Stress free

How to Develop a Nurturing Morning Routine

Would you like to feel more in control of your day?

How would you like to feel when you start the day?

How do you find time to create a little piece of calmness in your world?

Developing a morning routine that will boost your productivity can help you stay on top of your commitments for the day.  For me, I purposefully wake up an hour before I need to. This allows me more time and I am not rushed.  I spend 15-20 minute shower. I get to eat breakfast, which we all know is the most important meal of the day.

Most importantly, though I able to spend 30 minutes in just being quiet.

I am able to write in my journal. I am able to set my intention for the day. I can think about all the things and people that I am grateful for in my life. I use visioning, where I sit and think about what my life is going to be like when all my goals have been reached, you know when I am a 101 sitting in my rocking chair…

Not a morning person?

There are many people that feel they “are not morning people.”  They believe that they have no control over the flow throughout the day. They believe that they are doomed to blindly moving through mornings in a fog.

 

Where did these beliefs come from?

Everyone is different, but I believe we are bombarded with other people’s beliefs. Maybe they it was our parents, did one of them have a hard time getting up in the morning?  Was it your friends at school or college?  Did you get into bad habits when you were in college staying up all night studying or partying?

Have you done one of those web tests or maybe it was an “official” test.  Did that say you are not a morning person?

 

Just do it

I believe you everyone has the option to make these change, a change to create a better experience for your morning.  Deciding that you WANT to create a wonderful morning experience is entirely up to you.

Step 1Create an environment that will recharge you! – Everyone has their different happy place.  Some are lucky enough to live where it is sunny all year and they can pick a hammock in the back yard.

Some have busy houses where finding just one chair in a quiet corner is enough. My personal favourite is a reading chair in the corner of my office, I like the feeling of being in a big library surrounded by books, and everyone knows that you need to be quiet in the library!

Step 2 -Get comfy! – Make sure your chair is comfortable, dim the lights, and turn up the lights, put on music, light some candles. Choose the things that add to your feeling of calm.

Step 3Relax! – Sit in your chair, take a deep breathe. Allow all of your muscles to relax think about each muscle and just focus on relaxing it, starting with your neck and shoulders, working your way down to your arms and legs. Start with 5 second breathing, count to 5 as you inhale, count to 5 as you exhale. Focus completely on your breathing. Allow thoughts to pass through your mind briefly, focus back to your breathing. After a couple minutes allow yourself to vision your most favourite spot, is it a warm white sandy beach, is the top of your favourite mountain retreat. And just relax…

 

Practice, Plan, Succeed

  1. Small Steps. Begin this process slowly. Start by waking up just 15 minutes earlier than you normally would. Or Prepare your breakfast or lay out your clothes the night before.  Change one small thing at a time.

 

  1. Early to Bed. Staying up too late when you’re trying to create feeling of peacefulness will have negative consequences.  You will feel tired and defeated even before you start the day.

 

  1. More than arm’s length. If you keep your alarm clock close to your bed, you’ll hit the snooze button and destroy your chances of improving your morning routine. Keep your alarm clock at a distance so you must get out of bed to deal with it and resolve not to climb back under the covers.
  2. Get up. Avoid rationalizing going back to bed. Make yourself leave the room. Create a habit, such as to brush your teeth as soon as you get up, so you don’t convince yourself to go back to sleep.
  3. Most Important task first. Plan something important to do first thing in the morning. If you have a specific task at hand early in the morning, then this will motivate you to wake up and get out of bed.  This is a great time to exercise.
  4. Create a ritual. If you practice the same basic steps every day, you’ll be able to automate many of your early morning tasks to make them easier.
  5. Take advantage of your extra energy.  Get a jump on your day, doing tasks that are best done in the early morning, such as reading, writing, and planning for the day.

 

Ultimately, you get to decide the best course of action when developing an early morning routine. These ideas can serve as a foundation for your own nourishing practice. When you customize and ritualize your morning habits, they’ll drive your productivity and calmness throughout the day.

 

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Inspired Actions

I would love to hear what you favourite morning rituals are?  Are you happy with your mornings or are you trying to improve them?   I would love to hear your comments below!

——–

Lori Lynn Smith is a passionate and an authentic teacher who shares her real life experiences about creating a more nurturing and fulfilling lifestyle.  As women, mothers, lovers, sisters, friends we often forget that we need to re-charge our batteries.  We need to take care of ourselves; we need to love ourselves FIRST!

