I was not a morning person, but boy did I love the idea. Starting the day with the sun and utilizing every second to productivity; embracing the stillness that mornings bring and laying a foundation of confidence to take on the day.
Unfortunately, my typical work-day mornings looked a little like this:
Five more…ten more….fifteen more minutes. I pushed snooze three times before dragging myself from bed. I ran frantically around the room throwing clothes in every direction and sprint to my car where I formed the most efficient self-assembly line; doing my makeup, picking out jewelry and shoes (since half my closet was in my car anyway), then place the blame on traffic or the line at Starbucks when I was late to work. Only then, when I am stressed and unprepared about the day ahead, do I regret those five more…ten more….fifteen more minutes.
I came to realize I could not enjoy the little, joyful moments each day brought. I was unable to enter my day with any sort of confidence in myself or the day ahead because the anxiety I surrounded myself in the second my eyes opened. Since then, I was bound to embark on the journey to make the most of my time, be productive and prioritize.
Before I rant about my personal morning tips and tricks, I want to note that every person has a different set of goals, routines and priorities. Frankly, I still have yet to complete this entire list in one morning, but, I am trying, and hope you find what works for you and run with it! Be confident in your routine because it’s for YOU!
Personally, I use Sunday as a great opportunity to review my upcoming week. I am addicted to google calendar. For me, I like to assign my calendar with reminders, addresses and notes for my schedule: class, homework, work, projects, blog, church, free time, etc. YES, I pencil in free time. I promise I am not crazy, but I tend to get caught up going, going, going, I honestly forget to have fun – so I plan it! I also leave some wiggle room in case I need to make last minute errands or something comes up last minute.
This also ties into grocery shopping. Normally, I eat for one so grocery shopping is not a huge event, but I do like to cook so prepping comes into play. I usually spend about 10-15 minutes online finding meals I want to try, as well as lunches, for that week. Again, I leave myself some wiggle room because I do like date night and food for one person, especially produce, can spoil fast.
Last, set your alarm. I try to wake up at the same time everyday regardless of my schedule. It built consistency and got me out of my “five more minute” rut. Waking up early is hard… I know. Which leads me to number two!
Wake up, duh? If you wake up early enough, you have time for yourself, time to relax, you’re not rushing, eliminating the stress and panic. OKAY, but how? We all know you should get up early, but how do you make it enjoyable?
Motive yourself. What motivates you? What gets you excited? What encourages you to make a difference? Whatever that reason is… find a backup reason. Maybe a third. For me, when I am nuzzled in my warm, cozy bed, one teeny tiny motivation does not convince me to get up. You have to establish reinforcement. Remember, be kind to yourself, but also hold yourself accountable to your long term goals!
Invest in light curtains. You will wake up when the sun does. I loved my blackout curtains with my whole heart, but I also would wake up and not know what day / time / maybe even year it was.. (dramatic but true!)
Set a timer on your coffee. Who doesn’t love waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee?
Keep phone / glasses away from the bed. This actually makes me get out of bed to turn my alarm off. Side note: I am blind and I do not like waking up to blurriness haha.
Get a morning song. This is my absolute favorite. I am super cheesy, sorry, but I change up my alarm to my favorite song of the week / month so I immediately wake up in a good mood!
Love this part! I love taking ten minutes before I jump into my day to first, breathe. I think these suggestions are great ways to start with a positive attitude:
Spend time with God. I think setting time aside for you relationship with God is so vital to your confidence and trust going into each day. I personally like reading my devotional, writing (brain dumping), praying or reading a chapter out of whatever book I am hooked on (currently reading Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst and it’s phenomenal).
Set goals. What do you want to accomplish today? I try to set tangible goals to accomplish i.e. knocking out homework or laundry, but also set personal goals. Some of favorite that I ask myself are:
- How can I exemplify God through my actions today?
- How can I do something for someone else?
- How can I show someone what they mean to me?
This one was a tough one for me. I personally do not like getting drenched with sweat first thing in the morning. BUT, I found my happy medium. Depending on what I do in the morning, I try to work out a little harder in the evening, but if something comes up later on in the day, at least I did something! I frequently switch up my routine, but I usually bounce between stretching, about 10 minutes of yoga / meditation, walking or running outside – I like to get some sunshine if I am going to be inside all day!
Do Something Refreshing
Take care of yourself! This can tie into a lot of other point because you can take care of yourself mentally, emotionally, physically or spiritually. In the midst of doing everything you have to do or expect yourself to do, do something you actually want to do! For a few minutes play music, listen to a podcast or the news, write, read, take a hot shower, whatever your heart desires! Even if you do not have time to dedicate JUST to this, multi-task!
Do Something Essential
Whether it is making flash cards for a homework assignments, sending an email, folding clothes or doing the dishes, try to knock out something essential before getting your day started. If you want to be REALLY on top of things, I would recommend doing the HARDEST / WORST thing you have to do that day, first. For examples, I schedule doctors’ appointments or online exams first thing in the morning! It sucks, but it’s over before you even have breakfast.
I love breakfast food so this was not hard, but I forced myself to start making breakfast instead of getting something quick by only buying foods I had to cook – easy right? My personal go-to’s are eggs: scrambled, egg sandwich, sunny side up with avocado toast, omelets, you name it! I also love, love, love my tea which I have perfected to my liking, so I actually enjoy drinking it at home rather than going out. More importantly than anything, drink water. Water is so beneficial. It not only wakes me up, hydrates me and eliminates the bags under my eyes, but gets my body going and helps digest whatever breakfast I make.
Things to Avoid
Everyone always says to not immediately check your texts, emails, etc. I didn’t buy it. I liked checking my texts, emails, etc. because it helped me get on track UNTIL I woke up to something negative. It affected my attitude toward everything I did that day. It took away from the things I loved most and spun it into a morning of frustration. Never again. At least, not until I have time with God and lock my mind on gratitude.
Overall, figure out what works for you – remember it is about starting your day with confidence that you can tackle whatever life throws at you. And if you can’t, then you can be sure enough in yourself that you will get through it! I am a big advocate for focusing on your strengths. No one knows you better than you, so establish realistic, tangible goals that set you up for success!
Rarely can I do everything on this list because #life, which is where prioritizing comes into play. Be honest with yourself, what is important to you? What do you want to accomplish in your day? What actions can you take to improve your attitude going into your day?
Do you have any morning tricks or routines? I’d love to hear from you!
Be confidently you,
Photography: Ashton Taylor
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