If you ever have trouble reaching goals or being productive, it could be your morning routine.
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been evaluating my morning routine. I have a lot of goals and plans for what I want to accomplish for 2019 and early 2020. And in order to make that happen, I’ve realized the need for better routines. Starting with the morning.
What is My Morning Routine Currently?
My morning routine is a work-in-progress, much like my entire life.
I never set an alarm unless my husband is out of town and I’m responsible for making sure the kiddo gets up on time to make it to school. But even then, I usually wake up on my own before the alarm goes off. This is both a blessing and a curse.
Without setting an alarm, I typically wake up before 5 a.m. I always brush my teeth immediately. I’ve done this since I was a little kid. I feed Jenny (the Golden) and let her out while the Keurig is heating up. I drink a full glass of cold water while my coffee is brewing. Once Jenny is happy, I’m hydrated, and I’m armed with a warm cup of caffeine, I go immediately to my office for an hour of solitude before the rest of the house wakes up. Honestly, I think this is my favorite hour of the day, so when I miss this hour, my day is thrown off a bit.
Getting up at 5 a.m. or before everyone else rises is the one big thing I think I get right about “my” routine. I’m working on the rest.
What Do I Do During that First Hour of the Day?
What I wish I did every single day during the first hour of the day? Write.
What I actually do? During that hour, I typically make notes in my bullet journal (mentioned in this post) about what I hope to accomplish that day. If I procrastinate during that hour with something that is not productive (which I sometimes do), my day is not off to a good start. If I was a really good girl, I already planned the day the night before, and I hit the first hour of my day with something at the top of my to-do list. (I’m not typically that good, though. I’m working on it.)
So, everyday from 5 a.m. until about 6:30 a.m., I plan my day and review my goals (by writing them down), write a little (hopefully) for my current novel, or otherwise knock some work task off of my to-do list.
At 6:30 a.m., the rest of the family is up and getting ready for the day, so that’s when I jump in the shower and help my son and husband get out the door.
What Does the Rest of My Morning Routine Look Like?
My husband leaves for work and my youngest child heads to school around 7:30 a.m. After that, I get immediately to work. As I mentioned above, between 6:30 and 7:30, I shower and dress for the day. If I don’t have anywhere specific to be that day, I dress in comfortable clothing, usually workout clothes with every intention of working out later in the day. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t, but the good intentions are there. If I have an appointment or other activity during the day, I usually go ahead and dress for that.
I used to not shower right away. I think it was my way of rebelling against having to shower and dress for corporate America when I worked as a CPA for twenty years. I’ve grown tired of that attitude. And I’ve found that I am so much more productive, and I treat my business so much more seriously, now that I shower early every weekday.
Once I’m at my computer around 7:30, that is when I glance at my email for the first time. I make sure there is nothing urgent to take care of, then I close it. I don’t look at email again until around lunch time. From 7:30ish to 11:30, I write. This is when I hope to get the bulk of my word count in for the day. I wish I could say I wrote 3,000 words during that time every single day (#lifegoals), but I don’t. I’m often distracted by other tasks. This is yet another thing I’m working on in 2019. I do, however, work to move whatever story I’m currently working on forward during that time. So, whether I get in 500 words or 3000 words, I’ve worked on my current work-in-process to start my day.
And that’s my typical morning routine. Sounds exciting, right?
How Do I Hope to Improve My Morning Routine?
I’m currently reading The Miracle Morning for Writers: How to Build a Writing Ritual That Increases Your Impact and Your Income. And while I already implement some of the items mentioned in this book, it is giving me more things to think about.
- While I try to walk or go to the gym with my husband every evening, I would like to implement some sort of walk or yoga into my morning routine, even if it’s only a 5 to 10 minute “get moving” jolt.
- Meditation. I’ve read enough about the importance of meditation, I don’t currently make this part of every single day.
- Write first and always. I want to get into a better habit of planning my day the night before, then during my morning routine, review that plan for 3 to 5 minutes, then begin writing immediately — and always!
I feel like even on days where I’m not working at home all day, if I can make the first hour to hour-and-a-half productive, I’ll be on a better track to reaching my goals for the year.
Please tell me: What does your morning routine look like? Is it anything like mine? Do you put that much importance into a morning routine? I’d love to know in the comments.
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