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Jen's StoryMorning RoutineCrush Your Morning: Early Start of My Day Routine - Jen Davis: Life Coach

Not a Morning Person

No matter what you know of me today, I was not a morning person. Funny how I am talking about how to crush your morning now. Both my sister and my mother can tell you endless stories of dragging me out of bed to go to school.  I regularly slept until noon on the weekends and barely got up an hour before I had to be out the door every day.  I would forgo a shower if I needed to.  Yes, I know, gross.

And it didn’t matter that I had heard successful people get up early or that exercise helps your energy levels.  All I could ever remember when I needed to get up early (6 a.m. or earlier) I was miserable all day. It was like being a zombie.  My stomach hurt.  I felt like I was in a fog.  My brain just didn’t function well.

Oh, and people would tell me to do the hardest thing in the morning and get it out of the way.  What? You want me to actually function at this early hour.  No way!

The Change

The perfect storm took place for me last year: Exercise, dieting and a suggested book.  First, exercise, I was running out of time during the day, as well as motivation, to exercise.  Second, with dieting I was starving and needed to have breakfast every day.  And, third, a good friend suggested an amazing book: The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM). This book literally changed my life.  No joke.

Hal has an incredible story of a major comeback after a car accident at the age of 20.  He employs a morning routine he calls SAVERS: Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing.  I liked several parts of this but made some changes to suit my taste. And that is important, to crush your morning, you will need to find what works for you and incorporate into your morning routine.

Ultimately, I realized that I needed to do something different, and I wanted to start with my mornings to deal with my hunger and make time for exercise. I started slowly, but would push myself to get up 15-30 minutes earlier every day until I finally reached 5 a.m. It took several weeks, and it wasn’t easy, and I failed quite a few times, but after a couple of weeks, it became much easier.  In fact, I can’t sleep much past 7 a.m. if I’m sleeping in.

My Morning Routine

Below is my morning routine.  If you are going to crush your morning, you have to find things that will work for you.  Some of these like meditation or journaling are generally items suggested to be part of emotional health.  I added things like a cup (or two) of matcha tea to make it my own.  While I can get through a day without doing these, I don’t feel as good as when I do them all.

Wake up 4 a.m. during the week, 5 a.m. on the weekend:

  • Meditate: 10-20 minutes
  • Weigh in
  • Dog snuggles: 2 minutes
  • Exercise: 10-30 minutes
  • Cup #1 of matcha: 5 minutes
  • Affirmations: 5 minutes
  • Mantra: 8-10 minutes
  • Cup #2 of matcha: 5 minutes
  • Gratitude journal: 15 minutes
  • Journaling: 10-20 minutes
  • Planning: 10-20 minutes
  • Black tea: 5 minutes
  • Breakfast: 20 minutes
  • Get ready: 1 hour

Things I avoid until after I get ready:

  • Email
  • Social media
  • I only use my phone for affirmations, weigh in, guided meditation, mantra and soothing music to listen to while I’m planning
  • Laptop

My Morning Routine: The Details

Meditation

New to meditation?  Read this inspiring post to work through the myths and start doing it. There are many proven benefits to meditation including: Increased focus, enhance decision-making, alleviate stress and feelings of fear, gain clarity, and experience a greater calm in our daily lives. In addition, researchers from John Hopkins University found that meditation can ease symptoms of depression, anxiety and pain related to stress.  Lastly, it has been shown to lower the levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) and improve sleep quality.

I generally do at least one guided meditation while still lying in bed. It gives me a chance to get my mind in a good place before my feet hit the floor. If I have time, I will meditate up to a half hour, a mixture of guided an unguided.

Weigh In

I weigh in every morning after getting up. First, it is the most accurate weight of the day, as liquid or meal intake has not begun so those extras aren’t included.  Just a cup of water adds a 1/2 pound of weight.

Also, I do it every morning, so it is part of a routine, but also it keeps me motivated. Yes, it can fluctuate every day, sometimes dramatically, but it allows me to think about daily improvements I can make.  If taken weekly, a week can go by before you realize where you are going right or wrong.

