My Morning Routine, Day 4 28- Day Personal Challenge

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What is a Morning Routine?

A morning routine is pretty self-explanatory, it’s what you do when you first wake up. It’s simple…until it’s not.

The simplicity is that once you have a morning routine, you wake up and drop right into it. But, if your morning routine is willy-nilly, or not set up well, it can ruin your chances for a productive day.

For example, if you waste your morning playing games on your cell phone or scrolling the hours away on social media, you may find yourself behind on your task- or work-list before you even get started. However, if you plan for success in the morning, and work that plan upon waking, then the rest of the day tends to follow suit.

There are books, articles, and blog posts galore on the perfect morning routine. The problem with most of these is they tend to run long. As in, whole lists of things to do: Wake at 5:30 a.m., go to the bathroom, brush teeth, exercise, shower, drink a protein shake, write, dress, plan dinner, plan your day, etc….

I’m going to tell you the majority of those lists are fluff. What I mean by that, is they are padding their morning routine to make it sound busier. To feel more important.

The problem is that these people are on to something very important, but ruining it for other people by making it sound harder than it is.

I’m a firm believer in the basics. Just stick to the basics and life is easier and less complicated.

A little fun aside: Fast Company did an article on The Morning Routines of Successful People.

My Morning Routine

My routine consists of four steps. It takes anywhere from 2- to 3-hours. And it’s not dependent on a set wake-up time each morning. I tend to wake up anytime between 5:30 and 7:00 a.m. If I have accounts to visit, I’ll get up on the earlier side to get out quicker.

Kitchen

This is my first task. But it’s misleading, it entails more than the kitchen. I wake up, go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, throw on some workout clothes and head to the kitchen.

Once there, I empty the dishwasher and add the few dishes in the sink. Then I start the coffee, drink a glass of warm water, and swallow my vitamins.

Finally, I wipe down all the countertops (under all the small appliances, too) and wipe the down the bigger appliances. A quick sweep and the kitchen is done.

Why this is so important to my routine?

This sets up my attitude for our home each day. I want to have a clean environment. Taking care of the most active location in the home sets me up to keep the rest of the home clean.

Now, I don’t write, bathroom, teeth, vitamins, etc… on my list. I don’t need to. I’ve been using the bathroom quite well since my mother potty-trained me. I’ve been brushing my teeth morning and night for over 45-years. It’s automatic for me.

I enjoy a cup of coffee every day and I don’t have to write a reminder to do it. As for my vitamins, I’m pretty good about remembering them, once in a while I forget, but missing a vitamin once or twice a month is not going to kill me.

My kitchen is my main focus at this point. I want to set up my day in a clean home. That is the detail I always want forefront. It’s on my list for the days when I’m feeling, “eh.” It reminds me that I’ll be in a good space if I do it.

Yoga

After the kitchen, I head into the living room and do yoga.

I am a huge fan of Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. I’ve been following her for four years.

Why this is so important to my routine?

I am not the calmest person in the world. Plus, I tend to worry…a lot. Like, a lot.

Yoga reduces my stress. I don’t practice the Hindu spiritual side of yoga (it’s sad that in this day-and-age we have to say things like this), I have nothing against Hinduism, it’s just not my preferred practice. You do you, I’ll do me, we’ll all be happy. It’s okay. The physical aspect of yoga is what really helps me. The strength, the breathing, the movement. Combined, that all brings an immense calm into my life.

That calm is so noticeable, my whole family is happier.

This is one of the biggest time variables. If I’m really short on time, I’ll do a ten-minute mix-up of my own favorite moves. Otherwise, I’m following Adriene. The sessions run from 10 minutes to an hour. Most of her sessions are between 20- and 30- minutes. Usually, I’ll do one of her foundations of yoga pieces after a full session, I like making sure I’m doing a pose right.

Side note: if you do yoga and you have trouble with a particular pose, go learn the foundations of that pose. It’s amazing how some of the poses I felt I was doing right) became easier when I learned the proper technique.

Bible

Then I read my Bible. I have a variety of Bible translations: NIV, NLT, King James, a very old one that I don’t know what the version is, and a Study Bible. I’m Christian, that’s my spiritual preference. You do you, I’ll do me, we’ll all be happy. It’s okay.

Why this is so important to my routine?

About five years ago I decided to read the Bible all the way through. All the who begat whom and all the minute details of how the Ark of the Covenant and the Temple and the ephods were to be made. Did I mention that it was the study Bible I started with? Yeah, that’s what I read, all the footnotes, all the detailed notes before each book of the Bible, all the study notes that explained what was common among the people at that time, all the maps, everything. All 2100+ pages. It took over two years.

Something changed for me while I read the Bible. Material things didn’t seem so important, I rechecked my pride, I felt happier and more positive.

After I finished the study Bible I didn’t read it often, my attitude took a dive. so now I’m on my fourth read-through of the Bible. I’m currently reading my Grandfather’s NIV version. And this time I’m spending a whole month on each book. I figure out how many chapters the book has and how many days are in the month and then divide by three. That way I read each book three times through in a month. This is a 5 1/2 year plan.

Freewrite

Finally, I sit down and do a freewrite. Get all the gunk out of my mind, rattle off all the to-do’s, don’t forget’s, and/or brainstorm ideas of things I want to do. Yesterday’s post gave a few ideas for a distraction-free timed write.

Why this is so important to my routine?

This prepares me for a solid writing session. Once I get out all the stuff I fear forgetting, the creative stuff bubbles to the surface and my writing is much more productive.

Recap

Kitchen – prepares me to keep my home clean. It gives me a clean space which makes me feel less stressed when I’m writing.

Yoga – helps bring calm to my mind and strength to my body. It sets me up to continue taking care of my body.

Bible – sets me up spiritually and brings clarity to my life.

Freewrite – sets the tone for my writing.

Four things and I cover all the major bases I want to be covered in my life.

Go plan your morning routine. But give yourself credit that you’ll remember to do the mundane things that you naturally do, don’t write those down. Write down the few tasks that prepare you to tackle the day strong.

What are the things that bring focus to your mornings?

About the author
Diane DeMasi is a freelance writer and author. As a freelancer she writes articles, blog posts, newsletters, web content, catalog copy, and more. As an author she writes dark, twisted, creepy short stories and novels.

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