What does your ideal morning look like?
Is it a time for self-care and introspection? Or a way to get a head start on your dream goals and projects? If you’re looking to make the most of your mornings, you’ll want to get your tools and systems lined up for a great morning routine.
A morning routine can have a positive impact on the rest of your day. Not only does it set the tone, but a morning routine can prepare you mentally, emotionally, and physically for the day ahead.
Before developing your morning routine, it’s a good idea to take an honest look at your schedule and your priorities. This way, you won’t feel pressured to do everything under the sun, and overwhelming yourself before the day even begins.
So ask yourself: What does an ideal morning look like to me? What would I like to do with this time to myself? You can even do some self-exploration in your journal to come up with the specifics of your ideal morning.
Ideas for a good morning routine
Mindful morning. Mindfulness is the state of being in the present moment. We’re not hung up on something in the past or worrying about the future. A lot of people like to use their mornings as a time to practice mindfulness. It reduces stress and anxiety, and helps them stay focused for the day ahead. So If you’re tired of rushing around in the mornings, a meditation routine could be a good way to ease into your day. Or a few minutes of mindful breathing or reciting mantras can help quiet the mind and gain clarity.
Mindful activities can include: coloring, writing in your gratitude journal, or simple breathing exercises.
Goal setting. Your mornings can also be used as a time to work on your goals. Because of the self-reflection and planning that goal setting requires, it’s nice to have some uninterrupted time for this task. Plus, tackling a goal first thing in the morning will give you a huge sense of accomplishment, and the emotional boost you need to keep at it.
You can use your morning routine to break out your planner and define your yearly, quarterly, and monthly goals.
Afterwards, write down the tasks you should accomplish today and this week to get you closer to that goal.
Weekly review. Speaking of goal setting, a big part of staying on top of your goals is to do a weekly planning session. This helps you measure your progress, celebrate your small wins, and see what needs fine tuning. You can conduct this review session on a Monday morning so that it prepares you for the week ahead. Or do it on a Friday so that you can review the work you’ve already done in order to set yourself up for success the following week.
Use your planner or a weekly deskpad to help you take stock of your week and write your to-do list.
Project planning. If you’re a freelancer or small business owner, it’s likely that you’re managing several different projects and tasks all at once. Use your mornings to get organized and keep your work in order.
Tools like a planner or a dashboard pad can give you a big picture view of your work, as well as a closer look at all the nitty gritty details.
Health and nutrition. There’s no better way to start the day than by doing something good for your body and well-being. A morning exercise routine is a great way to get the blood flowing and wake yourself up. And the endorphins you release during your workout will have you feeling good for the rest of the day.
If you have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, you can set up your workout clothes and gym bag the night before. Place your apparel and gear right by your door or somewhere you can’t miss them. The visible cue will remind your brain to workout and help you stay committed.
If going to the gym is not your ideal way to start the morning, consider doing a yoga workout at home or taking a thirty minute walk outdoors.
Or use this time to create a healthy, nourishing breakfast for yourself.
Self reflection. Mornings are also an ideal for self-reflective work like journal writing. When you’re half asleep, you have an easier time shutting off the internal critic. And when you’re not censoring yourself, you can examine your goals, your dreams, and wishes without fear or judgment. So take advantage of this morning period to free-write or tackle some journal prompts.
Hobbies/interests. A good morning routine doesn’t have to be all about productivity and efficiency. Instead, use this precious time of day to do something that interests you. Curl up with a good book, tackle a knitting project, or do some scrapbooking.
How to keep your morning routine organized
Now that you have a better idea of how you would like to spend your mornings, here are some tips to keep your mornings organized and stress-free.
- Define your top 3 things. The mornings are a good time to assess your priorities. If you’re having trouble narrowing down your essential tasks, then ask yourself: what 3 things do I want to accomplish today? This way, you won’t overwhelm yourself with too many tasks. And you can approach your day with more clarity and purpose.
- Create a schedule. If you need help managing your time, use the Time Manager Pad to identify your peak productivity times and when to schedule your breaks. This can be particularly helpful for freelancers and contractors who don’t have a conventional 9-to-5. While we can’t always anticipate how the day will unfold, a schedule can provide structure to your day. And concrete items like deadlines and appointments can serve as tentpoles in which you can schedule your day around.
- Set up your workspace. Clean your desk, organize your supplies, and gather your favorite pens and notebooks. A clean and tidy office space can help you achieve focus and be more productive. An organized work environment helps you start your day off on a clean slate.