Dog Snuggles

Both dogs are usually very happy to see me, our rescue dog Petunia especially. She is most happy in the morning, so I take advantage and get some extra snuggles with both dogs before I take them out and feed them.  Plus, how can one resist getting silly doggy kisses and the paw begging to be pet more.  Makes my morning every day!

Exercise

This will all depend on the day, but could include yoga, strength, HIIT, bike ride or a walk.  If I have time, it may be a 1/2-mile swim at the gym (which just shifts the order of my routine).

Cup #1 of Matcha

This is like opening presents on Christmas morning to me.  I LOVE matcha and this is what gets me out of bed every day. I only have it in the morning. If you can find something like this in your life it will make it a lot easier to get up to enjoy.

Affirmations

I listen to affirmations recorded in my own voice in an app called ThinkUp (the free version). My current list is five affirmations on self-esteem, and I listen to it for five minutes.

Mantra

I use a mala and repeat a mantra (Sanskrit prayers). You can find many mantras recorded on Apple music and the like.  The mala helps you count as the mantra is to be repeated 108 times.  A mantra chant is a form of meditation.

Cup #2 of Matcha

Yep, a second cup because I love it!

Gratitude journal

I have changed this a couple of times.  I am currently using Daily Affirmations, Gratitudes & Blessings Journal Planner, but I have used Intention Setting and Gratitude Notebook and Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal: Questions, Prompts, and Coloring Pages for a Brighter, Happier Life.  While different, they all prompt some form of reflecting on what you are grateful for, your intentions for the day, etc.  Just a great way to start your morning; being grateful.

Journaling

I fill out one page of a journal every morning. There is no set topic, it is just what comes to me, which is most likely what is top of mind.

Planning

Should be no surprise, I have no less than four planners. Yes, I’m kind of a planner hoarder.  I have a yoga, nutrition, monthly/weekly and a weekly/daily planner. I fill out each one of them.  They each have their purpose and while there is some overlap, with keeping myself focused on various goals this year, they have been great.

Black tea

I usually round out my morning with black tea that I will sip for the next hour as I have breakfast and get ready.

Breakfast

Usually a healthy breakfast of yogurt with fruit, oatmeal, smoothie or a granola bar if on the run.

Get ready

Finally, about 2-3 hours into the morning, I will finally get in the shower and get ready.

My Morning Routine: What it Does

In order to crush your morning, you need to find what crushing it means to you.  For me, crushing my morning means putting me into a positive, grateful and productive mindset. And I achieve that through a combination of things I love (dog snuggles and matcha) with things that make me feel good (meditation and exercise) and things I need to do (breakfast and getting ready).

Previously, I just got up, took care of the dogs, and rushed through getting ready to get out the door.  I walked into the office or anywhere else still not feeling ready for the day, and almost absent of feeling.  Instead, I now walk in feeling motivated, energized and ready to deal with anything. Plus, my day is planned, and I have a clear direction of what I need to accomplish and when during the day.

Crush Your Morning - Crush Your Day

Things are still going to happen during your day, no matter what your morning routine is.  However, I found that my response to any issues, problems or just anything negative, was more productive. I no longer had emotional responses from my tired brain, I had logical responses from an alert brain in a good mindset.

Plus, as my days can still be crazy and jam-packed, the sense of peace I create for myself in the morning helps me maintain a positive attitude even during a stressful, overwhelming time.  And let’s not forget the satisfaction I have checking things off my to-do list from my morning planning session.  So even though it may be crazy days, I go into knowing it and plan accordingly.

Suggestions for Your Morning Routine

While you need to find what works for you, a couple of things are overwhelmingly suggested on this topic and are a great place to start:

  • Meditation
  • Affirmations/Intentions
  • Reading
  • Exercise/Movement/Stretching
  • Journaling/Writing

Share your thoughts

What does your morning routine look like? What would you like it to look like?  How does your morning routine help you? What will you try that is new?

Jen Davis - Life Coach

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