There seems to be a prevailing notion that you must wake up even before the early risers do in order to have the best morning routine and be successful. However, it’s not just the hour of your awakening that will determine whether or not you will have a super day. It’s also your plan and routine that will contribute to you being able to get your groove on. So, how do you create the best morning routine that will work for you, and – equally important – how do you stick to this habit?
The best morning routine
Each one of us has a different brain type, learning style, working style, and sleep/wake-up rhythm, so there’s no one perfect way to do anything. Factor in the various members of your household who may or may not affect your morning routine, and you can see why what may work for your best friend, favorite celebrity or colleague may not work exactly for you.
Determine what type of morning routine fits your needs
You’ll want to start with the tasks or activities that are going smoothly. Give yourself credit for what you do right. Next, think about what’s not going smoothly. Why is that? Are you trying to do too much? Are you going to bed too late and not able to wake up when the alarm sounds?
Next, figure out what you would like to accomplish in the morning. Do you need to leave the house by a certain time? Do you want to work out or meditate? Do you need to take the kids to school?
Decide what are the most important tasks that must get completed in the space between your wake up time and leave time, so that you (and everyone else in your world) can have the best day possible.
Create the best morning routine one step at a time
When helping my clients formulate their morning routines, I have them start with the end goal and work their way backwards. Here’s an example of how to figure out your morning routine if you need to be at work by 8:00 A.M.
It takes 30 minutes to get to work without traffic problems. To play it safe, leave by 7:15 A.M.
If you need to leave by 7:15 A.M. and it takes you 45 minutes to shower and dress, you need to be in the shower by 6:30 A.M.
Before you shower, you like to eat a healthy breakfast which takes 5 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to eat, so you need to start by 6:10 A.M.
A good work out, meditation or prayer helps you start your day on the right foot, and you’d like at least 20 minutes for that. You need to start by 5:50 A.M.
Before you work out, you like to splash some water on your face and pull on your t-shirt and shorts, so wake up at 5:40 A.M. to do this.
To wake up at 5:40 A.M. without hitting the snooze button, you’ll get 6 to 8 hours of sleep (find your sweet spot) by being in bed between 9:40 and 11:40 P.M.
To be able to actually fall asleep when you crawl into bed, cut out all electronics at least 30 minutes prior because electronics rev up our brains, which keeps us awake.
If you tend to underestimate the time that you need and often run short, play it safe and overestimate. How do you do this? Ask yourself how long it takes to get dressed in the morning. Listen to your gut, your first answer. Then add 30% more time. It’s better to begin with extra time on your hands than run around with your hair on fire.
This time around, we looked at what to include in the best morning routine. Next week, we’ll look at what to exclude – and how to make your new habit last.