Nailing Morning Routines

Nailing Morning Routines

Nailing Your Morning Routine Want to be increase your daily productivity level?  Want to get a bit more joy out of life?  Let’s talk about nailing morning routines. We know that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  You wouldn’t start a big project at work without thinking through important details and doing your research, right? Isn’t it interesting that we can so easily just fall into the plan-less, craziness each morning before the “real work” of the day (your job, your kiddos waking up, etc.) begins?

What is a Morning Routine and Why Do You Want One?

Here’s the thing, experts tell us that successful people have a morning routine.  These are planned sections of their morning before the buzzing texts, clicking keyboard and work to-do-list. Think of it as a pause from the morning chaos.  It’s a big picture plan, a set of intentions that help focus and steer your day from the first waking moments. Instead of being tossed around by the waves of the mornings, grab your surf board, and ride the tide, yo! While there are many variations to a successful morning routine, as someone who is dedicated to their health journey, here are four areas you might want to consider:
  1. Gratitude/Prayer
  2. Hydration
  3. Nutrition
  4. Movement
By taking just 5 minutes for each of these four areas, you’d have a 20 minute plan that puts you well on your way to totally nailing your morning routines.
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Nail your morning routine by dedicating just five minutes to these four areas

1. Gratitude & Prayer Set the Tone

By nature, I’m an achiever, a striver, a do-er.  So by all means, being still and thinking about something that I’m not trying to improve or change or craft can be difficult for me. By taking just (or at least) 5 minutes to focus on that which I am thankful for and to connect with my Creator, I regain focus on life as a gift to be treasured, not a wild creature to be tamed/tweaked/refine. Left to my own measures, I get lost in the tiniest of details that can consume my being instead of breathing in the invigorating aroma of gratefulness–just for being alive. Forget organizing the closets, scheduling that overdue dentist appointment or teaching (tricking?) your kid how to love yellow squash.  Sometimes you need to remember to just be instead of do.  

2. Hydration Kick Starts Digestion

I first discovered the power of drinking lots of water (especially with lemon juice) first thing in the morning to get things moving, digestively speaking while pregnant (and it totally helped with the first trimester morning sickness, friends)!  People at all ages and stages will benefit from the power of H20! I aim to drink at least 2-4 cups of water first thing in the morning.   I’m also pretty hard core when it comes to helping out my digestion (hey, it can take all the help it can get!), and I put a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in at least one or two of my cups, too. Also, by getting all that fabulous, pure water in you, you’re less likely to grab more breakfast than you really need.  Since sometimes our thirst signals can be misinterpreted as hunger. If you’re a coffee drinker, this hydration piece is doubly important since caffeine is a diuretic. Technically, I think the best benefit comes from lukewarm water, but I sometimes cheat and heat mine up…especially in the winter months.  Hot water with lemon is ah-mazing!

3. Narrow in on Nutrition Goals

While I drink my morning water, I like to look at the fridge and think about my nutrition goal for the day.   It might change from day to day or week to week.  Goals are measurable not wishy-washy, vague-city items like “I’m going to eat healthy today.” Concrete, SMART goals might be:
  • I’m going to cook one new vegetable tonight at dinner
  • I’m going to help heal my gut by drinking 1 cup of bone broth this afternoon with lunch
  • I’m going to keep my blood sugar stable by making sure I have fats and protein at breakfast ensuring I’m focused and not crashing at work
Sometimes I write these goals on the fridge.  It’s right there. front and center as I drink in the morning and throughout the day as a reminder.

4. Move it Along

While five minutes for the movement category may not seem like a ton, it still counts.  Feel free to bump this time up to whatever your schedule allows. First thing in the morning, you might consider these five minutes to be best used for some light stretching, yoga or those exercises your chiropractor told you to do ( you know, the ones that you always seem to forget about until the end of the day when all you want to do is sleep.) Morning walks are fabulous for helping get your mind in gear for the day.  I like to combine movement with my gratitude and prayer time, and I might use instrumental or worship music or an uplifting podcast or sermon during this time, too. Just five minutes can take you far both mentally and physically.

How a Morning Routine Changes Your Life

As you focus on these four areas of health and wellness, as you set them at the forefront of your day, don’t be surprised if you find yourself being more productive on the job, in a better mood with the kids and even humming a little joyful tune in the car. Who’s totally nailing morning routines?  Leave a comment with your tips!  What else would you add to this list of four areas?  If you’ve never had a routine before, area seems the most challenging?  Leave a comment below!  Let’s connect and help each other out on this journey!