Seven Steps to Create a Morning Routine You Love
Mornings can suck the life out of you. As one of my relatives says, “Waking up ruins my day!”
A lot of people feel that way. They wish they could stay in bed longer. They hate getting up early and delay it as long as possible.
But mornings can be a great start for a great day. They can become something that you love and look forward to.
One of the first stages of leadership is self-leadership. One of the first acts of self-leadership is choosing how you spend your time — including your morning.
Your morning sets the tone for the remainder of your day. If you choose how you will spend the first minutes of your day, you will gain greater self-leadership over your day.
The secret is to design your ideal morning so that it gives you energy.
Here are the steps to designing your ideal, energy-giving morning.
1. Identify Energy-Giving Activities
Do not wake up and jump straight into energy-sucking activities. This will suck all the enrgy out of your morning.
Do not open your email.
Do not start paying bills.
Do not clean up the kitchen.
Before your mornings can ever become life-giving, you have to determine what brings you energy.
Invite God into a brainstorming session to identify possible activities that make you feel more alive.
It could be:
- Expressing Gratitude
- Reading Scripture
- Drawing or Painting
The list could go on.
2. Pick 1–3 Activities that Bring You Life
Once you’ve brainstormed possible activities, work with God to select the activities that you think will bring you the most life.
Don’t make the mistake of choosing too many things. The chances are you can only accomplish 1–3 activities.
I get up an hour and a half before my kids have to wake up for school. That gives me time to do no more than 3 activities. And sometimes I can only get to 2 of them.
Although you would love to do more than that, you will enjoy your mornings more if you only select a small number.
3. Create Your Ideal Schedule
Once you know the activities that you want to do, create your ideal schedule.
- What time would you be willing to wake up in order to participate in your energy-giving activities?
- What time do you need to end so that you can get to the rest of your day?
- What is the first activity that you would like to do? And how much time do you want to do it?
- What is the second activity that you would like to do? And how much time do you want to do it?
Don’t forget to allot time for some basic necessities like going to the bathroom!
4. Prepare the Night Before
Having a great morning starts the night before. You can take a few actions that will help your morning be better.
Prepare coffee and water the night before.
If you’re a coffee drinker, prepare your coffee so that it’s ready to brew when you wake up.
Also, set out a glass of water. Hal Elrod’s’s book The Miracle Morning taught me the importance of drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up. Your body has been dehydrated for several hours. Immediately drinking a glass of water can help rehydrate you
Set out clothing.
Even if you can do all of your activities in your pajamas, put on real clothing. It helps you shift away from a sleeping mindset.
Prepare your environment.
Take 5 minutes the night before to prepare the environment where you will spend your ideal morning.
Set out your book or Bible or journal in the place where you will go.
If you need your computer, open the programs you will use.
If you exercise with music, put your headphones by the door.
This step not only helps you make the most of your time in the morning, but it prepares you mentally for a great day. You begin to feel the excitement about waking up — before you even go to bed!
Choose your attitude.
This is the most important step in the preparation process. Choose a positive attitude toward the morning. If you go to bed and think, “Ugh, my alarm is going to go off way too early. I’m so tired. I never get enough sleep,” then you will feel that way when you wake up.
But if you go to bed thinking, “I’m so excited to wake up in the morning. The first hour of the day is the best hour of the day,” then you will wake up with a feeling of excitement to begin your energy-giving morning.
5. Get out of bed the first time your alarm rings
When your alarm goes off, don’t give yourself the freedom to hit snooze. Start moving.
There are two reasons you should get out of bed as soon as your alarm rings.
1. Motion begets motion.
When you stay in bed, you inevitably fall back asleep. But once you start moving, it’s easier to stay moving.
2. Snoozing feels like failing.
If you want to get out of bed to get to the best part of your day, hitting the snooze button makes you feel like a failure! Failing at your first goal of the day feels terrible.
But if you start moving your body as soon as your alarm goes off, you will wake up more quickly and with a better attitude.
6. Execute your plan with God
This is the fun part. Execute the thing that you’ve been wanting to do.
Invite God into your morning. He’s already there. This is the day that He has made (Psa 118:24). This helps you become more aware of His presence.
Then have an energy-giving morning.
Anytime you start a new routine, it takes you a while to get adjusted to the new rhythm. Don’t be surprised if the first couple of weeks are challenging. Once you get adjusted to it, you’ll find that it brings you tremendous energy.
7. End on time
Because your mornings will be life-giving, you will be tempted to make a critical mistake: extending your ideal morning beyond the time that you have allotted.
If you do this, you will:
- Create unnecessary stress and anxiety for the next part of your day because you make yourself late.
- Associate your anxiety with your morning routine, which will cause you to give it up.
It is better for you to end early and wish you had more time than to derail the remainder of your day.
Your morning routine sets the tone for the remainder of your day. Choose a routine that brings your energy and life.
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Questions: How do you normally spend your mornings? What is one activity that you believe would give you energy?