Long ago, I decided that success-on my terms-meant slow mornings of reading, writing, and drinking all of the coffee. To me, success isn’t a destination, it’s a lifestyle. And for the past 2 years or so, more mornings than not begin with some serious “me” time.
But you’ve heard that before, right?
And what works for some, doesn’t necessarily work for all. So this isn’t going to be a “here’s what you need to do every morning” kind of letter. This is going to be more of a “here’s how you do what you want to do every morning” note of encouragement.
Some people want to wake up and work out. I don’t know why, but they do.
Some people want to hit their knees and pray for the first half hour of their day.
Some people consider catching up on the news (gag) a good way to ease into alertness.
And some people just hit the snooze button twenty times and consider that “waking up slowly”.
I’m not here to tell you what you should be filling your cup up with (besides strong coffee, that is), but the secrets to a good morning do not include snoozing or news-ing, if you know what I mean.
You really can have a good morning every morning, and when you take into account these 5 secrets, you’ll begin to see how.
1. Good mornings start with good nights. That means sleeping. That means actually resting. That means going to bed with the intentions of waking up in a positive light. That means guarding your time: don’t go to sleep with your phone in your hand mid-facebook scroll. Read a book. Journal. Brain dump all of your to-do’s. Chat with your hubs (or don’t talk at all wink wink). Go to bed excited for the morning instead of dreading your alarm clock.
2. Prepare in advance. What keeps you from jumping out of bed? If you’re like me, it’s the cold. I love cooler weather, I love burrowing in oversized sweaters on crisp days, but removing my blankets first thing in the morning brings out the basic in me: I literally can’t even. So, I set myself up for success. I bought cozy warm pajama pants and lay them out on the end of my bed, along with fuzzy socks, a snuggly sweater, and sometimes my favorite scarf (if you don’t know which one I’m talking about, look here). Because waking up isn’t the hard part. And being awake isn’t the hard part. The hard part is not wanting to be cold. #problemsolved Why don’t you want to get up? How can you combat that?
3. What you do today sets up your tomorrow. Don’t get wasted. It sounds obvious but it took me like, I don’t know, 2 decades to figure it out. If I want to feel good tomorrow morning, I better treat myself right today.
4. Make a routine you love. If you hate working out, and your trying to work out as soon as you open your eyes, you’re naturally going to fight the urge to open them. I get that. I tried that for months until I realized that slipping into fit clothes was not enticing me to slip out from under my down comforter heavenly coziness. So I changed it up. Check out my morning routine here, and then create one that you can fall in love with!
5. Give yourself time. I mean this in two ways. First, give yourself an adequate amount of time each morning, before you have to rush off to work, before you have to get the kids ready for school, so that you don’t wake up feeling like you’re already behind. Yes, that means you’ll have to wake up earlier. But once you develop a morning routine you adore, waking up won’t be the enemy. Secondly, give yourself time with your new routine. Just because you love coffee, and you’ve decided to prep in advance by setting your coffee maker the night prior, doesn’t mean you’re all of a sudden going to be a morning person 12 hours later. You’re going to be tired because your internal clock hasn’t had time to adjust. It’s going to be hard because it’s new and different and not what you’re used to. Give yourself the time to adjust, get used to it, and enjoy it. What starts out as a decision will eventually become a luxury.
Decide what you want your morning to look like, what would fill you up, turn on the feel good vibes, and keep your mood on the positive track… and then make it your goal to make it happen. Once you insert intentional “me” time into your every day, you realize you’re not missing out on something as trivial as tv time or sleep, every one else is missing out on life.
How do you start your mornings? What is your secret to success?
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((Photo Cred: the lovely and beyond talented Allison Phythian))