Today I want to talk about the morning routine I implemented a few months ago that changed my life.
A routine that has made mornings something I look forward to instead of dreading it like I used to.
A routine that brought a feeling of happiness and intention that I didn’t feel previously.
Why have a morning routine?
The way you start the day sets the tone for how your day will unfold. As Robin Sharma says “Own your morning, elevate your life”. You can either start your day with intention or start your day with distractions.
Having a morning routine provides many health benefits such as increased energy, lower stress levels, better productivity, improved happiness, etc.
It enables you to start the day with a feeling of accomplishment and purpose and reach your goals in a more effective many.
When studying the habits of successful people, (CEOs, athletes, actors, entrepreneurs, etc), one aspect stands out that they all have in common: a morning routine that they’ve carefully crafted and that they follow (almost) every day.
What makes a good morning routine?
A good morning routine is one that works for you. It’s one that brings you closer to your goals, makes you feel good. One that you choose intentionally.
There is no one size fits all morning routine, no perfect schedule that everyone should stick to. For one person, starting the day with a strong cup of coffee is just what they need. For another, it may be going on a walk with their dog. There is no perfect morning routine for everyone. It is what you want it to be!
What my mornings used to look like
I have never been a morning person. I would hit the snooze button at least twice, drag myself out of bed, and feel sluggish for a good hour.
Here’s a peek at what would happen when I woke up:
- 7 am: First alarm goes off.
- 7:30 am: second one goes off.
- 7:50 am: last alarm. I would wait until the last one to get out of bed and I would fall back asleep after each one almost every time. I’d feel groggy and out of it.
- 7:55 am: Take a shower, try and get my body and brain to function properly and get dressed.
- 8:10 am: go downstairs and take the dog out of for a walk
- 8:35 am: brush teeth, grab a quick bite to eat and fly out the door to get to work
- 9 am: arrive at my desk feeling drained before my day even begins
Sound familiar? Not the best way to start your day but it was my reality for the better part of 10 years.
What inspired me to implement a morning routine?
I love reading self-help books and listening to personal development podcasts. One thing that came up regularly was the idea of having a morning routine. I came across so many posts, articles, and podcasts, where people explained how waking up at 5 am transformed their lives, improved their productivity, and set them up for success.
It was too enticing not to dig a little deeper.
I won’t go into too much detail about it, (I’ll let you discover the book and the method for yourself) but the idea is to get up at 5 am and split the magical hour, as Robin Sharma calls it, into three 20 minute pockets:
Pocket 1: Move
The first 20 minutes are dedicated to moving your body, getting sweaty, and hydrating. Go for a run, do jumping jacks, or follow a pilates class online. This cleanses your cortisol levels, increases your dopamine and serotonin levels, and elevates your metabolism.
Pocket 2: Reflect
The next 20 minutes are for reflecting. This can be through journaling, meditating, praying, etc. Doing this boosts gratitude, lifts happiness and your awareness soars.
Pocket 3: Grow
The last 20 minutes are for growing. Use this time for reading, going over your goals, listening to podcasts, anything that gets your brain to fire up.
I liked the idea of getting up earlier and starting your morning with intent and purpose. However, I didn’t see myself waking up at 5 am right off the bat. That’s a whole 3 hours before my regular wake-up time! But I did want to get up earlier to not be so hurried and stressed first thing in the morning. My goal was to have a relaxing morning, let my body have the time to wake up, and spend more time on self-care.
Basically have the time to put me first.
How did I plan my morning routine?
I decided to come up with my own morning routine because I believe that what matters isn’t what time you get up but HOW you start your morning.
To do so, I mapped out the different things I wanted to do, based on the 3 pockets mentioned in The 5 am club, and estimated how long each of them would take. I then did a retro-plan to see at what time I should set up my alarm clock and it turns out it was 6 am.
Ok, that seemed feasible.
So what does my morning routine look like?
The morning routine that changed my life
5:45 am - Get up and hydrate
Instead of having 3 alarms go off between 7 am and 7:50 am, I set up my alarm clock for 5:45 am. Why not 6 am? Because I wanted those 15 minutes to get out of bed, go to the bathroom and get dressed to be ready to start my day at 6.
