I am so ANTI “early bird gets the worm,” But I imagine it works for some people. I have yet to read a guide to building your morning routine that says, “wake up at a time that feels comfortable to you.” But that’s where it all starts. If you are miserably waking up early, who cares what the rest of your routine is, you’re probably going to be miserable. Unfortunately a lot of self-helpers try to tell you there is only one way to have a morning routine. And well I’m here to tell you that’s just NOT TRUE.

There are all kinds of things that people do in their morning routines but you tend to see a few commonalities among high achievers. The most important thing you can do it LIKE your morning routine. Make it something you look forward to. Are there things you’ll have to do that you don’t love? Yes. But if surround it with stuff you love it becomes a habit. And that’s what we want, habits that build high achievers.

Don’t even start with me. Are you are thinking: “in order to have a morning routine I have to wake up earlier and I hate waking up early?” I bet you, whatever you’re doing in the morning now, takes a little bit of time. Surprise! You already have a morning routine, maybe it’s just not serving you.

Where do I start?

So first step, let’s think of what we do, do in the morning, every morning. (Write it down, speak it into your computer, type it on your phone, whatever works for you.) Drink coffee, shower, get your kids to school, get dressed, log on to Facebook, watch TikTok for 25 min, eat breakfast, take your meds, etc. You get the idea. Now look at your list and identify the things you LIKE to do. And also identify the things you HAVE to do (drinking coffee counts). If there is anything left of the list lets just put it on the back burner for now. It’s clearly not so important, you just said so.

Now make another list. What are things you would like to add to your morning routine? Not sure? Check out “What to add to your morning routine” for some ideas. There are 8 things on that list so don’t freak out. Write down all the things you’d like to add to your morning routine. Calm down, just trust me. Number that list 1 to least important (#1 is most important.) Now with the list of the things you like to do and have to, add the 1st task from your new list. Yup! Just one!

One thing I cannot stand about every book about building a morning routine is that it wants you to basically through away what you’re already doing and replace it in one foul swoop with 5 or 6 new things. Literally setting you up for failure. So that’s not how we do shit around here.

Great! You have your ideal new morning routine. Now what? Oh yeah…you do have to do it. But here is the thing: building new habits is really hard. Going all or nothing is not the answer. You will fail. And still with my method you will fail from time to time and that’s OK! I want you to only add ONE new thing to your morning routine. Hopefully we’ve gotten the fluff out of the way so you have plenty of time, if not maybe you have to wake up 5 min earlier. Again, let’s not go crazy.

I’m still not sure…

I’ll give the example of adding exercise to your morning routine. This is challenging for a lot of people because you just feel too exhausted in the morning, I know because I’ve been there. I actually still don’t like “working out” in the morning, but I do believe morning movement is valuable. So I go for a walk. What is a physical activity that you like (or don’t hate). Can you do a 5 minute walk around the block? Can you do 30 seconds of jumping jacks. Maybe a few yoga poses. Or you can do a whole ass work out if that works for you. The point is do something that doesn’t suck or is too drastic from your norm. We can always increase the amount of time and exertion, but if you start at the most it is exceptionally hard to maintain and we are just trying to create a new habit here.

Pro tip: if you are an avid coffee drinker like me, do the stuff in your morning routine that sucks the most, before you have your coffee.

You’re doing great sweetie…

Try to incorporate your new activity into your morning routine however many days you like. 5 days a week? 7 days a week? Whatever you think is ideal. But here is the most important part! Go easy on yourself. I’ll prepare you right now. You will not get it right everyday. And that’s perfectly ok. Pat yourself on the back for even just one day! Then move on to the next week and try for one or two more successes. Even after just a few times you will see how you feel. Is this addition to your morning routine serving you? My walks give me clarity and creativity. I usually listen to a book, so I’m killing two birds with one stone, and when I get back from my walk my day is started.

Listen to how you feel. Energized? Proud? Focused? Or do you feel horrible and hate everything about it? (It’s ok…keep reading.)

There is NOTHING more powerful for boosting your self esteem than setting a goal and reaching it. Document it. Figure out a way to track it. (I have some tools available.) Then when you hit that goal of a 5 minute walk 5 days in a row (or whatever you routine looks like), celebrate yourself. That’s a hard thing!!! You reached a goal! Look at you go. Goal crusher in the making!

Give your morning routine time to evolve. Figure out what you like to do. Like I said at the very beginning is the last thing you want to do is start out your day with a routine you feel forced into, that makes you miserable. Get enough sleep and focus on the few morning tasks that make you feel your best. Keep it the same for a little while. Don’t forget, even once these things become habit there will be days when you don’t check every box. AND THAT’S OK! Forgive yourself and move on! Listen to your mind and body and let your morning routine evolve with you.

Let me know if this was helpful! And tell me what you’re adding to your morning routine first!

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