Coming back after a long weekend in this household, there were the usual temptations:
- To check my inbox first thing in the morning
- Wanting to cancel my chiro appointment because I had too much to do
- Thinking I’d cut short the dog walk instead of doing our usual beach walk
These are things we tell ourselves we ‘have’ to do because there’s *too* much work to get done. But here’s the thing – is your morning routine working for you?
Now, I work with women ALL the time who find themselves too busy to have a place in their own lives. Well, not literally. But so often they are taking care of everyone and everything else ahead of themselves When they do this, the day just ‘happens’ and whatever wonderful plans they had (exercise, meditation, eating well) can just drop off. Maybe you know the feeling? ‘Best made intentions’ and all that.
But last week I succumbed to opening my emails first thing in the morning. Bad idea. I was quickly thrust into the ‘world at large’ and in reaction mode. I knew straight away what I’d done, and it was certainly a good example of my morning routine not working for me.
Because whether you think you do or not, you have a morning routine. It’s whatever occupies your time in the first hour or 2 of your day. What is it focused on?
I never start my day like this normally, but I had picked up my phone (yep, that’ll do it it!) and suddenly my inbox was open – because I just pressed the app automatically, not intentionally. And it’s as simple as that.
Where did it lead? To a day that felt incredibly reactive and that started with me feeling stressed.
Fast forward to today, and I I knew better. Well, more to the point I also did better (clearly knowing better doesn’t always mean we do anything different!)
I got up at 6am as usual. I fed the dog and then made a coffee and picked up my journal before going to sit on the couch with a view to outside (which feels expansive to me) and wrote down anything on my mind. For me, this means anything I’m thinking about: my kids; work; emotions; something that happened that’s on my mind – anything! I just write until I’m all done. Sometimes there’s not much, other times a lot more.
After the free writing, I also write some affirmations. I like to think of these as things you believe to be true (or would like to believe, if that feels like a stretch). It could be:
- I am always attracting my ideal clients
- Money flows to me easily and effortlessly
- I am a magnet for amazing opportunities
- I am proud of myself and the person I’m becoming
- I choose to focus on what’s within my control
These are just some examples. They could relate to business; career; money; clients; health and wellbeing; energy; family; love; mindset and so on.
I also write my goals out in the past tense (like they’ve already been achieved).
Then I do one of the Abraham Hicks meditations that I have on my phone (while resisting any temptation to open any. other. apps!), and during this I visualise my goals having been achieved.
Sometimes things I need or want to do pop up as well during any part of this morning routine, and I just make a note of them either at the time or after the meditation.
It’s a beautiful way to start my day, and sets me up to feel connected, grounded, calm and ready. It’s all done and dusted mostly by the time my kids have to get up, but if they are up earlier and come in and I’m meditating or journaling, it’s fine. They do their thing and I do mine.
But if you’re feeling tight in the chest and in a kind of overwhelm, then this might not be the morning routine for you, my friend!
You might like to take one small piece from it, or it might be none of these. Instead you could do some yoga or a run. Some stretches or reading or prayer. You might sip your tea quietly in peace or focus on your breathing for a couple of minutes.
Whichever way, avoiding that compulsion to pick up your phone or open your laptop and instead keep the world at bay for that little bit longer until you’ve given to yourself first will be the ultimate ‘self care’ practice. Not to mention giving your mindset the mojo it needs for the day ahead.
And in my experience (personally and with clients), it also boosts creativity, productivity, resilience and keeps the stress down over the course of the day.
The benefit of knowing your vision and your ideal week is that you’ll have clarity on your ideal morning. For me for years it included working out first thing. But since my recent disc injury in my back, I’ve ditched that for afternoon exercise mostly. This works for me right now. And I’m fully aware that I may wish to change this in the future. But who can plan for the future when we don’t know what it looks like? We plan for now instead.
If you’re looking for extra inspiration to get you started, take a look at this article. It lists a whole range of ways that ‘successful entrepreneurs’ do their morning routines. It also reinforces this idea that there’s no ‘perfect’ way to do it. Just what’s right for you.
Maybe like me you’ve had times where your morning routine included drinking warm water and apple cider vinegar or green alkaline juices. Maybe they’ll come back and maybe they won’t.
Think about your current morning routine. Is it working for you? Have you previously had a routine that filled you with energy and left you feeling great? Is there something you’d like to add or drop? And then (to avoid overthinking and doing nothing), I encourage you to just decide on one thing that you want to do in the morning before you start work. Although, you’ll see in this article that for some, starting work first thing and getting a head start on their day works for them.
Just for the record, I kept my appointment with the chiro as well. Apparently it was *quite* the day for cancellations. I thought about my own boundaries with myself, and not crossing those. Which meant I knew I needed to honour what my body needs. That involved keeping my commitments to myself. And keeping my body (and therefore my mind) healthy, and most importantly, pain free.
Is your morning routine working for you? If not, what would it take?
- If you’d like to have some help with setting (and sticking to!) business / leadership boundaries, I’m your gal! Healthy boundaries can change every aspect of your life for the better. Book in a chat if you’re keen to have better boundaries, balance and bliss.
- Or read more about your boundaries with yourself here.