It is easy to start right now, Experience our 6-Day Email Course- Body + Mind + Spirit in Balance Virtual Retreat,  you will have taken the first small step…. just that easy!  Click Here to receive the first email

Photo credit: ‘Sunrise‘ by Big Stock

  • prasad

    thanks for your wonderful advise, i often tried getin up early but dragged myself in to a late -early afternoon only to hurry burry and unnecessary rush troughout the day,

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       that is one of the benefits of allowing more time in the morning… you don’t feel as rushed through out the day

  • oanise93

    As a true morning person, I really appreciate this article. I’m going to start my mornings a little earlier now to have that peace.

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       Great to hear!

  • Ana Palacios Barrera

    Well I get up pretty early and excercise for about 1 hour it is my favorite time of the day and helps me get focus all the working hours
     
     

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       Ana, I love to exercise first thing as well.  it makes sure that I get it taken care of right away.  I usually do the exercise first and then spend some time in meditation

  • letsgrowleaders.com

    I agree with you.  The mornings can set an amazing stage for the day.  I find that when I exercise in the morning my perspective changes all day.

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       agree, the morning are just more energized after a good work out

  • Derp

    Thanks for the article! My only non-grooming morning ritual is making an espresso. I will probably try to start earlier to add breakfast and reading. 

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       :-) that sounds like a lovely morning!

  • http://twitter.com/deonnekahler Deonne Kahler

    Thanks for the post, Lori! I’ve started working out in the morning (used to do it in the afternoon) and it’s made all the difference. Working out early means it gets done before the day takes over, I feel energized, and I’m happy I’ve done something good for my body. Which sitting in front of a computer all day is not (ha).

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       Totally understand the “sitting at your computer all day” problem!  :-)

  • Cheryl

    My morning routine includes spending 10 min to plan my meals and snacks. With a little forethought, I’m more likely to eat healthy food that recharges and energizes me rather than just grabbing whatever is handy!

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       oh very good!  yes important and very true.  When you plan you are a lot more successful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mardhee.elardo Mardhee Elardo

    great article! thanks, this would help me to improve my morning routine.

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       Thanks Mardhee

  • http://happierhuman.com/ Amit Amin

    This is great Lori. Perhaps because of reading one of your past posts, I’ve been working hard to setup a morning ritual: stop reading after 9pm, go to sleep at 10, exercise from 6 to 7, meditate for a few minutes, etc…. I fail 50% of the time, but I’m getting there :)

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       Thank goodness every day we can start again!  It is just like we get a do-over  :-)  Keep at it and you will soon be in a regular rhythm!

  • http://www.facebook.com/laura.upcott Laura Upcott

    Great advice. My biggest challenge is getting to bed early. But you’ve inspired me to go to bed earlier and have quiet time in the morning. Thanks

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       Good Luck, keep me posted on how it is working out for you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/laura.upcott Laura Upcott

    My biggest challenging is getting to bed early enough so I can wake up earlier. But you’ve inspired me to give it a try. Thanks!

  • http://www.thebounceblog.com/ Bobbi Emel

    There you go with the getting-up-early thing again, Lori! 

    Okay, okay. You make it sound so lovely and refreshing that I guess I’ll just have to try it ;-)

    Thanks for the great tips!

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       haha yeah, it is something I love so I just have to share it! 

  • http://www.valueofsimple.com/ Joel Zaslofsky

    Hi Lori,
    Somehow, I got tripped up by the first part of this article and didn’t benefit as much as I could from the rest of it. That’s my issue of course, not yours. But it does make me want to ask something.
    How do you know how much sleep you need? You state that you wake up an hour before you need to, but, how do you know when you need to wake up? I’m not suggesting this puts you in a sleep deficit but I get concerned when people treat sleep as something that can be cut out in favor of more active (but potentially less beneficial) things.

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       Great question and I have been asked this previous, so I might have to write an article on it.

      My “need to” time is the time that it takes me to get ready ie. it takes me 75 minutes to wake, shower, eat etc) – not the number of hours that I need to sleep.

      Speaking to the numbers of hours, every person has their own individual requirements for the hours of sleep.  In most cases individuals would shift the bedtime to accommodate the new wake up time.

      Definitely, you want to look closely and test the best results for you.  I have used a iphone app that monitors your sleep cycles and then wakes you at the appropriate time. So I was able to determine that best time to wake up in the mornings based on my body cycles.

