Let’s start things off with: I am a morning person (now).
However, I wasn’t always this way. And it took some time for me to create a morning routine that I enjoyed.
What I find to be so helpful about a morning routine is that it starts your day off right. It gives you the opportunity to feel less rushed.
To feel more motivated and energized when your day consists of these two really important things. Don’t worry, I’ll get to them in a second.
You’re probably already thinking to yourself, do I need to get up at the butt crack of dawn to create a morning routine that energizes me?
The answer to this is…maybe.
But before you drop off, let me give you some tips as to how I went from being a night person to a morning person.
How to become a morning person (i.e. how early do I really need to get up in the morning?)
If you’re like me, your work day probably starts at 8 am.
So now we need to start working backwards from that 8 am start time to figure out how early do you truly have to get up?
All of these factors are going to be different for everyone. So here are a few key things to keep in mind:
- How long is your commute to work? (if you’re still working from home, knock this down to 5 minutes)
- Do you have kids who need to be taken to daycare or school? This is once again going to depend on how far daycare/school is from your home. Then how long does it take you to drop them off? And how long does it take you to get on the road to work or back home?
- If you drive into an office, do you take a breakfast/lunch/snacks with you to work? If so, account for whether or not you prepped that the night before, or you need to pack it in the morning. This could be anywhere from 5-15 minutes.
- How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? This includes shower, getting dressed (picking out your outfit), doing your hair and makeup. It can also include making the bed (if you do that). Putting away any dirty laundry, etc. This is typically about an hour for me if I’m going into our office.
- Do you have kids who need help getting ready in the morning? Right now, we still have to get Kennedy up, change her diaper, and get her dressed. Burken and I split this responsibility. On the days I don’t go into the office, he gets ready while I get Kennedy ready. Then vise versa for the days I do go into the office. This is about a 20 minute process for us.
- Do your kids need to eat breakfast at home? Right now this isn’t the case for us, but definitely take this into account when planning your morning routine time needed.
- Do you have pets who need to go out in the morning? This could be anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on if you need to take them for a short walk.
Okay, now that we’ve got a lot of the basics outlined, this should help you determine how much time you’re actually going to need in the morning. You might be surprised that it won’t be the butt crack of dawn.
But again, this is going to be very different for everyone, and will likely truly come down to your commute time.
Now that I know what time I need to wake up, how do I actually start getting up that early?
Great question my friend!
Here’s the thing, it’s likely not going to be super easy at first. But my four suggestions are these:
- Start slow – if you’ve never been a morning person, don’t expect this change to happen right away. Start by setting your alarm just five minutes earlier than you would normally wake up. That doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but there’s at least one thing you can add to your morning routine (explained below) that can be done in 5 minutes. Then you can start to add on more and more time. Until you’re to your final wake-up time.
- Go to bed early – if you’re a typical night owl, this is not going to be the easiest for you (just being honest). And truly, if you’re at your best at night, then switching to a morning routine is likely not meant for you anyway. But, if you’re trying to become more of a morning person, going to be early is going to be necessary. Also understanding how much sleep your body needs to function fully. For me, it’s 8 hours (even without being pregnant or having a toddler). For Burken it’s 6.5-7 hours where he can operate at his best. Learning your sleep rhythm is going to be important.
- Don’t snooze your alarm! To all my alarm snoozers out there…stop it! Snoozing your alarm puts your body into this weird funk where you’re half awake and half asleep. This messes with your REM cycle and can leave you feeling even more groggy and fatigued. Not something we want when we’re trying to create a morning routine to fell more energized and motivated.
- Avoid social media and email. – You’ve probably heard this one already, but for your own mental state, it’s best that you don’t look at your phone right when you wake up. Looking at social media or your email becomes very distracting. It sucks you in almost immediately. And it can put a damper on whatever positive mood you wake up with.
What I’d really love to call out here is that yes, it might be more difficult in the beginning to create this morning routine. But it’s honestly all worth it in the end. Taking it slow and not trying to jump into the deep end on the first day will make it feel a heck of a lot easier to stick with.
With these three things in mind, it’s time to get to the two most important things you should be doing each morning to create a routine that leaves you feeling energized and motivated throughout the day.
The two really important things you need to include in your morning routine to feel more motivated and energized throughout the day
After you’ve figured out roughly how much time you need in the morning, we can get down to the nitty gritty. Here are the two things that need to be included in your morning routine for more energy and motivation throughout the day.
1. Move your body
Exercise in the morning has many proven benefits.
“Exercise leads to the secretion of neurotransmitters that promote mental clarity and an improved attention span,” says Jasmin Theard, ACSM HFS. “You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, as well as rejuvenated and recharged.”
Not only does it provide that mental clarity, but it can help boost metabolism and help you sleep better at night. Which would be important for your earlier morning wake up as well.
What’s important about exercise in the morning is finding something that works for you. If you’ve never been a runner and you absolutely despise it, choosing that as a morning exercise activity should be a no-go.
Trying to force yourself into certain activities in the morning will actually lead you to resenting exercising at all. To the point where you find yourself no longer following through with any sort of movement in the morning.
Not only choosing an activity you enjoy, like walking, running, swimming, dancing, yoga, HIIT, etc., but also starting slow here.
If you want to create a morning routine that’s going to last, focus on moving your body two days in the morning to start. As you become more comfortable and confident that you can stick with a good routine, add in additional days.
Also important to factor in how long moving your body in the morning will take. This will obviously affect how early you need to wake up. If you plan to go to a gym, start to factor in that drive time. If you’re going to use the great outdoors, factor in how long it takes you to get ready to go outside. Same can be said for at home workouts.
I typically plan for about 35-40 minutes for my morning exercise. I’m not going to a gym. So whether it’s outside or in our basement, I can quickly head upstairs to get ready.
2. Build a healthy mindset practice (meditation/journaling/etc.)
The second must-do for having an energized and motivated morning routine is creating a healthy mindset practice.
I have found this to be extremely beneficial when it comes to feeling more empowered to take on the day.
When you clear your mind through meditation, you’re able to start the day fresh. I know many have qualms about meditation, but you literally only need 10 minutes. Even less if you’re just starting out.
There are excellent meditations on YouTube. Or if you’re a BeachBody member, there’s also a 21 day, 10 minute meditation that’s quite excellent.
I also really love gratitude journaling in the morning. I have found this practice to be one of the best ways to help motivate my day.
When we’re in a state of gratitude, it’s actually almost impossible to be in a state of dissatisfaction at the same time.
My gratitude journaling usually looks like this:
- Write out 5 things I’m grateful for that have already happened in my life
- Write out 5 things I’m grateful for that haven’t happened yet, but I know are going to. (The universe does not know that these haven’t happened yet).
- Affirmations: write 5-10 affirmations for the day that I want to focus on for a positive day
- Read aloud 10 gratitudes and affirmations I’ve just written down
Time to start practicing!
There you have it. The two main practices I use on a daily basis to have me feeling energized and motivated throughout the day.
I used these practices during my pregnancy with Carter, and continue to use them post-partum.
Even though I’m currently on maternity leave, I will still use these two practices when I return. They simply help set my day in the right direction. Leaving me feeling more motivated and energized throughout the day.
If you need any help starting to create a morning practice for yourself, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’d love to help you create a more tailored approach that fits your exact lifestyle.