midlife, midlife health & wellness, personal growth

How to fuel your spirit with the right morning routine

woman writing in a journal while in bed drinking coffee as part of her morning routine

About a year ago, after reading several inspiring personal growth and motivational books written by powerful, successful women, I established a spirit-fueling morning routine of my own.

Just ten minutes, doing the things that seemed to help me feel grounded and grateful, calm and nourished, and focused on what I wanted to accomplish that day.

A few moments of still and peace before the chaos of the day begins.

I found it incredibly helpful and useful for pruning down my normal nearly two-hundred to-dos to fewer than ten tasks that were genuinely important and would make an impact on my well-being, my life, my family, my income. You know, the stuff that supports our healthy mind-body-spirit daily existence and long-term wellness.

Lose the baloney excuses

In the last few months, however, I’ve gotten away from that morning routine practice. Not intentionally, I’ve just allowed myself to get thrown off course from the moment I get up. I’ve chosen (consciously or unconsciously) to skip this important self-care start of the day step by giving myself baloney excuses about why I don’t have time or don’t need it… and lately I realize how much I miss it and how much it helped me.

With it, the day feels intentional. Like I have some control, if not about what my day entails, about how I choose to feel about what my day entails.

A morning routine fuels the spirit like kindling feeds a fire.

Keep it simple

Morning routines don’t have to be long or complicated. They are designed by you, for you. To keep you grounded. To start the day with peace and gratitude, regardless of what awaits you.

I can hear you saying you don’t have time.

Well, can you hear me saying… Yes. You. Do.

“If you don’t have ten minutes to work on yourself every morning, then you don’t have a life.” Tony Robbins

Getting up ten minutes earlier to work this quiet focused routine into your day is well worth it.

And if that means going to bed ten minutes earlier at night to make up for the lost shut eye, so what? What will you miss? You’ll have to sacrifice an extra episode of binge watching Breaking Bad?

Give it a whirl, girl!

Those all-important morning routine minutes are worth it to get your day started off in the best possible way.

Helping yourself start the day grounded and focused with a positive mind and a grateful heart can improve your perspective throughout the day.

Don’t believe me? Try it! It really works.

A morning routine also helps you to prioritize where you will spend your energy that day.

Are there tasks on your mind that seem important but doing them won’t actually bring you joy, nor impact your life nor your family’s, in any incrementally positive way? i.e. unnecessary meetings, saying yes when you need to say no, doing other people’s work, shopping if you don’t reeeeeally need whatever it is, etc…

Are there, instead, one or two items at the bottom of your to-do list that are actually more important to your overall long-term well-being, yet you push them aside day after day… taking time to think about doing them daily, worry about doing them, feel guilt about not doing them? i.e. exercising, planning healthy meals, uncluttering your desk, etc..

“If you win the morning, you win the day.” – Tim Ferriss, entrepreneur and best-selling author

A morning routine might include one or a combination of a few of these (but should never include turning on the news, email, social media… those sources of engagement should wait until after your self-care morning routine):

  • Meditation, breathing exercises and/or prayer. There are more than a zillion books which will support these as being healthy for anyone’s routine. Individually or all together.
  • Writing (about dreams, goals, wishes, jokes, anything that pops into your head);
  • Journaling, listing a few blessings each morning and creating a daily gratitude journal;
  • Drawing (who cares if it’s gallery-worthy, this is only for you);
  • Reading, maybe you have some incredible books you are longing to read but never find the time. You can certainly commit to five pages a morning;
  • Exercise, lift weights, go for a walk, do yoga, stretch, put on your earbuds, play your favorite music and do a spirit lifting jig, and/or take this time to figure healthy movement into your schedule for the day;
  • Drink warm water with lemon and a grab a napkin. The warm water with lemon is an Ayurvedic tradition that helps to hydrate, while stimulating digestion and clearing out toxins. The napkin is for you to write down three agenda items for your day. Only three. More than that is not self-care, it’s setting yourself up for not accomplishing enough in a day. At the end of the day, throw the napkin out. Your intention was there at the start of the day. No need to remind yourself of what you did or didn’t do;
  • Visualization, closing your eyes and envisioning a few wonderful things you wish and therefore expect to happen on that day. (Seems hokey, but it can really work!);
  • Positive affirmations, reading or saying (or simply thinking) through several intentional daily positive affirmations can inspire you, build self-confidence and encourage you to flourish.

“I start my morning with twenty minutes of meditation which fills me with hope, a sense of contentment and deep joy.” – Oprah Winfrey

Practical works too

A morning routine ritual that grounds you and gets you mentally ready to face the day could be as simple as sipping coffee while watching the sun rise, or while looking at the beautiful birds outside your kitchen window. The point is to take that time for yourself, for your inner peace and calm.

Time well spent to get your mind right. Just use the few minutes to get your mind in the right spot. Adjust your perspective, count your blessings, choose to have a positive day.

“I take a minute to breathe deeply, be grateful, and set my intentions for the day.” – Arianna Huffington, author and founder of the Huffington Post

Custom design your morning routine

Your morning routine is personal. You have to give some of these ideas a whirl and see how you feel, what sticks and what doesn’t seem to suit you as well. Maybe you’ve got some creative and intuitive ideas beyond these for what your morning routine might include.

Take action

Do it. Every single morning for thirty days. Take note of how you feel and how those few moments of self-care impact your day. Your mood. Your focus. Maybe even your productivity.

An interview with sixty high-achieving successful people showed that high performers pay big attention to their morning routines; all of them had established morning routines that they followed almost every morning; and the routines of successful people are quite similar. Many start their day with exercise, meditation, gratitude practice, visualization, positive affirmations, praying, and/or reading. Interview and report by Dovile Sinke, founder of 21dayhero.com

As for me. I’m back on the morning routine track.

Being away on vacation last week to my happy place (the beach) helped me gain insight and clarity on the importance of getting back to cultivating habits that fuel my spirit.

I recognized what had returned was the feeling that I had no control over my days. I realized I had let my morning routine fall away. But I’ve reintroduced it this week.

Those ten minutes I absolutely do have control over and I use them to fuel my spirit for the start of the day.

The rest of my day potentially going to heck in a handbasket is so much more tolerable and less frazzling if I’ve given myself the gift of my morning routine.

Cheers to giving it a try.

I think you’ll be amazed at how the right morning routine for you can empower and fuel your spirit for the day!

 


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