It’s 7 am and your alarm goes off. Without thinking you hit the snooze button. You can stay in bed a few minutes longer. You do this almost every day and you know exactly how long until you absolutely need to get moving. You turn off the alarm a second time and lay there trying to see just how long you can get away with it. This scenario sounds familiar because we’ve all done it.
2019 is your time! The potential for what you will do is endless. With a new year upon us, we’ve collected some tips on how to “win the morning.” We will also talk about how documenting your morning ritual makes you a more effective and positive person.
The Benefits of a Structured Morning
A structured morning routine supports relaxation and leads to long-term success. You’re able to be more alert, have more energy, and find yourself more productive throughout the day. It’s been shown that people that have a planned morning agenda before leaving for work or school have lower levels of stress and consider themselves happier. Make your morning unique to you and do activities that have you up and moving about before you leave home.
Make your Bed (<5 mins.) It may seem trivial, but it’s been shown that people that make their bed in the morning generally consider themselves happier than those that don’t. This small activity provides you with a sense of accomplishment first thing in the morning.
Eat Breakfast (15 min.) Upon waking up, drink a glass of water to rehydrate after going between 6-10 hours without liquid. Kickstart your metabolism and get some needed nutrients by always eating breakfast. Write in your notebook what you’re eating so you can also practice a healthy diet.
Exercise (20-30 mins.) If you can’t go to the gym, go for a brisk walk or do some exercises around your home to get moving. Rather than reaching for your phone and doing some morning "scrolls" instead take a morning stroll outside. Exercise decreases stress, anxiety, and depression so break a sweat and get your heart pumping. Keep a record of exercises you do. Afterward, try introducing yourself to the benefits of a cold shower.
Writing and Goal Setting (5-10 mins.) Refer back to long-term goals you’re working towards and write a smaller one to focus on each day. To help you get in the habit of daily writing check out @rusticojournal for some great questions to ponder.
Keep a dedicated notebook detailing your morning ritual and other things you’ll track throughout the day. We like the pages of our notebook to be organized while still having room for going outside the lines (or the box). The dot grid pages of our Expedition Notebook make it ideal for chronicling your morning activities. It’s the notebook best suited for this since it’s refillable allowing you can add more inserts. If, like us, you have multiple Expedition Notebooks you can keep track of them by getting them in different leather colors and by customizing each one with our elastic packs.
Quiet Time (7-10 mins.) Clear your mind and do some light meditation. We recently discovered the Calm book and accompanying app work great for this. Write down something you're grateful for and visualize how you will handle an upcoming situation you may be worried about.
Things to Start Avoiding
Disconnect - Don’t feel the need to respond to messages and don’t go on social media.
No more snoozing - Build some momentum for your day and get up once your alarm goes off.
One thing at a time - Don’t multi-task. Be present in the moment. Don’t have your phone out or the TV on.
Start the Night Before
There are a few things that can be done each evening to make your morning go even smoother. Don’t use your electronic devices after 10 pm and avoid keeping them within reach of your bed. If you take a lunch to work, prepare it the night before. Lay some clothes out for the next day. Unwind by writing in your journal.
So Why Document Your Morning Routine?
A solid morning routine lays the foundation for the rest of your day. Forming new habits takes time, but once you’ve got them down they’ll stick. As you record what you want to achieve before you leave for the day, you’ll have something you can refer back to.
If you write done what you’re doing each morning you’ll be more intentional in how you start your day. Writing means remembering and personal growth begins with the end in mind. Take one day at a time. Make it a point to leave technology alone and go analog as you work on yourself each morning.