Mornings used to bother me. Throughout life, people make such a big deal out of “starting your day off right.” It’s a lot of pressure, right? I’ve been all over the map as far as my mornings go. There was really no emphasis on a successful morning routine, much less a routine at all. The older I get, the more I realize how important certain aspects about it are. Until not that long ago, I woke up when I woke up. There was no alarm, no practice of getting up at the same or similar time. I felt like I was wasting a part of the day that could be really sacred for me. The decision was made after reading so much about establishing a good morning routine
to set my alarm the next day at 6 am. When I tell you how uncomfortable this made me, I’m not lying. Alas, I did it. And by the end of that week, I didn’t even need the alarm. I started popping out of bed because I loved getting up before the birds even made it to the bird feeder. I’d love to share my successful morning routine with you because I fought it for so long, and now it’s my favorite part of each day.
Get Rid of the Phone First Thing in the Morning
Do Not Look at Your Phone
Most of us know that we should not do this first thing. Knowing is only part of the equation. Doing is the other part. Picking up your phone the minute you get out of bed is not good for the brain. Why
? It starts to cause anxiety from the moment you open your eyes. How I mitigated this issue was by charging my phone overnight in my office. There is no temptation to pick it up during the night and look at it because it’s not there. Checking your phone for useless information that can cause your brain to go into overdrive is simply stupid. Yes, that’s really direct of me. But I’m direct. I have read enough books that have given me the push to eliminate that bad habit altogether. My first-thing-in-the-mornings are free from phone usage, as are my middle of the nights. I will be caught using my Kindle to read when I can’t sleep once in a while, but I’m not pouring over social media that will cause me to go down a mental rabbit hole. Get rid of the phone for the morning if you want a kickstart to a successful morning routing. Trust me on this one.
and mindfulness has been an integral part of my successful morning routine because it gives my brain a few minutes (8 to be exact) to do some deep, intentional breathing. I hated the idea of meditating a few years ago. It seemed useless and unnecessary. But if it’s good enough for Jen Cincero
, it’s good enough for me. She is one of my heroes in the “self-help” world, and what she says is gold. I started at 2 minutes. I figured I could sit in place for that long, either doing a “chant” or focusing on my breath. Play around with it to see where you land. When you settle into it, you can use it throughout the day when life comes at you and you need a time out. My brain loves to get hyper throughout the day. The meditation helps me calm myself down and not go full on rage. My 8 minute meditation on my back porch is just what the start of the day ordered. You can handle a few minutes of breathing. You do it all day. Make it intentional.
I bought into journaling a very long time ago. Diaries, journals, logs. Whatever you want to call it, I was in when I found out what a journal was. That tiny little lock on my diaries as a kid was my security that no one would ever see my thoughts. Fast forward to a couple of years ago when I was stuck in a hotel room with my 3 pets, a hurricane-damaged home, and no book to journal. I did some googling and found Day One online journal
. While I love the old school writing, I’ll be honest. I don’t write much anymore. Typing is much more comfortable for me, and I’m not worried about being judged for that. It’s like my love for my Kindle. Come at me if you want. I’m not buying 1000 books I’ll read once. Once in a while I’ll buy a hard copy, but I digress. My online journal has given me the freedom to take my iPad (with keyboard) anywhere and do some journaling. That has been a huge part of my successful morning routine and a way to keep me motivated. You need a fingerprint to get in, so it’s much more private than the books I used to write in. Maybe I should just burn those now.
Nothing I love more than poop talk. I was at a workshop for health a few years ago, and the lady teaching
was obsessed with poop. She made it known that pooping the size of a banana each day is imperative to a successful morning routine. Perhaps the time of day is less important, but why not get it out of the way? Part of ensuring a regular and solid (pun intended) dump is by eating the right things. When a person starts eating more fiber-heavy foods, the stomach has a hard time processing it. Hence, farting, tooting, possibly sharting if you’re not careful. Once your body gets used to it, though, you’re going to be in the clear. Especially your intestines. Do your one and only body a favor, and get into eating habits that will allow you to poop a banana size daily. Your successful morning routine will be well on its way. No one wants to be all stopped up and bloated from not being able to get rid of all that shit. Literally.
Getting in Our Daily Walk
Don’t have a dog? No problem. I think you can manage on your own. Going for a walk with my dog has exponentially increased my successful morning routine. Dementia is a disease that I am very afraid of getting. Losing my awareness in life is just not something I hope to ever encounter. Walking is one of the most amazing exercises because it feeds oxygen to the brain, and helps decrease the possibility of dementia
. We are a society of sedentary people, my friends. We get groceries delivered, drive almost everywhere, and sit in a car waiting for processed food just waiting to make us obese with each bite. Walking is a great way to help eliminate some of these issues. There is no gym membership required, and you don’t have to drive somewhere to do it. You can simply walk out your front door, maybe with your pooch, and start moving your legs. Your body will thank you, and your brain might, too. I have a habit of thinking about my future self. My present self does things today that my future self will look back and say “thank you!” There is no better feeling than having your future self think your past self is a badass. Also, I’ve thought of some of my best ideas while walking. That blood flow is something special. And totally within our reach.
About to Do My YouTube or Virtual Workout
Do a Class Workout or a Youtube Workout
More days than not, I’m doing a workout in class, virtually (but live)
, or finding a workout on YouTube. It’s a non-negotiable. No one is going to send me a formal invitation to take care of myself. I have to make the time for it, because I’ll be honest: no one else cares. A successful morning routine absolutely involves moving your body. The last post about walking is a possible substitute for a class, but I also love my Pilates and yoga practices, so I make time for them. It also gets to be a million degrees in the summer where I live, and I don’t want to be outside for that long. Neither does my dog. So, a workout class it is. Trust me when I say: a 15 minute HIIT workout can be as effective as an hour regular workout, so don’t put too much emphasis on time. When you do, you’ll inevitably make an excuse that you don’t have the time. Fifteen minutes, friends. That’s all it takes. Of course, do longer if you *have* time.
Make a smoothie, or something else healthy! Years ago, I stopped drinking anything but whole milk. When I started shopping at the farmers market
, I asked the farmer for low fat milk and she crinkled her nose and said “that’s not natural and I don’t have that here.” Ok, whole milk it is. While milk is fatty, it’s not necessarily terrible for you. Chemicals or replacements are what is bad for you. My smoothies are made with frozen fruit, a sprig of mint, honey, spinach or kale, and whole milk. I sprinkle in bee pollen for good measure, and that is my favorite breakfast on any given day. It doesn’t fill me up for hours, but I’m not looking for something that does. Eggs may be the only other thing I will eat instead of a smoothie because they are so good for you. In moderation, of course. The truth is that I don’t eat a lot of fruit outside of my smoothies because I don’t like it plain. This gives me a way of getting some greens, some fruit, and some immunity-builder in my body each day. For me, a successful morning routine involves a good breakfast. Make it count and don’t waste those calories!
Make Your Morning a Successful One
As I’ve said, a morning routine, much less a successful morning routine, was sort of a joke to me for most of my life. Since I hit my 40s and realize I am likely about halfway through my life statistically, I want to make the most of this half. It’s not meant to be a morbid way to think, it’s meant to be intentional and exciting. Aging has been such a gift for me. The more I learn and adjust, the happier and more satisfied with my days I am. It’s hard to change, I know that. But is it? Can we just do it without too much fuss? The ability to shift is something we are in full control of as humans. Let’s not let another morning go by without adding or subtracting one thing that will make you more successful in life. You owe it to yourself. After all, we’re only here for a short time on this beautiful earth. Good morning!