The morning routine — It’s one of the most highlighted tools for personal and professional success. Information is plentiful online and in books sharing ideas about how to start your day in a way that ensures the rest of it is productive. Advice for women includes everything from skincare routines to creating quick and effective workouts to nutrition tips and more.
Working in the learning and development (L&D) field, I’m particularly aware that structure and a well-defined process are vital to making sure things go well. L&D focuses on utilizing processes that help people achieve their full potential by improving their knowledge, skills and abilities. Carrying that concept into my health journey has helped me create a morning routine that sets me up for success before heading to my desk. Incorporating movement, meditation and whole-food nutrition gives me the energy I need to take advantage of the inherent opportunities in the day ahead.
Take a moment to think about what your current morning routine looks like. Are you the person who hits the snooze button until you’re late, with barely enough time to toss back a cup of coffee before rushing out the door? Or are you someone who has an early-morning plan and sticks to it, allowing yourself plenty of time to greet the new day with a clear mind? A solid morning routine sets the tone for everything that follows.
Implementing a focused and intentional morning routine can provide the energy you need to slay the day. As you design your new morning flow, keep in mind that what it looks like is personal to you. There is no right or wrong — no one-size-fits-all approach.
The best morning routine is the one you stick with.
Inspiration for creating a new routine or tweaking an existing one can be found in various places.
For research junkies, a quick hashtag search on Instagram (#morningroutine) produces dozens of accounts that share the importance and benefits of a morning routine and provide ideas you can use as you create your own. A Google search for morning routine ideas will give you lists of suggestions you can incorporate into your plan.
For readers, books such as My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired, which highlights the morning routines of prominent, highly-successful women such as Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and media mogul Ariana Huffington, are great resources. As these women share their stories, you’ll find their morning routines are vastly different. However, they do have one thing in common, they are non-negotiable.
Crafting a Routine
Consider these five actions to help create a plan that works for you.
Put pen to paper.
Take time to sit down in a quiet space and brainstorm. First, list the responsibilities your morning consists of that can’t be changed (kids, pets, spouse, etc.). Next, dream big! Write out what the ideal morning routine looks like for you.
Create an “I can’t wait until morning” routine.
The word “routine” may not spark much excitement. Don’t let that deter you. Try giving your morning routine a name that sparks joy instead! I refer to mine as my “miracle morning.” It’s a name I adopted after reading the book The Miracle Morning several years ago.
With your dream scenario and your reality detailed on paper, it’s time to marry the two. With flexibility, creative thinking and determination, I promise you can design the perfect morning routine that makes you excited for your feet to hit the floor each day.
Once you’ve narrowed down your ideas, stop thinking and start doing.
“A year from now, you will wish you had started today.”
— Karen Lamb
Whether you prefer to start slow by habit stacking one at a time, or jump in headfirst to lay out an entirely new plan all at once, keep in mind that consistency is the key. The 21/90 rule says it takes 21 days to form a new habit and 90 days for it to become a lifestyle. There are no shortcuts and no fast tracks. Going from zero to success takes time. Motivation will help get you started; discipline and commitment will keep you going.
Notice how it feels.
Reflect on how you feel after incorporating these new habits. Consider journaling to keep track of how your thoughts may shift and change. You may feel that it’s working for you right away, or it might take some time before you really get the feel of it. Keep going, and keep noticing.
Adjust as needed.
Ultimately, this is not about rules. The process of finding what works well for you may require a few adjustments. Make them, if necessary. However, do your best not to be a “tweaker” simply to make this new routine easier. A feel-good morning is like a cozy bed — it gives you warm fuzzies. Sounds amazing, right? Of course, it does! But requiring yourself to stretch a little beyond your comfort zone each morning is a good thing, too. Adding in a task or two that forces you to dig a little deeper and find your inner strength helps build resilience. It also may leave you with even more energy and a sense of pride in the good you’re doing for your body, mind and soul.
As humans, each of us is unique. What works for you may not work for me. The perfect morning routine is no different. The similarity in our mornings is their ability to contribute to our well-being and success.
Stacey has been a member of the TrainingPros team since 2008. She joined the team in an operational support role with a consulting, hospitality, and business administration background. Her experience working with remote teams and managing large-scale events has served her well in managing some of the company's highest-profile projects.
When she's not working to grow the TrainingPros brand or helping to spearhead the company's many initiatives in the L&D community, Stacey is regularly engaged in health and wellness activities. As a lifestyle guru who is passionate about work-life balance, she has found her zen.
TrainingPros is a WBENC-Certified Women's Business Enterprise.