You wake up in the morning and what is the first thing you consistently do?
Go to the bathroom?
Think, "Damn, my breath is rank?"
I hear stories of how people cannot get out of their homes on time. Frequent excuses with all sorts of things & people to blame... but in reality it's a broken system (and systems are fixable which means they are controllable... and this is good news.)
I'm not going to pitch some perfect morning routine to you, because my perfection may be your hell. Your ideal morning may be completely wrong for me. I am a total advocate for treating each other as individuals and not templates.
That being said, I don't mean that we can't learn from one another. I could take some aspects that work for you and work them into my life in ways that make sense for me, and vice versa. But guess what...
None of it works if we go about life as if things are just happening to us.
Once upon a time I had a morning routine that worked for me in my "I'm single and I live alone and my work site is 1 hour from my house" version of life. But life evolved and changed, and so did my system.
Since that version of life, I've had more than 7 transformations of my strategy to bring us to today.
STARTING with a functional yet flexible routine is what makes me able to continue to have systems that don't breakdown at the threat of a roadblock.
My sister-in-law told me about an article she read (I couldn't find it to link, but I'd love to have it here if anyone has it) about a man who wanted to revamp his morning routine.
Woke up when his child woke up, usually around 6:30ish. Went to kid's room. Got child out of crib. Laid on the floor, had unproductive sleep while kid crawled around. Eventually HAD to move along on the day and would drag himself for the rest of the morning.
He made the choice to revamp his morning so that he felt like it was his. To be productive. He chose to wake up at 4:30am.
Set his alarm for 4:30am. Alarm sounded, he turned it off and went back to sleep. So that didn't work.
Next he put his phone/alarm in the bathroom with the alarm set. He found that he often went to the bathroom, turned the alarm off, and went back to sleep. SO that didn't fully work.
Next he put his phone/alarm in the bathroom, when the alarm sounded, he silenced it and turned the shower on. Now he'd have to make TWO choices after using the toilet... turn the shower off AND walk back to his bed. This worked, but he found his showers were a gazillion minutes long. So he added to his system.
Next he kept his system but added on a second alarm for the shower so that he did not spend 30 minutes zoned out in the hot water.
He was then able to feed himself, sit down with his computer, and get some writing done before his kiddo even opened their eyes.
He found that his mornings with his baby were so much more pleasant, he enjoyed their time together rather than feeling all "blah" about it.
He progressed himself into a strategy that worked for him on every level.
How easy it would have been to be at Step 1, (turning alarm off & back to sleep) and then say, "Nevermind"? But he was dedicated to his goal and built systems until he made it happen!
What Jaime Boots Does...
Some may be curious what my morning system is like... I don't have any kiddos yet, and so my AM is much more simple having only myself to be concerned with. (I've worked with kids and families for a lot of years, I know that it can be easy... but maybe not THIS easy...)
My alarm goes off at 6:15am. (Strategy Concept: I chose a pretty song to wake me up because that violent "EH EH EH EH" is definitely NOT my jam (i.e. makes me angry.))
I lay in bed, enjoying the comfort and warmth of my bed for a few more minutes. A second alarm chimes, also a song that makes me feel peaceful, at 6:23am.
I roll my booty out of bed and I make my bed. (Strategy Concept: I learned that if I make my bed, I keep the entire room more clean and actually put things away rather than setting them down in random spots.)
I put on the workout clothes that I set out for me the night before. (Strategy concept: If I don't work out as one of the very first things I do in my day, the likelihood I will get my sweat on drops to nearly ZERO.)
Here's where the bathroom stuff happens. (i.e. teeth brushing, deodorant, ponytail, etc.)
I head to my office. I grab my journals. I take 15-20 minutes to do personal writing, write 3 things I am grateful for, and 3 goals I am working towards.
It's time to head out the door at 7:30am, but I grab my protein shake and bottle of water from the refrigerator on my way out. (Strategy Concept: Getting some things done the night before makes waking up early and working out was easier for me.)
I've helped many others develop their morning routines, and rarely has one looked like either of the examples above.
I advocate taking what works for others, seeing how/what fits in, and using self awareness to create a blissful morning on your terms. (Getting everyone where they need to be at the maximum level of happy possible.)
In the past...
my goal was simply to get the most amount of sleep possible. I would allow myself 10 minutes, literally, to wake up, brush teeth, do hair, think about wearing makeup, get dressed, grab a food bar, and bounce.
It rarely worked for me and I frequently felt rushed.
When designing my strategies, my goal is to
make life as easy as possible while maximizing my ability
to be productive throughout the week
while checking in with myself about what my body needs (i.e. today my hip hurt, so I did not go engage in a hardcore HIIT workout.)
I have no idea what the goals will become and how I will transform my systems & strategies. I'm always open for positive changes as my life & goals evolve. But something tells me that EASY is a value I'm going to be attached to forever.
Thank goodness I KNOW easy to be real and lovely.
Talk to me!
Comment Below & Let me know...
What do your mornings look like?
What is your ultimate goal for a successful morning?