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A Morning Routine That Makes a Difference

A little over a year ago I read the book Miracle Morning.  After learning everything I could about morning routines and what the top successful people do with their mornings, I was adamant that I was going to change what the AM looked like for me.

I started out with the miracle morning challenge and it was great.  I loved the ritual and repetition.  After a while, though, I found out what really worked for me and what didn’t.  As much as I thrive with routine I also appreciate listening to my body and doing what feels most intuitive each morning.  This balance of structure and grace is hard to find, and is ever evolving, but it’s beautiful all the same.

To give you a glimpse of what this looks like for me, I’ve outlined what my mornings generally consist of and how they may look different from day to day….

No Scroll Rule

Before I even get started talking about what I do, let’s talk about what I don’t do.  My phone stays put away.  I don’t check instagram or email.  The only interaction I have with my phone in the mornings is to turn off my alarm.  I know some people waste time laying in bed in the mornings looking at instagram (WHY?!?!), but I don’t want to start my day with the outside world.  I want to start my day with me.

Hot Water with Lemon

As much as I adore coffee, it’s not my first beverage of choice.  I begin with hot water and fresh lemon.  It is so refreshing and gets me set for the day, on my way to achieving my water intake goal.

Bonus: it’s super quick to make and is perfect to sip on during the rest of my morning routine.

Visualization and Affirmations

You may think its woo woo, but I don’t care.  Spending some time visualizing what it will look like when I achieve my goals is one of my favorite things to do in the mornings.  This is my dream time.  Sometimes I close my eyes, sometimes I just day dream.  

To give me a little more guidance and not just spend time with my thoughts wandering, I have my “the life I want” goals written in my bullet journal.  These serve as cues for my visualization, and I do this almost daily.

Along with what I visualize, I also affirm myself that I CAN accomplish my dreams.  I don’t repeat meaningless chants like “money flows to me freely”, but instead get pretty specific and affirm WHO I am and what I’m great at that will allow me to achieve my goals.  For instance, “I do the hardest things first, prioritizing and making the most of my time.”  These affirmations help remind me and empower me to be my best self.

Movement

You may automatically think of this as exercise, and that’s fine, but it’s not what I mean.  I usually DO workout in the mornings, but even if not, I incorporate some gentle movements in the mornings.  This can mean some sun salutations, foam rolling, jumping jacks, a tough workout.  This area is definitely the one that changes the most from day to day.

Meditation

Heads up, I’m horrible at this.  Anyone that says meditation is easy is trying to sell you something.  It’s a tough practice, but for someone who has chronically dealt with over-commitment and perfectionistic tendencies, meditation is all praise-hands emoji.  

To get started, I used the headspace app.  I’m not great at doing this every day, but even if I don’t do a solid meditation, I try to use some of the practices I’ve learned as I stretch or move.

Bullet Journal

I can’t remember when I started bullet journaling.  2012?  It’s been a while.  But let me tell you, it’s wonderful.  If you search bullet journal on pinterest you’ll be overwhelmed with the idea that bullet journaling is intense and requires 382 markers and 24 different types of washi tape.  This isn’t true.  While you can customize bullet journaling however you choose, the original concept was very minimal, and this is the model I use.

What do you need to bullet journal?  A journal (I use this one) and a pen (buy this one…promise).  From there, drop the idea of perfection and use the journal for what YOU need it for.  I write my to-do lists, journal all the feels, and dream about my future.

Brain Dump

Another wonderful thing bullet journaling can help with is ridding your mind of clutter.  Take a second before you do anything and literally have one huge brain dump.  Make a long list of anything popping in your head.  Yes, they’ll be unrelated and completely unorganized.  It doesn’t matter.  It will keep your mind from wandering to the most random of all random things.  

Bonus: this helps you organize your thoughts and actually address them later in the day.

Flexibility

With all of these idea, remember to keep it flexible.  Sometimes my dreams change, and then so too do my visualizations.  I use my affirmations until they don’t seem relevant and then switch them up.  There’s no perfect way to have a morning, but having a set of tools that sets you up for success is a sure way to get started on the right foot.

Another way I have to be flexible?  How long I devote to my morning routine.  Sometimes it’s an hour, sometimes it’s 10 minutes.  If, however, I can set aside SOME time, it’s completely worth it.  Every single time.

So, these are my favorites, but I’d love to hear what YOUR perfect morning routine includes….

Adrienne is a Certified Exercise Physiologist and holds a masters degree in Exercise Science. Her passion is to help people find a healthy balance between #IIFYM and #YOLO.

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