      Personally, I did make a permanent change to reduce the number of hours.  I worked on changing so that I now sleep for less than 5 hours per night. I took some time to process through this so that my body adjusted properly.

      And I definitely use power napping ( 20 minutes or less) as needed as part of my personal strategies for my “early rising” rituals.

      Hope that answers your questions

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Trevor-Dimoff/100003181574191 Trevor Dimoff

    I work out first thing in the morning, gets it done and wakes me up…even when I get to sleep way past my bedtime. Once it is a regular routine an effective wake up ritual is easy, it just takes patience and repetition to establish it.

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       yes I agree the repetition right sets the habit/ritual in stone!

  • F1owerprincess

    I have a hard time getting up, but I’ve been forcing myself to do my exercises as soon as I get out of bed.  It helps a lot to do it right then, because it wouldn’t happen otherwise!  The best part of my morning is going outside to feed my cat and spend 20-30 min w/ her, enjoying the sunrise & peace.  That 20-30 minutes makes my morning feel like getting up for. :)

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       spending time with your loved ones, the four legged or the two legged is a great way to spend your morning

  • http://www.letsboomon.com/ Priska

    I used feel frustrated that there were not enough hours in the day to do the things that I wanted.  A year ago I decided to wake up earlier and do all of the me things first.  My morning routine consists of journaling, meditating, checking email and taking a walk.  I now naturally go to bed earlier and have a stronger feeling of accomplishment.

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       excellent so glad to hear other people having success with this as well

  • http://www.trorglade.net/ Tror Glade

    If have moments of quietness in the morning, then I’m liable to fall back to sleep :)  

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       haha that can be dangerous if you are not getting enough sleep during the night

  • http://www.successconsciousness.com/ Remez Sasson

    Very goods tips, Lori. I like getting up early in the morning, while  everybody else is still asleep. There is a certain kind of calmness, energy and power in the early morning.

    I would like add another thing to do in the morning, which is quite helpful. It is the reading of a few inspiring quotes, just before going to work. Such quotes can set a positive mood for the day, or at least for a few hours. 

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       oh yes, I really like that idea.  I agree it could really set the mood for the entire day!

  • Maverick Juanico

    Thank you for this advice. I would try this morning routine you speak of even though personally I believe that I am an evening person.

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       it did take me a while and many times I still work at night as well :)

  • Carolyn

    I’m rather governed by what everyone else wants in the morning, but each night just as I settle down to sleep, I plan what I’m going to do once the house is empty.

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       this is why I started the process, I wanted to create time in the morning BEFORE the kids got up…. well and I decided I wanted the shower first!  It is hard to get time in the bathroom, when you have 4 kids!  :-)

  • http://chantalbeaupre.com/ Chantal Beaupre

    Excellent piece of advice, Lori Lynn. Thumbs up!

    Not only is it in perfect alignment with my vision, but it goes hand is hand with the teachings of Louise L. Hay and Cheryl Richardson in their bestselling book, “You Can Create an Exceptional Life.”

    On my way now to your Free 6-Day eCourse!

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       Thanks!  Glad it fits into your lifestyle

  • http://rosiemedia.com/ Rosie Taylor

    I struggle with morning routines and this is so timely.  How different would my day look without the rush of morning chaos? Great simple tips!

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       :-)   it does feel wonderful, give yourself the time to create the perfect ritual for you!

  • Janemrobinson

    I now have to be at work at 9 a.m. and what difference this has had on my whole day.  I wake up relaxed and recharged.  I follow most of your tips and trying to add in some yoga time after my morning wake up shower.  I will keep you posted.

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       perfect addition to the morning!

  • http://twitter.com/Ani_LifeProb Ani

    Nice post Lori,

    Actually since about almosyt two weeks I started waking up at 6 am. It feels great and I can’t imagine I made it because since I left my corporate job I was sleeping till almost 11 :)

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       ohhh yep that is hard.  But you can get so much more done.  Your writing time will take off!

  • Jen5862

    Can you sleep too much? Sometimes I can sleep 12 hours and still feel blah.

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       You can actually.  it is just as hard for you body to handle too much sleep as not enough sleep.

  • Claire

    Thanks for this Lori.  While I have never described myself as a morning person, I really hate to rush in the mornings.  Because of this, I try to get up earlier and enjoy the quiet and ease into the day gently.  Whenever I do exercise in the morning, I love the feeling of accomplishment that I carry through the day!

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       excellent, yes too me!

