Hey, Everyone! Welcome back! If this is your first time here, welcome! This is the place where we talk about dreams and goals, personal growth efficiencies, and bullet journaling.
Today I’m talking about my morning routine. “Oh wait!” You ask, “do you mean the kind where you roll out of bed, jump in the shower, mess with your hair, and then fly out the door (grabbing something to eat in the process) to get to work?”
The short answer to that is no. While that is a routine, it’s not exactly helpful or meaningful, is it? It’s a rush job that resembles a routine. I’m not going to get grounded for the day. It’s going to make me feel rushed and all out of sorts for the day, and it’s going to impact my productivity for the day.
I’m talking about the kind of meaningful routine that grounds me and gets my head right for the whole day. I’m sharing my routine, so that you may take something from it for your own morning routine. Maybe you are in the process of creating one. Maybe you’ve had one for a long time, you want to change it up a little and you are looking for new ideas.
1. The Early Rise
Yes, I really do get up early, even most weekends. I have a full-time job outside the home, and I am raising a family. If I want to spend any real time for myself working on my own personal development and growth, I need to do it in the wee hours of the morning. These hours are quiet and while everyone is sleeping, no one is needing anything from me. Mornings are mine for the taking! I choose to use them wisely.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love my warm and cozy bed just as much as the next girl. I love a good sleep-in. But we only have so many hours in the day. In fact, we have just as many hours as the next person. It’s all in how we use them. This is how I choose to use mine.
2. Ice Water & Morning Reflection
I love a good glass of ice water to help me wake up. It’s so cold and refreshing after many hours of sleeping. I typically drink around 36 ounces of water in the morning while going through my morning routine.
So with ice water next to me, I begin my morning reflection. In other words, I plan my day. It’s more than just writing a to-do list. While I am writing my task list, I am also mapping out in my head when I will get these things done. There are certain things that I note for my morning, certain things that I will need to accomplish at work, and then there are the evening chores and to-dos. I list my meetings or appointments. Pretty much anything that is important will go down on that list for the day.
Notice I said important. There are so many things that we all do each day, but we don’t want to or need to list them all. I like to list the tasks that are important for the day. I consider each task and why I am listing it. I reflect as I list.
3. Morning Pages
Following reflection, I complete my Morning Pages. Morning Pages is a daily exercise from The Artist’s Way, created by Julia Cameron. The Artist’s Way is a self-guided course for unblocking creativity and finding the artist within. I’d heard about her course for a while, so when 2019 rolled around, I put it on my list of goals and try-its for the year.
I am currently on week 8. Each morning, I sit down and write by long hand three pages of conscious streams of thought. Whatever you think, you write down. You don’t think about what you are writing or how it sounds. You just write what you are thinking as you think.
By week 4, I discovered something pretty amazing about these pages. I discovered that these pages have become problem solving pages. Whatever I may have been working on in my head overnight comes out as thoughts onto the written page. Because I write long hand and in cursive, I am also tapping into that part of the brain that triggers problem solving. I am not just writing down any issues, but I am coming up with my own solutions.
Do you know how good that feels to start the day solving your own little problems before the day even starts? It’s all that stuff that you can get out of your head, so you are not carrying it around with you all day long.
I also notice that the Morning Pages gets the creative writing juices flowing. My morning writing projects just flow off the keyboard after the pages are done. It’s like a writer’s warm-up. It feels great!
4. Personal Development
The bulk of my morning routine is spent on my morning projects. I’m involved in several that are meant to inspire personal growth. I try to leave one hour for this, and this seems to be just about the right amount of time. Most of it involves some sort of writing, but all of it involves some sort of creation. Like today, I am writing this blog post. On another day I will take time to edit it and work on the pictures that I want to include in each post.
Personal growth is so individual. I know what I am interested in learning, and I spend my time there. This is my time to tackle some of the things from my 2019 goals and try it list I have in my bullet journal. This is the time where I listen to my curiosity and take those steps to feel it out. I might take a self-guided course, like The Artist’s Way. Again, it’s all personal.
5. The Exercise
Exercise is an important piece of my morning routine. If you have been following my blog posts, you know that this is a fairly new piece to my morning routine. I added it to my routine two months ago, and I am so glad that I did.
As a former athlete, I know the importance of keeping my body healthy, and I had gotten completely off track with that during my stuck period. It’s important enough to me to include it into my routine.
6. The Personal Care
Of course, after exercise, I need to take care of all my personal needs. That shower is calling my name. I’ve spent the morning taking care of my mind, so now it’s time to take care of the body. Once I am showered, dressed, and taken care of, my “me time” is pretty much over, but I am ready to move on with my day.
7. The Children’s Hour
After spending two to two and a half hours on getting myself prepared for the day, the next hour is all about my girls. At this point in the morning, they are getting themselves out of bed. I focus on getting them breakfast and helping them with their hair while reminding them of the things they need to do to get ready for school.
I love to keep the mornings upbeat and moving along, so they are as mentally and physically prepared to take on their day as I am ready to take on my day. Once I drop them off to school, I head on to begin my work-day.
In the event I didn’t get this across in my writing, I want to take a minute to mention it here. Each part of my morning routine gets my full attention. I take the time to give myself full attention. As busy as my day is, it’s not fair to myself to not nurture myself in the mornings. Once the girls are up, I focus on helping them do the same for themselves. It’s that important. Once I am at work, I focus on what needs to be done there. After my day job, I focus on my family. I also help the girls wind down for bed and then start my own wind down process. It all starts with my morning routine.
Question of the Day: If you have a morning routine, what’s your favorite part? If you don’t have a morning routine, what’s the biggest thing stopping you? Please share your answers in the comment section below. This is where we learn from one another and help each other grow.
And when we grow, we say, “This Is Moore Like It!”