Routine! What a strange word for me. I’m more a fly by the seat of my pants type of person, so having a morning routine was not something I ever even considered until I started getting serious about finding more balance in my life.
The truth is that once upon a time I hated the morning. Waking up was a process of hitting the snooze button over and over, only to roll out of bed at the last possible moment. It was then a mad rush to get out the door, and very often I would need to run for the bus (not surprisingly I missed it a few times). Anyhow, inspired by Robin Sharma, I gave my morning a makeover and now it is my favorite part of the day. The following are 7 small ways you too can give your mornings a makeover and set yourself for an awesome day.
1. Give yourself at least a 15-30 minute window of no media
Besides turning off an alarm that might be on your phone, resist the urge to check your email or social media. It sets you up for a day of being a slave to technology, and your morning time should be reserved just for you. This might mean disabling notifications on your home screen so you’re not tempted by that Facebook notification or bunch of emails.
2. Sit up correctly
There are endless “bad ways” to get out of bed, but only one best way if your body allows for it: Roll over onto your right side, then push yourself up into a sitting position before standing with a straight back- just like getting out of shavasana. It’s the gentlest way to get up, takes the pressure off your heart and back, and is a great, easy ritual to start your morning right.
3. Swap out the coffee for lemon water.
Lukewarm water with a fresh lemon squeezed into it has numerous benefits — but you need to drink it first thing in the morning. It starts your metabolism to burn the most fat while sustaining muscle, cleanses your mouth and throat, and gives you a boost of energy. Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth, drinking or eating afterward. This might be a toughie for caffeine addicts, but you can manage 30 minutes and it’s a great way to ease off the coffee fix.
More about this “The Rehydration Process”
When you wake up in the morning you’ve just gone without water for about 8 hours, so it’s important to turn things around and start up the flow of water again. What you don’t want to do is leave out the water and go along with your day, having breakfast and other beverages before addressing your need for water.
It seems so obvious, and yet so many people ignore it. You can do this in bed, such as a simple stretched out legs and arms overhead movement. Or you can also use this time to do a yoga routine, or an exercise routine, if you feel so inclined.
How Long Do I Have to Stretch?
When first starting out it doesn’t matter how long you stretch, just as long as you do it. If you only have a few minutes for it, just do a few minutes. You’ll find that as you develop the habit, you’ll end up stretching for longer periods of time, and it will naturally expand on its own without the need to force yourself to do it for a set time.
5. Set and affirm your goals for the day.
While stretching in bed or prepping your lemon water, set some feasible goals for the day, but limit them to three. This might include packing your lunch instead of eating out to save money or committing to that noon yoga class.
Take a step further and and write your goals. Why? Because if you do this, you will be more aware of them as you go about your day. And with better awareness, you will be empowered to make better choices that help you get closer to achieving these goals.
Don’t skip over this one just because it sounds bit uncomfortable! Honestly there’s no better time to sit and clear your mind for a few minutes then first thing in the morning.
There’s also no right way to meditate, so if you’ve tried specific methods and didn’t really like it, it’s time to develop your own personal style. Choose a position that you find comfortable, and decide if you’d like music or not. Just sitting and listening to the silence can be enough for most.
Why Just a Few Minutes?
You don’t need to go into a trance or spend an hour in the lotus position to meditate. You can get the benefits from just a few minutes and you’ll see a marked improvement in how you are feeling throughout the day.
Please trust me on this one… Even if you just create this habit for one minute — this can hugely benefit your mental clarity, spiritual well-being and set the stage for the day.
7. Eat a Nutritious Breakfast
Firstly, make sure you actually are eating breakfast. I am amazed when I hear people tell me they don’t eat breakfast. How can they possibly be performing at their peak? Secondly, here are a few of my tips for a healthy breakfast:
1) if you eat cereal, make sure it is whole grain with lots of fiber and little to no added sugar (plain oatmeal, quinoa flakes, home made muesli or granola – recipe here)
2) Add some fresh berries, dried fruit, sliced almonds, chia seeds to your cereal
3) if you are not a cereal fan, try a breakfast shake/green smoothie (find recipes on our site to get inspired)
There you have it – 7 morning habits to start your day right….bit overwhelmed???
The good news is that exceptional results are also the result of consistent daily choices. Nowhere is this more true than with your morning routine. The way you start your day is often the way that you finish it.
Take, for example, Jack LaLanne. He woke up each day at 4am and spent the first 90 minutes lifting weights. Then, he went for a swim or a run for the next 30 minutes. For more than 60 years, he spent each morning doing this routine. In addition to being one of the most influential people in fitness in the last 100 years, LaLanne also lived to the ripe old age of 96.
This is no coincidence. What you do each morning is an indicator of how you approach your entire day. It’s the choices that we repeatedly make that determine the life we live, the health we enjoy, and the work we create.
And one more thing…
Remember the 40-day rule. Any new practice will feel foreign and stressful for the first 40 days as you adjust. Have the courage and persistence to stay with these habits. After 40 days, you’ll have a new routine in place, which will give you far more happiness in all areas of your life.
Dedicated to your well-being
Zuzana & Nikki
As Promised… 😛
DOWNLOAD: 7 Small Changes CHECK”sheet”