  • http://www.productivesuperdad.com/ Timo Kiander

    Great stuff!

    I think that it’s important to realize that routines requires optimization. You might try to do something as your first thing, but later you switch the order a bit to see, if it works better.

    Anyway, I also feel that evening routine and morning routine go hand in hand as they support each other quite well.

    Cheers,
    Timo

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       totally, you need to find what fits with you for sure.  And definitely Evening routine fits hand in hand.   I think I need to add that too my list to writ as well.

  • Jen5862

    But, I’m ready to go back to bed by 9am. I get almost lethargic!

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       :)  a couple of things that help me: exercise in the morning, really gets your blood pumping.  Eating well – eating is important and should include protein, this gives you lots of energy.  Keep busy – if you are focus on being productive and doing activities that are important to YOU!  You will find that the morning just whizzes by and you have accomplished a LOT!

  • Selena

    Finally getting back to being an early riser. how I missed it!
    Selena

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       Great!  It is awesome to get back in the swing of things! 

  • MarkMoran

    Great post.  I have a morning routine that I try to follow every day.  Stretching, walking, some light exercise, maybe some Taiji, and then a shower, healthy breakfast and some meditation.  Takes 2 hours, but it is 2 hours well spent when it has such a positive impact on the rest of my day.

    Thanks!

    - Mark

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       That is awesome!  productive and really gets your day going in the right direction.

  • saraholeary

    I used to keep my alarm clock on the other side of the room – but the strategy only worked sometimes! :-)  This is a marvelous assortment of tips, and the real key is knowing what a huge difference it makes in your day if you get that calm time in the morning. That’s motivation!

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       :)  it does make the difference and once a person tries it for a bit they can easily see it.

  • Zivana Anderson

    Aaah I chuckled at step 1! I used to yoga in our bedroom and my hubby moved tht DVD machine to the lounge. It has thrown me! Great to see that it’s not cooky to ‘create an environment’!

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       well time to get back at it!  totally need an environment, it sets the whole tone, BUT don’t let that be an excuse for not taking action.

  • http://glynisj.com/ Glynis Jolly

    My schedule is a little off from yours because my husband works the 2nd shift. Nevertheless, because I’m naturally a morning person, I’m up by 7:30. Yes, I make the coffee, pour myself some, and go sit in my ‘computer chair’ that is really quite comfortable. This is when I plan my day. By the time my husband wakes up, my map for the day have been made and I’ve usually started my first task.

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       :)  definitely the actual times are flexible, it is all about setting that ritual. It is awesome to have time to plan the day

  • Positively Alene

    This is great. I struggle with mornings and will perk mine up now with some of your suggestions. Stopping by from WLF.

  • http://www.crispphotoworks.com/ Mira Crisp

    Hey Lori! I used to be a morning person and then I switched to a night person earlier this year. I found it very difficult to get back to my morning routines (and to get up before 10am) until I got a dog! Now as I have a dog who wakes me up at 6am every morning to take him outside, I find my days to be much more productive. Great article! Will share it! 

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

      That is awesome!  pets are very supportive for lifestyle choices!  getting up early, get more exercise.

  • http://www.30yearoldninja.com/ Izmael Arkin

    Lori this is a really excellent post. I couldn’t agree with you more! Our morning sets the tone for the entire day. 

    I stared a routine about 8 months ago where I began to wake up aroud 545 am each day to exercise. It soon turned into 530am then before I knew it, it was 5am. 

    I think the most important things were 1) a routine 2) consistency and 3) I had something to look forward to. 

    Everyday I wake up and do the same thing. I eat breakfast, I write, and then I exercise. Initially it may sound boring or repetitive to always have the same routine. But as both you and I know it is quite the opposite. It is energizing and exciting for me to know exactly what to expect when I wake up. It gets me out of bed and allows me to immediately start my day.

    Great post. 

    • http://twitter.com/LoriLynnSmith Lori Lynn Smith

       that sounds wonderful!  totally agree it is exciting and energy! And on that off days where you don’t feel like getting out of bed the routine kicks in and before you know it your energy has spiked and you are ready to face the day!

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  • feff1950

    I’m surrounded by a bunch of people who expect everyone to take care of their responsibilities, i.e. get kids off to school, etc.etc.etc.), because they are “not morning people.” That term “not morning people” makes me furious! “not responsible” or “not ambitious” or “not willing to do our share” would describe them much better. I,m a recently retired grand father who’s called on to do everything that’s needed be for 10am.