When I was in consulting, the only way I could get through the morning was head down to the nearest Starbucks.
The coffee itself didn’t really help.
It was the time.
Time to stare blankly.
Fortify myself for the hours upon hours of projects, spreadsheets, formatting, PowerPoints, and check-ins I knew were coming.
Nowadays, though, mornings aren’t a problem.
That’s partly because I enjoy my job. Partly because we open at 10 AM. And a lot because I finally figured out a routine.
(Thank you, getting older!!)
Here’s what I do.
- I leave as many lights as possible OFF
- Put on my workout clothes
- Wander into the kitchen and pour a glass of water
- Sip said water while relaxing in my fave chair (still in the dark).
- Meditate while still in my fave chair. And when I say “meditate,” I mean setting a timer and sitting cross-legged with my eyes closed. I also make sure I breathe deeply. But not too deeply. Because that’s work. And work reminds me of talking. And talking is NOT encouraged in my house prior to 9 AM.
- Journal. Yes. Also while in my fave chair. I re-set the timer and write whatever comes to mind. As soon as the timer goes off, I put the pen down. Usually it ends up being some mix of encouragement and To-Dos for the day/week/month.
- Make a smoothie. This is non-negotiable for me. Even if the rest of the morning goes to sh*t and I end up running out the door, I make time for a smoothie. It gets you tons of nutrients in an easy-to-digest form, and it’s completely brainless to make. Once you get the hang of it, that is.
- Walk the dog. He hates pooping in his own backyard. I hate cleaning up the backyard. So we walk.
- Exercise. I learned early in my career that working out in the morning left me feeling way less guilty come Happy Hour. So these days – even though I get to pick my schedule – I still work out in the morning. Usually it’s running (so I can combine exercise AND dog walking). But a few times a week it’s Pure Barre.
- Drink my smoothie. I prefer to work out on an empty stomach…so the smoothie gets sipped on after the exercise.
- Shower/get ready.
- Make my coffee.
- Head to work.
- Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk.
Now. If I’m short on time, I still do the same routine…I just shorten the sequences.
But I’ve realized over the course of the last few years that this routine is perfect for waking up…pondering the day…and getting ready to be “on.”
It also checks all kinds of things off The “You Really Should” List.
The “You Really Should” List:
- Exercise daily
- Eat plenty of fruits and veggies
- Have a healthy breakfast
- Plan the day in advance
- Avoid looking at your phone so much
- Give your animals a routine they can trust (and plenty of exercise)
- Walk 10,000 steps a day
- Look presentable
- Be productive.
I read about all these You Really Should items a LOT…they’re always popping up on social. Now…thanks to my routine…I have zero Should Shame AND I get my evenings free to do as I please. Totally worth getting up early. Even though I’m not a morning person.
Because really…it’s not the mornings. It’s the time. And the talking.
What about you? Do you have a fave morning routine to get you ready for the day? I’d love to hear about it.
Happy Friday –