My healthy morning routine is the most important part of the day because it sets the stage for the rest of the day. If I manage to check off my morning to-do list items before I sit down at my desk, I’m golden. If, on the other hand, I slouch out of bed and disappear into the Internet before I even brush my teeth, the day is never as good.
It’s tricky though because something called “resistance” dogs my every step. This little guy sits on my shoulder telling me that I don’t really need to meditate, drink a green smoothie, and what’s the harm in missing a day of exercise? Surely I deserve to kick back a bit! That in-built resistance is particularly good at telling me that I’m too busy – too busy to take care of my health??? Yep, it has a nasty (and rather clever), way of luring me back onto the couch just when I was on my way to the closet to find my kettle bell! And once on the couch, my phone (which is always close to hand), is whipped out to have a quick peek at recent texts … and the rest is history.
So, I have to have a plan in place. It’s the only way that I will do it and not get distracted. I have to have my to-to list of my “no matter what’s” – the things that I HAVE to do no matter what! The only thing that would excuse me would be an earthquake, hurricane, or serious injury/illness.
But, I need to make this morning to-do list manageable, so that I set myself up for success. The big mistake would be to create an impossibly ambitious list, which I have done in the past – and it didn’t work out because I ended up hating on myself for not completing.
Here’s how I do it:
- Prioritize: What is the most important thing to me in terms of wellness? Is it to get calm because I’m so stressed to breaking point? Or is it that I need to do strength training because I feel that my body is weaker/flabbier than it’s ever been before? It may be both of these things, and 5 more. But the key is to discover your top 3 priorities. Mine are: Meditate (or I’m a stressed out mess), exercise (or I don’t feel myself), eat well (or I don’t feel good). If I hit these 3 marks before I sit down to work, I’m good. What are your top three?
- Write it down: Write down your top 3 -5 “wellness” priorities in a notebook (or bullet journal). Writing it down makes it real, and VERY necessary. A priority written down is one that you can’t ignore. You’ve called it, so you have to carve out the time to make it happen. If it doesn’t happen, then you have to answer to yourself – yikes!
- Schedule for the week ahead: When I write it down bullet journal style, there is literally no getting out of it. And it feel SO GOOD to check off the actions when done:). Here’s an example of the first couple of days of my weekly schedule:
Wake up 6.15
Drink warm lemon water
Breathing Exercises – 3 minutes
Meditate in the living room
Do 10 minutes of yoga stretches
Walk the dogs
Smoothie + breakfast (overnight oatmeal which is ready in the fridge)
9.30 Hit the desk with a huge mug of Earl Grey
Wake up 6.15
Drink lemon water
Strength training class (ugh!)
Walk the dogs
10a Hit the desk with huge mug of tea
Wake up at 6.15
Walk the dog
Hit my desk at 8.30 for a conference call (working out later in the evening today)
By writing out your morning routine for the entire week, you’ll realize how you have to slightly adjust each day. For example, you may work late one night, which would perhaps affect your wake up time the next morning. Or you might plan to go to a ninety minute yoga class, which could eat up a good portion of your morning. The change of season might affect how and where you workout, and what you eat. But if you have it all written down within a realistic time-frame, and make sure you are hitting your top 3 priorities everyday, you’ll be set for success.