposeful things you can fit into your morning. When you form a morning routine, you'll be adding time to your day and creating space to do the things that are important to you.
- A morning routine is a form of self care. Are you fitting time for self care into your day? Most women can probably say they don't even fit self care in weekly. But we desperately need it. If you aren't taking care of yourself, how can you take care of the other people in your life, like your babies or your husband or your family and friends, without eventually burning out? A morning routine can be the perfect way to fit a small amount of self care into your day. Starting your day with self care will assure a fuller cup to pour out to the people you take care of throughout your day.
Creating your morning routine
I'm holding a 7 day morning routine challenge so we can do this thing together! The Challenge Starts September 16th!
There are so many different ways you can start the morning. I have a friend that wakes up super early, makes coffee, and writes for two hours straight before her kids wake up. She works her mornings away, and it brings her life. I tried something like this, and it just wasn't working for me, but maybe it would for you!
Because we are all unique, there isn't a one size fits all morning routine. I have taken the Miracle Morning routine and adapted it for myself, but that might not be how someone else would want to start their day.
I tried several things before I finally found what works for me, and now I wouldn't want to wake up any other way (especially not to Gemma as my alarm clock)
Want help in creating a morning routine? Take the "More Purposeful Days: A free 7 Day Morning Routine Challenge" with me and a community of women wanting to do the same thing!
It'll help you get off the ground running with creating a morning routine that works for you, and you'll be able to have the accountability of a group of women that are waking up early and starting their day with purpose, too!