Routine! What a scary word for so many. Personally, I always thought of myself as more of a fly- by -the- seat -of -my -pants kind of girl, so having a morning routine was not something I was eager to introduce to my life. But reading books and studying those who are successful, healthy and living a brilliant life (in my eyes)…it became very clear to me that…
How we start our day determines how we create our life.
Are you snoozing through your morning… snoozing through your life… and snoozing on the infinite potential to create an amazing life … Or are YOU committed to waking up each day with passion, purpose, and a plan so you can finally live the life you truly want & deserve?
With that thought in mind, I knew I had to reconsider my beliefs and break through barriers and fear I build around the idea of having a morning routine.
The truth is that the process of changing your routine can be challenging. Growing up I hated the mornings. 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).
It took me years to change that pattern. But trust me all the hard work is worth it!
If you wish to:
- reduce stress
- increase productivity and produce creative work
- have more time to take care of yourself
- and feel more grounded and connected …
I invite you to look over the following 8 habits that have made a positive difference in our lives and can help you makeover your mornings and set you up for an awesome day.
1. Discipline yourself to get up early every morning
Most of us sleep far more than we need to. Life slips away while we hide under the comfort of our warm sheets. Yes, proper sleep is essential for good health and a productive life. But excess sleep robs you of the chance to claim your dreams and experience life fully. Get up early. I dare you to set your alarm clock for 5 am and commit yourself to get up at that time for a few weeks. Give it a try and experience the change for yourself. Your life is too precious of a gift to waste. I believe that deep down we all know that we can do more, have more and be more. You can create whatever life you desire. So join the #5amclub. Put mind over the mattress and win the morning battle. Get up early.
Tip: Don’t lounge in bed after your alarm clock goes off. Jump out of bed and start your day. The more time you lie in bed after the alarm clock goes off, the greater the likelihood that the chatter of your mind will say something like “stay in bed. Sleep a bit more.”
2. Self Care
First thing in the morning is a perfect opportunity to implement “self-care”. I am a true believer that there is a tremendous value in making time to care for our bodies and giving ourselves some love and attention. It really should be a priority. It saddens me when people express that they can’t take care of themselves. “I don’t have time!” “I have too many things to do.” My life is too busy!” If you feel this way I encourage you to change your perspective. These beliefs are the result of a society that values productivity and maximizing time and effort. But what about your health? Without it, your life would not be the same!
The reality is that self-care fuels us to be our best selves. It nourishes us, helps us to connect and allows our bodies to run more smoothly. Morning self-care rituals can be as simple as making your bed or brushing your teeth. Most of us practice self-care everyday just don’t label it as such and often rush the process. So create that time in the morning to slow things down and give yourself some extra love and attention. Especially for those of us who live in a society where stress is high, it’s even more valuable to stop and take a little bit extra time in our mornings to help set us up for success.
Tip: Our morning self-care routine includes making our bed, tiding our space, dry brushing, taking a quick cold shower, cleansing and moisturizing the face, tongue scraping, and oil pulling. This whole routine takes about 10 minutes but makes a significant difference for the rest of our day.
First things first: Even if your brain starts screaming “Coffee!” as soon as your alarm goes off, your body’s definitely craving something else. When you wake up in the morning, the body tends to be slightly dehydrated. after all, you haven’t had fluids for roughly eight hours, so drinking a couple of glasses of pure water when you first wake up will help rehydrate the body, allow for good digestion, and just get you going for the day.
Tip: Lukewarm water with fresh lemon juice taken in the morning has numerous benefits. According to the Ayurvedic tradition it’s said to help set the tone for the day, helping provide vitamins and minerals. Plus the warm water helps to stimulate your digestive tract for proper detoxification. Wait at least 30 minutes before 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.
4. Movement, yoga & exercise
I cannot imagine starting my day without at least 20 minutes of physical movement. Some days I prefer gentle stretching and yoga, other times I crave an energetic workout. Nikki likes to start her day with a brisk walk or yoga practice by the water. No matter what type of movement you chose it will provide tremendous benefits that will impact your whole day. Even a 10-minute stretch first thing in the morning increases blood flow to the brain, helps loosen up tight or creaky muscles and joints and can free up the tension, improve spinal health and stimulate the release of endorphins.
Don’t skip over this one just because it sounds unfamiliar or a bit uncomfortable! Honestly, there’s no better time to sit, slow down your thoughts and clear your mind than in the morning. (Especially right after the above-mentioned exercise).
Keep in mind that there is no right way to meditate. And if you’ve tried specific methods in the past and they didn’t work for you, it’s time to develop your own personal style. To begin set a timer for 10-15 minutes. 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 remarked improvement in how you are feeling throughout the day.
Tip: 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. Try Nikki’s One Minute Guided Meditation.
After meditation, it’s a good idea to follow with breakfast! There is no need to gorge yourself on heavy foods, which in fact will work against you. But ideally, eat something moderately light but nutritious. Some of our go-to’s include Sunshine Juice, Good Morning Smoothie, Super Simple Vegan Raw Granola and Avocado Toast. The daily choice largely depends on our workout intensity and current goals.
Part of having a great morning is making sure that you’re also set to have a great day. One way to do that is by prepping healthy meals for the day. Your future self will thank you if you pack a healthy and nutritious lunch + snacks that will support you and keep you going throughout the day.
Tip: Keep your meal prep as simple as possible, so you don’t have to stress and instead fully enjoy your morning. Here are some ideas to get you started: 23 Plant-Based Meals in 15 Minutes or Less.
7. Review your daily plan and goals
We live in a world full of noise and distraction. It’s very easy to start our day being really really busy chasing the wrong things. So, our solution: every morning– before you head out into the world –take just 5 pure minutes to reread and reaffirm your top five goals for the day. Think about what needs to happen during your day in order for you to feel you have lived fully and greatly.
Tip: Take this habit one step further and rewrite your goals each morning. Rewriting goals is very powerful. Research has found that the part of the brain connected to writing is also connected to motor activity. So by writing your goals, you are setting up the motor part of your brain to follow through with what is important to your life.
8. Begin work
The above steps have prepared you for a successful day ahead – now you can open up to work and feel refreshed, focused, and energized to power through straight until lunch (with maybe a couple short breaks for tea ;-). Throughout your workday try to be as mindful as possible of your breath, always coming back to a mind-body connection. This takes a lot of practice, and from our understanding, it is a lifelong process. But that’s ok. Life is a journey, take it one day at a time. Be patient with yourself and recognize your victories no matter how small they might seem.
And that is it – 8-morning habits to start your day right…. feeling a bit overwhelmed???
Don’t worry. Any change worth making is always difficult at the beginning and it always feels impossible until it’s done. The good news is that exceptional results are also the result of consistent daily choices. Nowhere is this truer 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 4 am 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 be 96 years young!
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
PS. For additional tips and to see how our typical morning routine looks like watch the video below.
PPS. We hope our work continues to serve you. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to leave us a comment and let us know what’s on your mind, how can we help you live your best life?