5 Questions To Help You Create Your Unique Morning Routine!

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By this time, I think we can all acknowledge that morning routines are not just a passing phase, they are here to stay. There are a million videos and articles out there outlining the specific morning routines or the rich, famous and “successful”. This is an awesome resource, but your morning routine should be YOURS! Unique to you, your goals, needs, desires and schedule.

This blog gives you the 5 questions you need to ask yourself in order to create a morning routine that truly suits you. Remember that when brainstorming action steps or habits that you want to commit to, it is best to be in a good mood. Do this exercise when you are feeling awesome so that the ideas that come out of your brain will naturally be geared towards creating more awesome in your life!

 

1.        Why A Morning Routine?

What are you hoping that a morning routine will do for you? Are you looking for extra energy, clarity, motivation, serenity? Use this first question to get really specific about your WHY and make that why very personal to you. If you can, use just 1 or 2 words that strike to the core of your WHY.



2.        What Feelings Do You Want To Create?

Feeling great helps you get things done. It helps you stay motivated and satisfied and helps you dust yourself off and jump back up when you fall down. You have control over the way that you feel! You can also cultivate the feelings you want with habits and rituals that remind you of how you want to feel.

Start by free writing a list of feelings that you value. You can write as many as you would like.

Now narrow it down to your top 3!

Why just 3, you ask?

Morning routines are support routines and are typically limited to … the morning. We do need to leave time for all the other activities that work specifically towards our goals and so focus, and specificity are key. Don’t worry about not focusing on every amazing feeling on your list, typically the top 3 amazing feelings that you choose will easily lead you towards all those other good feelings as you move through your day.

 

3.       What Actions Support Your WHYs & Your Desired Feelings?

These actions need to be things that feel exciting for you to do. There are so many resources out there examining the exact morning routine of almost every super successful person out there, and those are great for ideas, but your AM actions need to fill YOUR cup. If you aren’t excited about them, you won’t do them and then there will be no morning routine.

Try to limit yourself to less than 5 actions. You can include some of your typical “get ready” steps if they support your goals , if not, think about your morning routine as something done in addition to your normal routine. The 5 actions can be one for each of your goals (Whys and Feelings) or each action can support a combination of goals.



 4.       How much time do you have in the morning?

 (This might be a three-part question…)

  • What time do you want to wake up?

 Let’s say that you need to be at work at 8am, and need to leave the house by 7:30am, you might also refuse to wake up before 5:30am (understandable). Without extra morning routine things, your typical get ready time takes 45 min. This leaves you 1hr and 15 min for your morning routine, BUT you also hate feeling rushed so we will round down to 1hr.

 

  • How can you schedule your actions to fit your time frame?

Take a look at your actions. How can you fit them into that 1 hr time slot and how much time does each task actually need?

Maybe that the 30 min meditation you wanted to put in there needs to be 15 min, or perhaps you only delegate 5 minutes for journaling, etc.

 

  • What time do you need to go to bed to get the sleep you need?

 You know yourself by now. Be honest! How much sleep to you need to feel amazing in the morning? A morning routine that begins with you feeling like a zombie and measuring the droopiness of the bags under your eyes with a ruler, is not going to be all that helpful to you.

 

5.       What Can Be Done The Night Before?

The best morning routines start with a great nighttime routine. Adapt these questions to create a nighttime routine that supports you getting an amazing sleep and maybe helps you spread out some of those action steps.

This could look like no screen time ½hr before bed or spending 10 minutes writing out the next days to do list, or prepping your meals for the next day, etc.


For me, my morning routine (ideally) looks like this 

 
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 At night, I will write out my To Do list for the next day. Then I try to visualize my big goals as I fall asleep. Ideally, I would reduce my screen time before bed, but…. that is a habit that I’m working on. Since I work from home right now, I also have a lunchtime routine of making lunch, watching a quick motivational or educational video while I eat and then I try to head outside for a walk with the dogs (unless it is super-storming outside like it is today)


Try it out and let me know what you think? What is your favorite part of your morning routine? Let me know in the comments below, I love learning about what other people do to stay motivated, happy and on task!

Love you all,

Ana


Productivity pressure and other mindset traps!

What is your biggest reason for putting off self-care?

Self-care being anything that balances out stress or hardship by allowing you to prioritize your health and well-being (physically, emotionally, energetically, spiritually, etc).

Is it not enough time?

