I just need to go there for a moment…
I’m a major advocate of ongoing personal and professional development, so I often attend conferences, read books, and listen to podcasts. These are especially helpful for staying in tune with your community if you work from home. I respect the many coaches and subject experts I’ve learned from, but I do NOT buy into some of their crazy morning routines.
How many articles have you read with titles like, “8-Morning Routines of Successful CEOs,” which tell you the best first steps towards a life of success are to wake up at 4 a.m., work out, ice plunge, drink something nasty that’s supposed to make you healthier, don’t forget to meditate, and try not to look at your phone for at least an hour…I checked out at, “4 am.”
Stop Punishing Yourself
Here’s the thing, I don’t believe in starting my day by punishing myself. My morning sets the tone for the entire day. If anything, my evening routine is more important because it allows me to have a stress-free morning routine.
For years, I was forced to wake up at 5 a.m. and run a mile in the cold before an hour of dance practice. I hated waking up early because it was literally painful. To me, there was no reward in waking up 2-3 hours before everyone else and exhausting myself before going to school, then to a part-time job before staying up late to do homework and start all over again.
Make Your Morning Routine Your, “Me Time.”
I believe the secret to becoming a morning person is to make your mornings enjoyable!
What if you started your day with a wake-up alarm that mimics the soft colors of sunrise with soothing nature sounds? A soothing rise sounds like a much better way to start the day than a stress-inducing, scare-you-awake alarm. What if you woke up early enough to enjoy some alone time starting with a quality skincare routine, a cup of great coffee while reading your devotional, deep breathing and a little stretching, and then a quick nature walk before breakfast? This is my favorite morning routine and it takes about 1hr. So, if you have to wake the kids at 7 am, get up at 6 am. If you like to shower before work, add an extra 30 minutes. A 5:30 am alarm isn’t all that tough when it feels like a reward.
Side Note: Specialists advocate for identifying your personal hours of maximum efficiency. Schedule your work or fitness energy around these times of the day for the greatest impact.
Seven Hour Minimum
Doctors agree that sleep is key to premium health. We should do whatever it takes to be asleep seven hours before the morning alarm goes off. Seven hours has been repeated as the minimum we need while optimum sleep time is eight to nine hours. Sleep is so important because this is the time our body recharges and heals itself. Think of it this way: If it takes an hour to charge your phone and you only charge it for 30 minutes, your phone is going to run out of juice when you still need it. Similarly, if you don’t get enough sleep, you’re going to crash when you still need energy to finish the day.
Wind Down to Get Up
I’ve found that my evening routine is essential for getting to sleep on time. We’re often reminded that we should disconnect from our smart devices 30-60 minutes before bed, but I’ve developed a routine that starts two hours before sleep. This preps my mind to relax so I don’t have busy thoughts or rushed chores cutting into my sleep time. Prioritizing sleep helps to reduce stress; these are the top two things we need to keep in check for a healthy lifestyle because sleep and stress affect everything from diet choices and belly fat to blood pressure and mental health.
My Wind Down Routine
- 7:30 p.m. – Clean up & prepare to-do list for tomorrow’s workday.
- 8:00 p.m. – Prep vitamins, coffee maker, outfit and lunch for tomorrow.
- 8:30 p.m. – Take magnesium supplement, PM skincare, brush teeth, get into bed.
- 8:45-9:30 p.m. – Chat with Ben, read, lights out.
- 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. – Zzzzzzzzzzzz
Rise & Shine – At The Same Time!
By giving myself enough time for at least 7 hours of sleep – with an hour of wiggle room for more – I am able to wake up refreshed and ready to give my best to the day. Since I’ve prepared my vitamins and coffee maker, all I have to do is push the “on” button and make a fresh breakfast while my coffee brews. By eliminating morning tasks, I have at least an hour of me-time before work. Now, doesn’t that sound like a soothing and stress-free way to start the day?!
seth horn says
Learning to identify your “personal best” time of day is important but sometimes takes awhile. Although I always get up early, and have been a serious workout person, I never benefited from early morning exercise. My favorite benefits of being a morning(outdoor) person is interacting with Nature and learning to spot nuances in Nature and flora/fauna. Molding personal Gratitudes with the beauty of Nature can be very unique and rewarding. Our hectic lives can include obstacles of work, family, parenting and social interactions, but Gratitude is the gravy that makes everything taste better when it’s all mixed together.