How do I get out of bed instead of hitting the snooze button? I count to 5 in my head and get out of bed. I don’t think about it, I just do it I realized that the more I waited to get out of bed, the more tired I felt.
Once I’m up, the first thing I do is chug a big glass of water. When you wake up after a long sleep, your body is dehydrated, even if you drank water before going to bed. Drinking water first thing in the morning boosts your brainpower and makes you feel fresher, more energetic, and healthier.
6 am - Yoga + guided meditation
Once I drink my glass of water, I practice my yoga routine by following an online class or doing sun salutations (pocket 1 of the 5 am club method). This is such a gentle way to wake my body up and focus on my breathing. I also love the fact that my window faces east and I get to see the sunrise 🙂
After my yoga practice, I listen to a 10 minute guided meditation to set my intention for the day (pocket 2 of the 5 am club method). I am still new to meditation so doing more than 10 minutes isn’t easy for me but if you have any tips on how to improve, I’d love to hear them in the comments!
Once I’m done with yoga and meditation, I drink a big glass of water with about a tablespoon of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (ACV). Ok, the taste isn’t great but it’s amazing for the body. Some of the health benefits of drinking ACV are that it helps with digestion, improves the immune system, regulates blood sugar levels, and lowers blood pressure.
6:30 am - Shower, brush teeth and get dressed for the day
Now it’s time to hit the shower and get dressed. I try to end my shower with cold water using the Wim Hof Method. Taking cold showers is a great way to boost your immune system, improve mental health, and gain more energy. I must admit that during the wintertime, it’s not always easy for me to do, especially since I live surrounded by mountains and that it snows but I do my best.
6:45 am - Walk the dog and listen to podcasts
My dog is so happy that I get up earlier! He is so excited to go for a walk this early in the morning. During our walks, I listen to podcasts (pocket 3 of the 5 am club method) to get in a positive mindset and learn. I mainly listen to podcasts centered on health, personal development, and entrepreneurship. I’m also obsessed with true crime podcasts but listening to those first thing in the morning isn’t great!
7:15 - Journal
Journaling is a great way to gain more clarity and focus, relieve stress and anxiety, and let your thoughts flow freely.
I have two journals: a bullet journal and a personal journal. I have both because they serve two different purposes for me. My bullet journal is my creative outlet, where I set goals and track my progress. My personal journal is where I write my thoughts, my feelings, and ask myself important questions.
7:45 - Coffee and blog
One of the wonderful benefits of getting up earlier is that I have time to spend on my blog. The morning is the best time for me to focus on the posts I want to write, answer comments, and not rush it or feel overwhelmed.
8:30 - Breakfast
I prepare my breakfast the night before so that I don’t spend time in the morning making it. It consists of oatmeal, chia seeds, almond milk, blueberries, and banana. That tides me over until lunch for sure.
8:45 - Time to go to work
I’m lucky enough to live 15 minutes away from my office by foot so I don’t have to sit in traffic or take public transportation. During my walk, I usually listen to podcasts or music, depending on my mood.
I’ve been following this routine for 3 months now and I’ve got to say, I look forward to waking up now! Following this morning routine has been a game-changer for me.
This new routine has enabled me to start my day with intention and purpose, get in some much-needed exercise, and have extra time to spend on me.
I feel more awake and alert and by the time my boyfriend gets up, I’m in a positive state of mind, ready to tackle my day.
I try to stick with this schedule most of the time but I don’t want to be too rigid about it. If I want to spend more time walking the dog because it’s a beautiful morning or if I feel like doing a longer yoga session, I do it. I try not to obsess over the schedule and focus on the intention.
Oh, and one thing I had to change for my morning routine to work was my bedtime routine. But more on that later.
There you have it, the morning routine that changed my life!
By no means am I telling you to copy this routine exactly. As I mentioned previously, a good morning routine is one that fits your style and that helps you reach your goals.
So why did I share my morning routine with you? Because I believe it helps to see what others have implemented to get inspired for your own. When I decided to change my morning routine, I checked out what others had done and chose what worked for me.
I hope this inspires you to create or modify your morning routine!
What about you? What’s your morning routine? Let me know in the comments!
Till next time,