Morning “routine” to a morning routine.

Sun rises over the horizon. Farmland in the foreground

Do you have a morning routine?

I recently listened to two different podcasts that included interviews with Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning. I have yet to read the book but the podcasts have me reconsidering my mornings.

Right now, a typical weekday morning for me goes something like this:

  • Alarm goes off. Hit snooze. Repeat probably 3-10 times, depending on how I’m feeling that morning. SECOND ALARM GOES OFF. (So. many. alarms.)
  • Roll over. Take a look at my Sleep Cycle app to see how many hours of sleep I got and my overall sleep quality. Check three email accounts. Check Instagram. Check Feedly. Check calendar to see what’s going on that day.
  • Get up. Consider meditating. Don’t. Brush teeth, put in contacts, take out dog.
  • If it’s a good day, leash up the dog and go for a run. Practice gratitude for the beautiful sunrise, serene farmland, and the company of my poodle, even though she prefers sprinting to a nice, easy, well-paced jog.
  • Hop in the shower (if I ran or if I didn’t shower the night before).
  • Stand in front of closet and deliberate about what to wear. Try to avoid anything that needs ironing or pants that require heels.
  • Consider putting on full makeup but usually settle for just powder, mascara, blush and lip gloss.
  • Blow dry hair. Wish it were long enough to put up into bun so I could avoid straight ironing.
  • Reluctantly straight iron hair.
  • Make breakfast. While it’s cooking, feed the dog, get work stuff ready (lunch, change of shoes, pack up laptop, etc.)
  • Eat breakfast and watch Today show. Get annoyed by fear-mongering Rossen Report they seem to do every morning. Silently miss Ann Curry.
  • Give dog a treat. Feel bad for not playing with her more before leaving her for the day. #momguilt
  • Make sure favorite podcasts are downloaded to listen to while driving to work.

***

There are rituals and habits that make up my morning that are helpful, like my breakfast routine, for example. Mornings that include a run make me feel energized and productive.

But there is definitely a lot of day to day variance in my “routine” and opportunity to make my mornings more efficient, productive, and happier.

So I’m going to experiment with a more structured morning routine. To change my habits I think I have to start with the bedtime. Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Start getting ready for bed at 9:30. Aim to be in bed and ready for sleep by 10:00pm.
  • End the day with a journal entry (I’m trying the “one sentence” approach to help me practice gratitude and to help me remember better) and a positive affirmation or thought for the following day that will hopefully be the thought I wake up to in the morning.
  • Get up when my alarm goes off at 5:00AM. Do not check email, Instagram, etc.
  • Stumble to the guest room to meditate for at least 10 minutes. (I hope to increase this amount over time.) I’m using the Buddhify app for guided meditation.
  • Read my happiness commandments (which are taped to the inside of the medicine cabinet but I think I’ll leave a copy by my meditation spot).
  • Three days a week: 30-40 minute workout, followed by some stretching. Most days this will be a run with the dog but if weather doesn’t cooperate it’ll be an at home yoga session or, if I can get up the motivation, a treadmill session in the basement.
  • Other two days a week: Read or write for 30 minutes + 15 minutes of puppy playtime + 5-10 minutes of moving to get blood flowing.
  • Shower, get dressed, etc.
  • Breakfast (probably still with the Today show because Today show: I can’t quit you).
  • Check Instagram feed and personal email.
  • Pack up, feed the dog, ready the podcasts, and then out the door.

We’ll see how this goes! I think there is more that could be added here (I’ve mostly skipped the affirmations and visualizations that Hal recommends) but am hoping to first establish some habits and routines and then tweak and add as I go.

What’s your morning routine? Any advice? What am I missing?

Update: Did you know there is a blog dedicated to sharing people’s morning routines? Brb, have to go spiral down an internet black hole while I read all the archives.

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