“Your self respect, your integrity, your regrets at the end of your life as you reflect on all you did and didn’t do, are all at stake.”
Creating a Morning routine that is transformative
I want to share about something that has made a huge difference in my life: my morning routine. I have had many, many iterations of this routine. Each stage of life has different needs and different abilities, but the key is to start the day intentionally rather than reluctantly!
When we start our day investing in things that help us thrive and grow it makes the whole day more intentional and less reactive. It’s also a great feeling to start the day with some wins that you control, knowing that the rest of the day may or may not look anything like what is on the calendar. Life can throw plenty of curve balls but when we reenforce our balance first thing, we give ourselves a better shot at going through the day with grace and of regaining our footing with more ease. Here are some of my favorite keys to creating a great morning routine.
For me the morning starts late afternoon the day BEFORE! If I am preparing an early dinner and having myself and my husband on the same page about after dinner plans, it makes a big difference. When are we eating? What needs to happen to finish our day? When are the kids in bed and it’s couple time? Having a clear plan for all of this helps the day finish intentionally and sets me up for a good wind down and restorative sleep.
For me, to wake up early, means I need to go to sleep between 9-9:30pm. A late dinner and lots of screen time after would put me out of the running for waking up clear and motivated. So, I serve dinner before 6 most days. Having good family time and an hour or two to reconnect as a couple is key. All this takes planning and follow through but is so worth it in creating a nurturing rhythm in our life. Our culture is often chaotic and reactive. If we want to live a beautiful life, we must be very proactive in creating it. It won’t just happen!
I find that 9hrs of sleep is magic in the darker months and let myself sleep until I feel refreshed most days. I am up between 6 and 6:30am. I normally have 90 minutes before I need to jump into responsibilities. I use this time for investing in my health—spiritually and physically. I might meditate and do fascia massage in the sauna, shower, and do a light yoga session. I might pray, read, and do a 45 min workout.
I might have a plan and then feel led to focus on just one thing really deeply during the time. Usually, I aim to do at least 3 things during the time: for my Spirit (pray, meditate, reading), a workout of some kind, and something for my circulation/lymphatic system (dry brush, infrared sauna, rebounding, fascia massage). I have a menu of a dozen wellness practices I value and am delighted to do as many as I can….. without feeling like I am shifting gears from being nurturing to being task oriented. Listening to my (the) Spirit is key in finding what is most useful for each days preparation.
It’s important not to get sucked into all or nothing thinking here. If 90 minutes sounds impossible, don’t give up altogether. There were long stretches where finding 10 min before a baby was up to do 5 min for my spirit and 5 min of stretching was a big deal. Our life circumstances can vary a lot and circumstances do change. But, it’s essential that we don’t give up on being proactive about our life.
When we are woken up by demands and deadlines, we start the day off reacting to necessities. When we, instead, wake up early and invest in our “stance” for the day, we give ourselves a big advantage, greater leverage to grow and choose and BE different all day. Do something. Start small and add more time as you can. Experiment and assess how different things feel differently to you. Your morning routine is not for your resumé. It’s for your LIFE. Just take a minute to ask what serves you best in this season of living?
Doing all this takes the ability to set boundaries. If you have made yourself so available for your family’s hobbies, preferences, and activities, that reading this make you wonder what planet I live on….then I challenge you to make how resourced you are for YOUR life a priority. Remember the message on airline flights… “put your oxygen mask on first, then help others.”
If you cannot say no to others to say yes to being the woman you want to become, then you will never get there. Your self respect, your integrity, your regrets at the end of your life as you reflect on all you did and didn’t do, are all at stake. Being of service to your loved ones is essential. Abandoning yourself and your dreams and potential is not.
There is a way to serve/be responsible and to flourish/center your life in strategic investments that allow you to grow in wisdom and ability. Following cultural norms will not allow both. You have to tune into a deeper calling and find where to draw those lines for this season of your life.
As we approach a new year, I pray you will have clarity, wisdom, and resolve to invest in consciously crafting your days in a way that allows for flow, for depth, and for intentional investment in your long term thriving.
Cheering You On,