Over the last few months I’ve fallen out of sorts with my daily routine and I feel it’s really starting to affect my productivity. While I used to jump out of bed at my first alarm and get in at least 20 minutes of cardio 5 days a week, it’s becoming easier and easier to hit snooze and lay in bed scrolling through Instagram and postponing my workouts for later in the day….or week. It’s becoming a little hard to force myself out of bed when I’ve lost much of my purpose. No more! This week I’ve dedicated myself to enforcing the little things I used to do when I felt most accomplished.
Across the board, every successful person can agree there are certain keys factors to achieving their accomplishments. Arguably the most important of these factors is developing healthy daily morning habits so that’s where I’ve decided to focus my efforts. We’ve all heard that the first step you should take in the mornings is making your bed, and it’s absolutely true. Not only does this set the tone for making your entire day more organized, but it will discourage you from laying back down. Plus if you’re OCD like me, nothing distracts from a room like a messy bed. This will also solve my problem of lying around like a sack of potatoes for 2 hours after my alarm goes off. I swear if I just get up at my first alarm, I can get 80% of my day done before noon. It never fails if I reset it, I end up feeling sluggish and unproductive the rest of the day.
I’ve recently invested in a guided journal to help me become more focused and it’s been the best $5 I’ve spent this year. (I found a couple at T.J. Maxx, but you can certainly find them online as well.) Each morning I’m prompted to set forth a manifestation or mantra, in addition to a couple other things. This, by far, has had the most positive impact on my life. My first day of doing this, I had no idea what a morning manifestation might be, so I literally googled it and picked the first one I saw that seemed applicable to my life. “Money flows freely to me.” I wrote it down, said it 3 times out loud and kind of forgot about it. Within a few hours, I got a phone call to assist a friend with a house flip for $20/hour over the course of 2 days. The next day, I grabbed a towel out of the dryer and a $100 bill fell out. And 2 days after that when I got to my house in Tri-Cities, I had a check in the mail from overpaying my homeowners insurance for $315. I don’t care how stupid you think it sounds, manifestation works. Put pen to paper, verbalize your goal, imagine you already have it, and it will come to you.
The guided journal also prompts you to write in the evening where you reflect on your day, how you could have been more present and how to set forth intentions for a better tomorrow. In doing this I’ve begun a to-do list, which I keep on a white board on my desk, propped up where it’s the first thing I see in the morning. There truly is something to getting things out of your head and on paper that makes them tangible and thus more likely to be done. It’s also super gratifying to physically check or scratch a task off your list. Prioritizing your day with a list of must-do’s can better prepare you for the unexpected things that arise, and can also help you create free time for the things that make you happy.
With physical health and wellness being at the forefront of my mind always, but particularly now, I’ve started including vitamins into my morning routine. It can be difficult for me to get into this habit so initially I set them out at night on my counter, but now I just take them with my coffee and it’s not even a noticeable step. I’m no doctor so do your own research, but I currently take a hair/skin/nails vitamin, a women’s wellness vitamin and b12. Like I mentioned before, for years I liked to get in a short 20-30 minute cardio session first thing just to get my heart pumping. Fasted cardio might not be for everyone, but I personally like it. I feel like if I start my day in a calorie deficit, I’m already dominating the battle of the bulge. Plus it helps me take in plenty of water first thing in the morning. Whatever you have available, just get your blood pumping. You can do the treadmill, stairs, stationary bike, or if you don’t have access to equipment, go for a jog or brisk walk outside, and even jump rope. The added benefit of fresh air doesn’t hurt at all.
Finally, I’ve realized through my journaling that I am hardly ever present. Like most everyone else, I am addicted to my phone and anytime I have a spare moment, I’m drawn to scrolling or flipping. Try to work in some technology free time to just be alone with your thoughts and appreciate your surroundings. If you can meditate, do that. I personally struggle a great deal with meditation and it’s always a resolution that I fail to meet. But even just walking away from your phone, TV or computer for 10 minutes at a time for some deep breaths and to watch birds outside the window is better than nothing. These days I’m feeling a calling to return to a more simplistic way of life and reducing my dependence on technology. Play outside and enjoy the last few days of summer, take a hike in the woods with no cell service, rent a kayak and hit the water, or browse a farmer’s market for local, fresh meat and produce instead of the mass produced stuff in the store. Little steps like this can mean a lot.
I hope you all create your own little morning routine that brings you peace and joy. I will see you next week!