There’s no shortage of prominent business leaders who swear having a consistent morning routine is a helpful tool. Many believe it powers their days and sets them up for success.
As a learning and development (L&D) professional, I see firsthand — and help clients understand — how having structure, and well-defined processes are critical to obtaining desired outcomes. L&D relies on repeatable processes to help people achieve their full potential by improving their knowledge, skills, and abilities.
I’ve applied that approach to my own health journey and created a wellness-focused morning routine that includes movement, meditation, and whole-food nutrition. At the start of my day, structure and consistency provide the energy I need to meet the challenges and opportunities that inevitably arise once I begin working.
A quick online search will yield numerous ideas for popular morning routines if you’re looking for inspiration.
For instance, on Instagram, the hashtag #morningroutine will connect you with many accounts that provide unique and innovative ideas. Or plug morning routine ideas into any search engine, and you’ll find countless suggestions you can incorporate into jump-starting your day.
If you’re a book lover, My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired is a great resource written by Benjamin Spall and Michael Xander. In it, Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and media mogul Ariana Huffington share what their morning routines look like.
Their stories reveal how the morning routines of successful people can be pretty different. Still, the steadfast commitment each one has leads to positive outcomes for their careers and personal well-being.
While inspiration is great, eventually, you will need to decide to dive in and create your own personal routine. To make it easier, here are six simple tips that can help craft a morning routine that works for you — and that you can stick with.
Begin where you are. Look at what your mornings are like now. You may not have an established plan for how they go, but you likely do certain things every day. Bring your unconscious habit patterns into your awareness without judgment.
Whether you hit the snooze button repeatedly, rush to get ready and run out the door, or set out your clothes the night before and wake up on time, acknowledge and accept where you are right now. Ultimately, you can design a plan to get you where you want to be.
Write it out. Give yourself some quiet time to think and plan. Take note of your responsibilities and things that can’t necessarily be changed about your morning, like getting your kids off to school, taking care of pets, etc. Then allow yourself to dream. What would an ideal morning look and feel like for you?
Bring your reality and your dream together. Consciously develop your plan with must-haves from your responsibility list and ideal morning using flexibility, creative thinking, and determination. Ideally, the elements you choose to include in your morning routine will spark so much joy that it will feel juicy and leave you with the thought, I can’t wait for morning!
Several years ago, I read the book The Miracle Morning written by Hal Elrod, which inspired me to refer to my morning routine by the same name.
Start today. Get going once you have an idea of what kind of routine appeals to you. Done is better than perfect, and you can adjust as you go. In fact, you may want to keep a journal of what you feel is working for you and what isn’t. Keeping a log of the highs and lows will help you gauge whether some aspects of your new routine aren’t suitable for you or if you just need some time to get used to them.
Be consistent. Consistency is critical. According to the 21/90 rule, it takes 21 days to form a new habit and 90 days to become a lifestyle. You may feel inspired when you get started, but it will take discipline and commitment to keep going — and reap the rewards.
Stretch yourself. While you want to create a morning routine that reflects who you are and what’s important to you, add a task or two that stretches you beyond your comfort zone. Like building muscle, pushing yourself a little more each day will increase your personal resilience and expand your capabilities in ways that may surprise and delight you.
In the end, your morning routine may not look anything like mine or anyone else’s, but it doesn’t need to. Use these six simple tips to create a productive morning routine all your own.
There is no such thing as a perfect routine — just one that’s perfect for you.
Now, what are you waiting for? Start today, begin where you are, write out your plan, be realistic, just not at the expense of your dreams, focus on consistency, and don’t forget to challenge yourself.
Before long, you will be powering your day to new heights, and you will be glad you did!