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A good morning routine starts the night before

Ironically, I’m writing this on a morning after sleeping in. I’ve been getting up at 5am the last three days and then this morning I just didn’t have it in me to get up. I’d purposely set my alarm to 5:45am thinking that would be the sleep in I needed (I know! It’s still really early) but I kept hitting the snooze button until 7am rolled around. Knowing that I had to get myself in front of my computer by 7:30am for a co-working session with my friend overseas, I jumped up, got into the shower and then cooked my daughter’s breakfast before sitting down just in time to dial into Zoom.

I think the combination of super early mornings and not going to bed early enough, topped with my hay fever flare up were the cocktail that led to my inability to get up this morning. Now, I’m not berating myself for this morning of botched beginnings. Au contraire, I’m celebrating my ability to be flexible in a world where more often than not, we are made to feel bad when we fail to stick to a routine that is supposed to help us lead a better, more fulfilling life.

We all have days where things go awry and sticking to the plan is simply not the best way forward. Today was one of those days for me. It happens. But I’m being kind on myself because this morning is the exception to the rule.

So at this point in time, I’d like to ask you whether you have a morning routine? What does your morning look like? How do you start your day? Is it coffee and a morning scroll (and I don’t mean the pastry type)? Or is it meditation and muesli? Whatever you’re doing, I’d like to know how it makes you feel. After getting up and doing your thing, do you feel fired up for the day and ready to meet the world, or are you already planning your next coffee break?

I’m a firm believer that how we start the day sets us up for how we live our life. But more importantly, if we want to start the day strong, we have to plan what we want that to look like and put that plan into action the night before. Research shows that making these decisions in advance is a big step in helping us successfully implement good habits.

For example, if you want to get up and exercise in the morning, a good idea is to take your exercise clothes out and put them next to your bed so you can put them on when you get up.

If you want to do an online yoga class in the morning, then find the class you want to do the night before and have it ready to go on your computer so all you need to do is press the play button in the morning.

If you want to have a healthy breakfast, plan the night before what you’re going to eat and prepare what you can in advance. If you’re going to have porridge, then you can put the oats in the pot and leave it on the stove so you can just add your water or milk in the morning and cook it. Of, if you want to have herbal tea instead of coffee, then get your tea and teapot out the night before so you see it there ready to go in the morning.

And if you want to wake up early, you need to plan to go to bed early the night before to ensure you get enough sleep. You’ll need to work out how long it takes you to prepare for bed and then set an alarm to remind you when to start your bedtime routine.

These simple preparatory efforts can go a long way in helping you establish positive habits and improving your life. The examples I’ve given are just small steps, but it’s these small steps that add up over time and lead to life changing results.

So what do you want your morning routine to look like? Do you want to do more exercise, eat better, meditate or spend time on a personal project? What steps can you take tonight so that you can get up tomorrow and start without having to think about it? Start with one thing and build on it gradually until you have a routine that works for you and charges you up for the day.

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