I just need to go there for a moment…
As a creator, I often attend conferences, read books, watch tutorials, and listen to podcasts. This is my ongoing business education and how I stay tuned in to my community and industry while working from home. I respect so many of those I’ve spent time and money to listen to, but I do NOT buy into 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, take a cold shower, drink something nasty that’s supposed to make you healthier, make your bed, don’t forget to meditate, and try not to look at your phone for at least an hour…I checked out at “4 a.m.”
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. 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 doing homework and having some sliver of a personal life before going to bed. With my limited time, I started cutting out the important (sleep and study) to make room for what made me happy.
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 waking up to soothing music and allowed time for one snooze button so you could rise with ease? What if you woke up early to enjoy a cup of coffee while reading your daily devotional and to spend quality time with your loved ones over breakfast? How would it make you feel if you waited to work out until you had optimal energy to put into your fitness routine instead of sluggishly getting it over with?
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 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 while you still need it. Similarly, if you don’t get enough sleep, you’re going to crash when you still need energy to finish out 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 & lunch for tomorrow.
- 8:30 p.m. – Wash face, brush teeth & get into bed.
- 8:45-9:30 p.m. – Chat with Ben, read, journal & 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. I purposely set my alarm 15 minutes early, so I can ease into waking up. I also set a soothing song for my wakeup call instead of an unpleasant fire-alarm.
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 almost an hour of quality time with Ben before he leaves for work and another 30-45 minutes to myself to read my devotional, do some yoga and get ready to settle in at my computer. Now, doesn’t that sound like a soothing and stress-free way to start the day?!