What’s in a good morning routine do you think?

It’s the start of another Sydney Summer and during this time of year, I find myself waking up earlier thanks to a loud chorus of native birds. Even my dog doesn’t sleep in.

When it’s Summer, I have more time in the morning so it’s easier to slip into a good morning routine that nourishes my mind, body and spirit.

What do you think is the ideal routine to start the day?

Recently I was interview by a freelance writer for The House Of Wellness TV & online magazine. Her question got me thinking because there’s so much information about meditation, going to the gym, drinking your veggies etc,

So I’ve decided to turn my interview into a blog and to share my interview with you today. I think it’s worth contemplating especially because so many clients have complained to me they don’t get enough done in the day or that they feel so tired and drained.

What do you really need to get you through your day? I’m asking because the ideal morning routine is not a one size fits all approach. I believe a good morning routine develops over time and is based on your age, beliefs, values, priorities and responsibilities.

If we don’t take that time to contemplate, we can be influenced by routines that conflict with our values. That’s when we start to feel guilty. I’ve listened to clients – “My doctor recommends I exercise three times a week to avoid obesity, but I love sleeping in or I should be lowering my cholesterol, but I love my morning bacon & egg rolls.”

So ask yourself, what helps me get the most out of the day? Is it to be highly energised? Or does a calming, easing into the day approach work best for you?

What eating, sleeping and awaking habits can you start to incorporate into your morning to make positive change?

When I think of a good morning routine, I immediately think of what needs to be done the night before. What can I do to make the morning as “stress free” as possible?

So my good morning routine looks like this – The night before I’ll check the weather and have my clothes organised for that day. I like to juice in the morning so after dinner, I’ll chop the veggies and store in a Tupperware container. I’ve taught my son to pack his school bag the night before, get his sport uniform ready and get his lunchbox ready. Sometimes I’ll have dinner leftovers for him eg spaghetti Bolognese in a small Tupperware with his juice/yoghurt etc all in one section of fridge.

A good morning routine is based on some good morning habits and these will depend on the amount of time you have in the morning, your priorities and focus.

I wake up at 6am, drink 500ml water by my bed, 20 min meditate, change into exercise clothes, then apple, ginger and celery juice.

The family has breakfast together. I love a banana ‘n’ porridge & almond milk breakfast. However if it’s a busy client day, I’ll need more brain fuel – Hipster breakfast i.e. one poached egg with avocado on toast fried tomato, feta and balsamic vinegar drizzle. My growing son needs to have some protein in his breakfast eg mushroom omelette.

See my son off to get school bus, walk my dog 90 mins around park, come back for shower/change, check emails, and see my first client 11am at my Bondi Junction consulting room.

Why do you think a routine is important for getting your day off to a good start?

My good morning routine helps me to be centred, calm and energised. It’s important that any mourning routine you create helps you start your day positively so you can feel happier and healthier.

As a single mum/life coach, a positive mindset is very important to me. I like to create a more peaceful start to my day. Nourishing my mind and my body so I’m fully present to see my clients.

In my 20’s & 30’s, I worked in advertising and went to a city gym three mornings a week, grabbed a juice and muffin, as had to be in by 8.30am. Today, that routine wouldn’t fit into my lifestyle, or my business. I’ve noticed that now in my 50’s I can’t eat all that sugar or listen to loud, heart pumping music so I cancelled my gym membership 5 years ago.

Then the interviewer posed this question –

We’ve discussed some good things to do first thing in the morning, but what are some things you wish people would avoid doing if they want to get their day off to the best start possible?

My reply came very easily and they are:-

Avoid pressing the alarm snooze three times. If you are using your phone as your alarm, have it other side of room so you have to get up.

Allow plenty of time in the morning e.g. 90 minutes is good. Don’t rush and stress because you’ll be releasing adrenaline and cortisol hormones into your system and we know that with any high there comes the low. By mid afternoon you’ll be craving sugary snacks as you’ll feel exhausted and like your body is crashing.

Avoid looking at your phones whilst getting ready. That too can raise your stress levels and send you into panic mode. Whether checking social media or your work emails, this habit will make you feel like you’re already in the office. Trust that you can get the work done.

Skipping meals or over eating or eating foods high in sugar and carbohydrates and drinking sugary drinks will not help you to power through the day.

Not exercising. Even some form of exercise will oxygenate your body. Just 15 mins on the bike, brisk walking, swimming or yoga can really improve your wellbeing.

I wish people would abstain from drinking so much tea and coffee. Given we live in either air conditioning or heated buildings, dehydration is very common. Not drinking at least 2 litres of water per day can lead to muscle cramps, headaches, light-headedness and sleepiness.

Our interview moved into discussing visioning and goal setting so I shared Chapter 12 Life Plan from my book, Stuck in a Rut: How to rescue yourself and live your truth.

What’s one thing people should do every day to ensure they give themselves the best chance to achieve their goals?

If you want to have a better life – one that is filled with happiness, fulfilment, love and success – the first thing you must do is decide what you really want from life, and the ways you want to live it.

Without clarity there is no direction. Cultivating a vision requires heartfelt reflection and contemplation. Consider strategic envisioning. You need to create a vision that involves logic, planning, and practicality.

Create your life plan and start envisioning, making strategic plans and setting goals that are in sync with your core values. I believe the cause of our suffering (i.e. our anxieties, fear and loneliness) is a failure to align with our true authentic self.

Don’t just like the idea of having a vision, take the hard yards and sit your ass down and create one. Give yourself the time and opportunity to create a life vision that excites, motivates and challenges you to be the best version of yourself every single day. Create a vision that’s so attractive you simply fall in love with the idea and can’t stop thinking about it.

stuck in a rut revised editionIf you’re looking for ways to create good habits, visioning and goal setting, you’ll love the practical strategies in my self-help book, Stuck In A Rut, How to rescue yourself & live your truth.