In which case, can you be more specific? What is taking up your that time that is more productive than self care? Remember, self-care doesn’t need to happen all day every day. But if you feel overwhelmed, off balance, stressed or fatigued, you need to assess how much self-care (and what kinds of self care) is going to bring you back to equilibrium and health.

My mindset trap tends to be what I think of as Productivity Pressure. I had a habit of pushing aside self-care because I didn’t view it as productive. (I say “had” because I am actively focused on changing my perspective around this issue)

So here is where I needed to pause and ask myself a couple of questions…

1.       “What does productivity mean to me?”

2.       “Why is productivity more important to me then caring for my well-being?”

3.       “How can I shift my perspective to find balance between work and rest, productivity and self-care?”

Whatever your typical reason for not prioritizing your own health and happiness is, I invite you to question it. The answer may go a lot deeper than you might think.

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Momentary backstory: (It comes full circle, I promise!)

My older brother married the one true love of his life on Saturday and the whole weekend was EXTREMELY emotional for me. I was so happy for him and for his new wife and between Friday night and Saturday I cried a LOT of happy tears! Listening to the ceremony, the vows they made to each other, and the speeches and toasts about love that followed, really made me reflect on the love in my own life and how I am treating and respecting, and most of all receiving, that love.

What got to me most was the way they looked at each other. Each glance held excitement and pride, joy and relief, knowing and understanding, devotion and respect, and so many promises. I thought for a brief moment, I wish my husband looked at me like that and in the next moment, I knew… my husband DOES look at me like that, I just don’t let myself see it or bask in it in the same way that these beautiful newlyweds were basking in it.

As always, the question was “WHY?”.

The word that came to my mind first and stuck into my heart the most was PRIDE. I was not allowing myself to see the pride in my husband’s gaze because I wasn’t looking at myself with pride. That realization broke me open enough that I was able to study myself long and hard (and most of Sunday was devoted to me doing just that… and then going to bed at 7:30 to recover)

Somewhere inside, even after all the years of dedicated self-growth and healing work, I still believed that I hadn’t earned the right to be honored or to be looked at with pride. I still felt that I needed to work harder and longer, that I needed to earn more money or pile on more accomplishments; I needed to be MORE PRODUCTIVE to be proud of myself or to be deserving of anyone else’s pride.

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I put off self-care a lot of the time, because I pressured myself to be productive so that I could EARN LOVE from myself and others.

There is a difference between the things we KNOW to be true in our minds and the things that we FEEL to be true in our hearts and bodies.

I know on an intellectual level that I am a being made of love and that I am inherently deserving of love. Sometimes, I feel this truth in my body and when I do I feel wholly and fully myself, completely deserving of love and pride and respect. I know what this feels like and try to go back to that feeling and refocus myself into this truth as often as I can.

When I am putting this productivity pressure on myself to the extent that it is overwhelming my need for self-care, I know that older limiting thought patterns are taking over. Thought habits that are not based in love or in the highest truth of who I am.

I think that looking into WHY we put off our self-care, can give us a deeper look into what we believe about ourselves. When we take the time to ask questions and identify our limiting beliefs around self-care, we can work on shifting our perspective much more quickly, thereby saving ourselves from burnout, overwhelm and other forms of suffering.

Personally, I had to realize that, for me, the word “Productivity” was synonymous to “Earning Love” and that I when I am prioritizing the energy of “Productively Earning Love”, I am viewing my reality through the lens of the limiting belief that I am not inherently worthy of love. So, I need to shift that perspective and change my definition of productivity to something more healthy and balanced.

I am going to try defining Productivity as “actively sharing my love with others” and Self-Care as “Actively sharing love with myself”. Self-care is what allows me to be productive, because it allows me to fill my own cup so that I can share my gifts with others. This, to me, feels much more healthy and balanced.

Sometimes, it takes a wedding, or a big emotional upheaval or a time of being extremely off balance, to make us realize that something isn’t right and that something needs to change. When we get into the habit of questioning ourselves and the way we react to these times, we can shift our perspectives and step into the next day with much more balance and clarity and determination and pride.


I hope you take some self-care time to ask these big questions of yourself and get to know yourself at the subconscious level of limiting belief.

Productively sending my love to you!


Ana

Setting Boundaries that Stick:

Setting Boundaries that Stick:

Time to commit to putting your needs first by setting and sticking to some basic personal boundaries. Let’s dive a little deeper into who you want to be and how you want to feel and what boundaries you need to put in place to accomplish those goals!

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