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3 Tricks to Step up your Morning Routine

As I’ve been reflecting on all of the Crush the Rush podcast episodes over the last 8 months, I was so blown away by which episode was the most popular. Can you guess? It’s the morning routine podcast, which is the very first episode I did. 

If I'm being honest, it doesn't surprise me because my morning routine is truly where it all started. When my girls were just about 18 months old, my morning routine was truly how I got my groove back after having twins. It's also how I started my wellness journey and ended up losing 60 pounds. It's how I started building my network marketing business. It's how I kept and still keep my sanity. It's how I've found time to pivot my business in 2020.

My morning routine is literally how I build my business today. It's how I keep my priorities in check and how I prioritize myself first, all in about 90 minutes a day. So as we reflect on the year and start thinking about our goals for next year, what a perfect time to revisit that morning routine. I've given dozens of  chats about morning routine and everyone says at least once, "I can't get up that early!"  So let’s dig in and chat about what a successful morning routine looks like and why it's important. Let's be honest, a morning routine does not mean you have to get up at 5:00 AM. However, it does mean that you have to be consistent. 

You can download my entire step-by-step morning routine checklist here

The one thing I want you to reflect on as you think about a morning routine and why it's important is a quote from one of my new favorite books, Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty. I refer back to this book often and feel like it puts things in perspective. So grab a pen, you're going to want to write this down. 

I am fortunate to be alive. I have a precious human life and I am not going to waste it. -The Dalai Lama. 

Now, if that was the first thing you read every single morning when you wake up, I guarantee you're not going to hit the snooze button. So, if that's the one tip that you take away, write it down and read it when you first wake up.

But here's the thing, none of us want to go to work tired and then get to the end of the day feeling like nothing more can be done. The energy and mood of the morning carry you through the day so that you make life more meaningful. When you start your morning with high pressure and high stress, you program your body to work in that mode for the rest of the day. Regardless of if you're building a business, trying to be a better mom, a better employee, a better wife, a better sister, whatever it is, a morning routine benefits everybody. But most importantly, it really helps you structure your day so that it is enjoyable and you are getting the most out of it. We cover the details of what your morning routine is in the very first episode of the Crush the Rush podcast. Here are a couple of steps that you can do to revisit your routine and make it even better!

Ease into your wake up. If you set a crazy goal of getting up at 5:00 AM, which is an hour and a half earlier than what you currently do, it's probably not going to work. I recommend getting up about 15 minutes earlier, two to three days in a row, then continue to work your way to your ideal wake-up time. But here's the trick... 

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I'm a huge fan of disconnecting. Usually, at eight o'clock, my phone goes off. We do something as a family and then I literally sit down and plan what my morning and my next day is going to look like. Getting up early and having a successful morning is really not about the morning routine, it's about what you do the night before. This means taking time to wind down and going to bed earlier in order to get up earlier. You are not going to be successful with a routine that starts super early, if sleep is not driving the entire process. Each night I aim to get seven and a half hours of sleep, but I also make sure that before I go to bed, I map out the next day. This includes time-blocking and knowing exactly what I'm going to focus on in the morning, then making time for these things. 

Focusing on thankfulness and gratitude is a key part of what makes my morning routine successful. This is typically learning, reading, listening to podcasts or meditation. For you, this might be yoga or just a moment of quiet or journaling. Next is exercise or moving my body. The key to this step is limiting the number of decisions you need to make during this time. When you wake up you should already know exactly what you are going to be doing, which is why step number one is so important. 

Creativity comes from structure. People always ask me, "Holly, you're so structured. You have everything so planned. Do you actually do something that's outside of your schedule?" And the answer is yes, because I actually have downtime planned, but rules and routines actually ease the cognitive burden within our brain. So when your brain knows to just focus on this one task, we don't have to worry about all the other noise in the background and actually allows you more bandwidth for creativity. Structure actually enhances spontaneity because you are focused, which leads to more delight, more excitement and more confidence because you're accomplishing small tasks. Which again, leads to more creativity and fun! Small wins each day will truly take you to the next level. Only 2% of us can actually multitask effectively. When you wake up and know what you want to focus on and actually get it done, it is truly magic. Unlike a diet or podcast where you have to wait weeks before maybe seeing results, a successful morning routine is the one thing that you can get instant results from. 

A morning routine is really something that if you do it one day, you're going to get results. You do it two days, you're going to get results. If you miss a day and you get back on track the next day, you're going to get results.

The last reminder that I wanted to share in terms of revisiting your routine is to think of your morning routine as a place of energy and excitement, instead of something that you have to get up because it's the only time to get work done in peace. What if you flipped it and said, I am honored to get up and work on my goals because it allows me to be present in other areas of my life? For those of us who are working full time, doing homeschooling, or just have a busy day, it allows us to focus on those things. We can have the accomplishment of knowing that we've already done all the things that we needed to do for ourselves and are totally rocking it. It makes our day so much better. It is truly a magical experience when you can embrace the time that you have in the morning and make it work for you.

As you take a few minutes to revisit your routine and see where you can enhance it, here are a few final thoughts to make it the best it can be for your goals. 

  1. A reminder that your routine is yours and everyone's looks different and that's okay.
  2. Don’t let someone else control how you start your day. I typically answer messages from six to 7:00 AM every morning and see you on Instagram scrolling. So, don't get up and scroll, focus on yourself first! 
  3. Remember that small wins add up over time. I often get questions about how I fit it in, how do I do all the things. And the honest answer is I don't do all the things. There is probably two weeks of laundry laying on my closet floor right now. It just is what it is, but what I do know is I have wins that I'm gaining regardless of what everyone else is doing. It's really important to know that your schedule and your wins and your goals are just that. Yours! Stick to them. Focus on them. Do one thing at a time, consistency over time is going to make such a huge difference. 

You can download the ENTIRE morning routine checklist here

I hope you take some time to really reflect on your routine, how you're using your time and make these little small tweaks so that you can really rock your morning. Which in the end will really help you rock your day! 

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