Growing up, I found routines unappealing. I used to forgo that kind of structure, as I thought they would make life boring and predictable – and who wants that? But more recently, I’ve discovered that routines can really enrich your life and better prepare you for its unpredictable hurdles.
Having always been a morning person, I used to jump out of bed as a student and immediately start studying. After graduation, my mornings were ﬁlled with aimless and random bursts of productivity in an attempt to get my life together.
As soon as I decided to create some structure for myself before heading out to work or running errands, I felt an immediate difference in how energized I felt. By using my extra time to indulge in a healthy start, I felt more centered and ready to take on the day’s challenges.
The early bird catches the worm.
It’s not just waking up earlier that makes a difference; it’s how you use that extra time to set the tone for the rest of your day. People who wake up early and use their extra time as “me” time have been found to be more successful in their professional lives. And if you have a partner or children, waking up earlier will allow you to spend more quality time with them.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle.
Here are my tips for having a successful morning routine:
• Wake up at the same time every day. I like to give myself at least two hours before heading out, so I set my alarm at 6:00 am – but this is entirely up to you and your needs.
• Meditate before rolling out of bed. I’m a devoted user of the Headspace app for their variety of guided meditations.
• Exercise to energize your body and your mind. It doesn’t have to be an hour-long sweat session at the gym – I do around 15 minutes of yoga in my PJs before jumping in the shower, and it makes all the difference.
• Prepare a healthy breakfast that is rich in protein to keep your energy levels up until lunch. I love almond and chia seed puddings, muesli, and smoothie bowls.
• Catch up with the news. I read TheSkimm, a daily newsletter that breaks down global news and delivers it your inbox every morning. Sign up here – it’s a real life saver!
• Listen to a podcast while getting ready for work or school. I like to brush up on my French using this podcast while straightening my hair or brushing my teeth.
Having a morning routine isn’t meant to be restrictive. Consistently making the time to take care your needs before tackling the responsibilities of the day is the best and most important kind of indulgence.
© 2015 Reef Magazine