How I Created a Morning Routine I Could Stick To

How do you start your day? We all want to put our best foot forward when it comes to having the most productive day possible. Some can't do it without a steaming, rich cup (or two) of coffee. Others can't do it without an early morning walk.

As much as I've tried to tweak my early morning routine, nothing motivated me to wake up early to do all the things. And no matter how much I've tried, mornings just weren't my jam when it came to being my most productive self.  My brain was in a scramble most days and I was often moving on autopilot. I knew I had to prepare at night for the next day, but even the preparation became a daunting task. I wanted to make my routine fun and not the monotonous adulting 101 to-do list that I dreaded. I needed to get excited about my mornings so that I could bring my best self out for them each day.

Recognizing this need made me consider the things that brought me joy and made me excited about starting the day. There wasn't some magic formula created by someone else that would trick me into suddenly becoming a morning person. But I could put routines in place that encourage and inspire me in my first waking moments each day. Check out how just a few small things make a world of difference in my mornings below.

1.  I cancel out all the "noise" and tune in to the REAL. The key to starting my day on a positive note depends on what I focus on. And while I like to believe I start each day with a clean slate, with only positive thoughts and productive intentions, this is not always so. Sometimes I wake up with yesterday's worries. Other days I wake up with unresolved problems from weeks ago. But I try my best to push those things aside by replacing them with better things.

I read my daily devotional and focus on God's promises, and they help to eradicate my fears. If the fearful feelings persist, I do a mental dump, writing everything on my mind so that I can get rid of it.

Once I get rid of anything that isn't serving me in the moment, I tune into messages that will serve me. I may listen to one of my favorite podcasts while preparing breakfast. I might watch a TED Talk that inspires me. As long as it motivates me to be my best self, I soak it all up!

2. I get that early morning "fresh air" ASAP. Nothing breaks the foggy state my mind is in most mornings quite like a step outside once I'm fully awake. Some mornings I'm met with the sun shining on my face. Other mornings I'm surprised with a slight breeze and the fresh smell of dew. Feeling that fresh air first thing in the morning as opposed to when I'm leaving the house allows me to relax. Though I'm only out for a few minutes, I am able to take that time to simply breathe. I don't worry about the daily to-do list. I don't stress about what happens next. I just inhale, exhale, and marvel at the beauty of the new day. And while embracing the beauty in the horizon, I'm reminded of the blessing in witnessing a new day.

3. I channel my inner "diva." If you are not getting ready in the morning pretending that you are a diva, then what are you really doing with your morning? Nothing beats the fun I have when getting dressed for the day, pulling together my wardrobe and voguing in the mirror. I pull out an outfit that flatters (even if it's just sweats and a tee, they fit just right), my favorite mascara, and of course my favorite lippie. Even if I don't feel my best, looking my best give me that boost of confidence I need to face the day with an open mind and heart. I envision what my best self wants to look and feel like, then I bring her out, bring her out (in my TIP voice)!

4. I throw on some soundtrack music. One thing that goes hand-in-hand with channeling your inner diva is of course having the soundtrack music that goes along with it! What else will you sing in the mirror to? I will proceed to get all dolled up, laying out items for my beauty routine, my hair, and my outfit with the music turned all the way up. And once I've sang a few of my favorites and pulled together my look, I begin to look and feel my personal best!

5. I keep it moving. Keeping the music turned up doesn't just feed my diva-like habits, it also keeps me active first thing in the morning! There's nothing like an impromptu workout by the way of a dope playlist to help you get active in the mornings. Getting active can go anywhere from dancing in the mirror to having a nice little dance party with my little ones before school. Early morning jam session with Get Me Bodied and 7/11, anyone?

So how do you tailor your morning routine? Do you start your day with practices that make you feel alive? Do you take your breakfast and coffee with inspiring podcasts or music playing in the background? If you don't yet have a routine that helps you get a positive start to your day, I implore you to do so. It makes all the difference! However, if you do have a morning routine that helps you be your most productive best each day, I'd love to hear more about it in the comments!

What does your morning routine look like?
How do you prepare to slay your day?

photo credits: STIL and Emma Matthews on Unsplash
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