I feel like I’ve been passive with my time for the last year or so. I think of ideas and don’t take action. I feel motivated to work out again for a few days, then go back to emptying the cookie jar. I think establishing a new morning routine will get me back on track by giving me structure, and ultimately make sure I am using my time productively to reach my goals.
Everyone has a morning routine. Some are more intentional and structured than others, but nonetheless we all have one. Most people that find personal and/or professional success have a routine that they repeat day after day. It's not just the actions that attribute to their success, but having a structure that accounts for their time increases their productivity.
I created my routine using backwards planning. It’s a method of planning that I learned through my military career. It’s pretty simple, Army simple. First, you choose a goal. Once you know your goal, you figure out what the goal is immediately behind the end goal, and then from there, figure out what’s the goal immediately behind that goal, and so on. You continue this process until you have eventually created a well planned road map of how to reach your end goal. Here is my morning routine using backwards planning. I created it based on the following three priorities.
My 3 Priorities for My Morning Routine
The first is physical exercise. When I work out in the morning I feel accomplished, and it’s out of my way and not lingering over my head all day. I feel loose and energized at work, and it’s a great investment in my long term health.
The second is mental exercise. I’ve tried meditation in the past, (I use the app Headspace, they have a free trial) and it clears my mind and gives me a great sense of calm. A lot of things happen in our day to day lives that we can’t control. Unexpected baggage and tasks can start to become overwhelming, and I want to be more consistent doing meditation in order to combat the stresses of everyday life.
The final priority I want out of my routine, is for it to set me up for a productive day. There are days where I get home and I can’t recall accomplishing anything. I call these stale days, and I want to avoid as many of them as possible. By listing out my objectives for each day, it gives me guidance of what I need to do, and holds me accountable. Those are my priorities, now here is the actual routine to help make sure I’m moving towards them.
My morning routine starts the night before with my evening routine. The first two really depend on when Sydney (my fiancée) gets home. But from 9:00 p.m. on it doesn’t vary much.
Make dinner and spend quality time with Sydney.
Prepare lunch for next day.
9:00 p.m. - Work on blog.
10:00 p.m. - Review to do list from current day, plan next day’s list.
10:10 p.m. - Set out work out clothes near bed.
10:15 p.m. - Hygiene.
10:30 p.m. - Read for 30 minutes.
11:00 p.m. - Go to bed.
Here is my morning routine, doing some preparation the night before makes for a smoother morning.
5:00 a.m. - Wake up.
5:15 a.m. - Meditate.
5:30 a.m. - Go to gym or go for run.
6:30 a.m. - Coffee, review google alert emails, feed dogs.
6:45 a.m. - Work on blog.
7:45 a.m. - Review current day’s to do list.
8:00 a.m. - Get ready and leave for work.
It’s important to remain flexible with your routines. If something isn’t working don't force it. The routine is supposed help you. You shouldn’t feel trapped by it. Also, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do all the activities in your routine, or scratch out your complete to do list. We tend to be our toughest critics, so cut yourself some slack and start again tomorrow. I’m going to use my Instagram stories to show my routines and help keep myself accountable. Let me know if you have a morning routine you follow.