When I was younger, I really struggled with mornings in general; I just didn’t enjoy them at all. I would get up half annoyed and irritated because I wanted to sleep longer. In my zombie state, I would shower, throw on my clothes, grab my things, and rush out. I either felt stressed and frazzled by the time I arrived at work or I was still half asleep and needed a ton of coffee to get me going.

Doesn’t sound like the most productive way to start my day, I know. I knew I needed to desperately change my morning routine  and here is why…

How you arrange your morning and how you feel when you start your day sets the tone for the rest of the day. Starting each morning feeling renewed, re-energized and excited for the day ahead makes it much easier to be more productive and enjoy each day heaps more.

Did you know…

  • It easier to set a morning routine than another time of day? Once the day starts, there are usually a lot of unforeseen crises that throw us off schedule completely, but in the morning, it is normally only you who can do that.
  • Your motivation levels and willpower are higher during the morning. Willpower is like a muscle, in the morning, you have the a lot of it, by the end of the day, it is normally exhausted and depleted.

What can you do for a morning routine?

This will depend on how much time you have of course, your personal goals, interests, and situation. Here is an idea of what I do…

1) How I mastered waking up earlier to create a routine

Do you struggle to get out of bed in the mornings? Do you wish it would just be easier? You are not alone; most of us feel this way, especially in winter. Creating a morning routine normally involves waking up earlier, even if it is only 30 minutes, but I know it isn’t easy.

When I started waking up 1.5 hours earlier each day, getting out of bed was the most challenging. I had to put my phone on the other side of the room so that I had to physically get out of bed to turn it off. I also wrote out my goals on a piece of cardboard where I left my phone, so I would read this and feel more motivated to not turn around and climb back into bed.

Some days where better than others, and so I needed something more. I found a few alarm apps that did the trick. Basically, you have a puzzle you need to solve before your alarm actually switches off. By the time I work out the puzzle, I am more awake and out of that half asleep/awake state! Here is a free one to try – Puzzle Alarm Clock

Now that you are awake – what can you do? Here are 7 ideas….

1. Have a warm shower (not a hot shower) – having a hot shower will only make you sleepier. The colder the better and the faster you will wake up.

2. Have a glass of warm water and half a squeezed lemon – if you didn’t already know, drinking lemon juice in the morning is one of the best things you can do for a boost of energy and your health.

3. Turn on your favorite tunes – nothing puts you in a better mood and gives you a boost of energy than listening to your favorite tunes. Jango is a free internet radio station, over 20 types of music; with the top hits streaming live. Best is, you also have unlimited skips and can play from your laptop or mobile as well.

4. Brain trainingLumosity is still my favorite. It takes 10 minutes, and the improvement after a few days is incredible. You immediately feel more alert after training and this supports you in being more productive. You build your concentration, speed, memory, and flexibility abilities daily to name a few.

5. Meditating for only 5 minutes has a notable affect – Even if you only have 5 minutes, you will see a difference. Meditation is becoming more and more popular because of the many benefits it brings. Read more about daily meditation for success.

6. Want to boost your mood– Feeling grateful for what you have in life is something that we purposely need to put our attention on. We have a tendency to focus on what is going wrong and what we don’t want to happen and we overlook the great things we already have. Connecting to the gifts you have in life in the morning is a great way to feel better instantly. Download this free app to remind you daily

7. Release those endorphin’s and feel happier – If you can fit in a 15 minute run or walk in the morning, do it! Boost your endorphin’s and mood, feel healthier and get your blood pumping. If you don’t enjoy a run or walk, why not try stretching for 5 minutes? Any type of movement in the morning is going to make you feel more energized.

Moving forward

It takes 21-28 days on average to change a habit or create a new routine effectively. This time frame varies from person to person and also, how long you have had this ‘other habit’ for.

What I did for the first month was print a monthly calendar which had blocks for each day. I stuck this up in my cupboard, and each morning after I completed my routine, I ticked off the day.

The first week is the hardest of course, and this is why the calendar is great. When you see a a new tick each day and eventually, one week of ticks, this gives you even more impetus to keep pushing forward. After a month, it becomes almost effortless.

I will never give up my morning routine; it is pivotal to how productive and energetic I feel throughout the day and what results I have in my personal and professional life.

It is the smallest habits that have the most profound effect on your happiness and success in life.

To your success!

Kirstin ODonovan

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