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The chapters of summer are coming to a close and my routines need a refresh. The past few years I've worked on creating routines and habits that will help me reach my health and life goals. I am also very human and I easily lose routines I establish. The internet is overloaded with information and sometimes it can all seem way to complicated. However, it truly comes down to what we do everyday is what will make the biggest impact in our lives. It comes down to what we do morning, noon, and night.
A few years ago, I did a little reboot on my morning routine and it reduced my anxiety for getting stuff done. As life often goes, I fell out of the routine after we got our puppy and I've been struggling to get it back since. There is no time like the present to jump back in! None of the routines are revolutionary, but it is amazing how adding these into my morning really impact my overall day. Here are the key parts for my morning routine-
- WAKE UP EARLY
I wake up super early for work (about 5:00AM early if I'm sticking to my routines). I really enjoy quiet alone time in the morning. Scheduling enough time to do the things I want to do without rushing greatly improves my mood in the morning. I really have reduced my beauty routine (I often shower at night and do simple make up and hair for work), so schedule about an hour block to do all my routines before I leave for the day.
- QUICK WORKOUT CIRCUIT
After I drag, I mean get myself out of bed, I head downstairs and do a quick workout circuit. I really don't enjoy working out, but I always feel better when I do it. It is hard to commit to any classes or long workouts in the wee hours I am awake, so a short workout circuit always gets my heart rate up and it doesn't eat up too much time. I just found one on Pinterest that I feel targets the areas I want the most and leaves my muscles feeling sore the next day. Jumping jacks, squats, plank, lunges, push-ups, are just a few of the tried-and-true moves in the routine I found. Oldies but goodies.
Mindfulness is one of the best ways to improve your life. It is such a buzz word nowadays, and I am no where near mastering this great skill. I struggle to turn my brain off and really clear my mind. I am also not being overzealous with this routine. I found an app that will guide me through a 3 minute meditation that will also build to longer meditations as I grow and get better (Whew. Fingers crossed). I find it's a really peaceful way to start the day.
- WRITE GOALS AND AN AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY
It will probably come as no surprise that I love checklists and setting goals. However, something new is writing a daily affirmation. There is tons of research about affirmations online, and I won't go into all the nitty gritty details here, but basically it's the idea that if you say it (or write it), then you start to believe it, and when you start to believe it, things start to happen. I often change my affirmation based on my mood. Some days it revolves around me being a more patient person and other days it's about me accomplishing all the things I want to do. That's the beauty- it's a perfectly customized way to add happiness into your day.
Morning routines are very dependent on night routines. Sleep is the key component for honoring that earlier wake up time. Here is my routine below-
- SET YOURSELF A BED TIME
Think about what time you want to wake up in the morning and count back 8 hours from that. 7-8 hours are the recommended amount of sleep and I'll tell ya, I know I don't have children, but I guard my sleep schedule. I always try everything in my might to get 8 hours. I know that's not reality for everyone in every season.
- GET ALL PACKED UP
Pick out your outfit, pack your lunch, have your bag ready to go, set up the coffee maker, prep breakfast items, etc. It's all about making the morning run as efficiently and as seamless as possible, because things always happen and it's better when everything else all in their correct places.
- GET WASHED UP AND IN BED EARLY
I like to to get washed up and in bed about 30 or 45 minutes before my bedtime. This allows for me to enjoy my simple self-care routine that start to wind down.
- SET YOUR ALARM AND PUT ELECTRONICS AWAY
I have this nasty habit of scrolling through Facebook and Instagram for way too long before I fall asleep. It doesn't help me wind down and it distracts from better things I can be investing my time in. I also put my phone on "Do Not Disturb" mode to keep me from getting woken up by late-night texts or messages.
- READ OR JOURNAL
Or do all of the above! This is the one I am constantly striving to get to. For some reason, I equate reading a book as the ultimate self-care. It is good for my brain, it takes me away from technology, and it just forces to exercise my brain. When I'm fitting in enough reading time, I know I am really killin' it in the night routine game.
None of these routines are revolutionary or out of this world, but when they are incorporated in a daily schedule, they have the ability to boost happiness and productivity. Make sure to sign up below and receive a free copy of my checklist that you can print as a visual to hang on the wall or print it daily and use it as a check for yourself. Cheers for freebies!
ALSO- If you are looking for more information about habits and they important role they play, I highly suggest Gretchin Rubins book, “Better Than Before.” It’s an amazing follow up to her book, “The Happiness Project” and she dives into personality types and figuring out how to cultivate habits and routines that will fulfill your dreams and goals. It's on my nightstand and it's my go-to happiness book!