how to craft your morning routine

How to Craft a Morning Routine

Posted: October 24, 2021

Crafting a morning routine is a personal thing and it’s an ongoing process. I hated mornings for most part of my life and did my best to wake up as late as possible. I was the queen of ‘snooze’ and used to prepare my outfit the night before to ensure I was squeezing every minute of sleep in the morning. 

A few years ago, my morning routine was snooze, snooze, snooze, snooze, brushing teeth, washing my face, getting dressed, putting on mascara and rushing to my job, where I was late most of the time. 

Even though we are all different, there is a thin line that binds and connects us all. We all have a body, a mind and a spirit that help us navigate this world. If we take the time to know and understand them, our lives will encounter peace, clarity and flow.  

 

 

The psychology of a morning routine

In the past years, I experimented and tried different methods and rituals to transform my unhealthy habits. It all started with The Miracle Morning: The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8 AM. 

After reading this book, I began a slow but consistent transformation of my morning routine. My patterns were deeply rooted to the point that I discovered that I needed an aggressive approach. So I committed to waking up every day at 05:00 AM to meditate, write in my journal, move, read a few pages from a book, say affirmations and do visualization for one year. On top of it, I also filmed myself to follow up on the process. 

It was tough because Arun was only a few months old and I wasn’t getting enough sleep during the night. Still, I was so determined to make this change that nothing stood in my way. I did my morning routine, whether we were in a hotel room, where I had to go to the corridor not to wake up Arun and Christian at 05:00 in the morning. Or in the bathroom at Christian’s parents’ not to wake the whole house. 

I failed to keep my promise. I couldn’t do it for a whole year, but I managed to do it for four months. The echo of those moments remained until this day. Now each day, I build on those moments with a more relaxed attitude. It’s a continuous work of discovering new habits, understanding myself and releasing the pressure. 

After my morning routine, I feel more peaceful, more confident, more willing to work and with a much clearer mind. I feel I have honoured myself and offered myself the love and attention I need. A day is productive and joyful when you meet your own needs first thing in the morning. The morning routine sets the tone of the day. 

If you don’t know what to start with, you will find some resources and ideas at the bottom of the post.

 

 

ABC plan

Our days are different, especially when you have a little child. You can be as determined and consistent as you wish, but when your baby wakes up in the middle of your morning routine, you drop everything to attend to his needs. This is why I believe a 3-part strategy can be more effective, so no matter how much time you have, you can fill your mornings with confidence and self love.

The things you choose to do remain the same in each plan. The difference is the depth and the time between each movement. So it is not important to do more things but to master the actions we already choose to do. 

Air Plan (1.5 hours – 2 hours)

This is the best scenario when you have time to sync deeper on each action. When you are in a state of gratitude and every step you take is a meditation. Give yourself the time to contemplate, go with the flow, dream, and imagine.

Spend more time on each action, be aware of each move, walk slowly, speak slowly, gaze more at the window, breathe deeply, relax your shoulders, look at the water you are drinking, pause after drinking it and feel how it moves in your body. Sync deeper. 

When I’m in this plan, after I finish reading, I hold the book in my arms and give it a big and warm hug, filled with gratitude for the wisdom it is giving me. Or, when I’m reading my affirmations, I use different voices, almost singing them. I do this with Arun and it is so fun because he enjoys it so much and sings along with me. 

 

Water Plan (30 minutes – 1,5 hours)

Flow like the water, constant and determined. Create a flow between your actions. Discover the order that helps you the most. If, for example, meditation puts you back to sleep, change the order. Start with exercise or with something that helps you move to the next step with ease. 

To fit the time you have designated into your morning routine, reduce the time spent on each activity.

For example, when I use the Water Plan, I don’t read my affirmation three times as I do in my Air Plan. Instead, I read them only two times. So instead of reading ten pages from a book, I’d read five or do a 7 minutes yoga flow rather than a 30 minutes yoga flow. 

 

Fire Plan (5 minutes – 30 minutes)

In this plan, it may happen that the pressure of not having enough time will keep you in an agitated state. Or maybe it will pressure you to skip your morning routine to be on time somewhere else. The point of this morning ritual is to make you feel good about yourself and not put more pressure on yourself. So when you are calm, think about this kind of morning and see the big picture. Prepare yourself for those moments when the pressure of time will make your mind foggy and it will be difficult to see the big picture. 

It may seem more important to skip your routine, but you know this is a lie. You will feel worse when you are calmer. So, for this to not happen, start your morning with one thing that is part of your morning routine. For example, if drinking a glass of water on an empty stomach is a part of your routine, do that. It takes only 30 seconds, so don’t lie to yourself that you don’t have time. You are now cultivating giving time to yourself.

Next, evaluate the situation. If you have time for one more thing, then do it. If not, think about when and where you can do another step of your morning routine. For example, say your affirmations when you are in the elevator, in the car or on the bus — I am healthy, I am enough, I am brave, I am aware. 

If yoga is a part of your morning routine, you can do a few yoga exercises when you get to the front of your desk; stretch your arms, move your hand, massage your palm. 

Remember that it’s essential to do your morning routine until it is a part of your daily life. Do it until you feel good with yourself and you build the confidence to take bigger steps.

morning routine planner

 

My morning routine

After going back and forth with my morning routine, planning it and organising it in so many ways, I managed to stabilise a few things. Still, it’s an ongoing process. I constantly adapt to new situations and changes that are happening in my life. I add new habits or change them with other ones that suit my needs.

Air Plan (wake up 05:30 – 06:00)
  • I move my body (yoga, pilates, jogging, fitness or long walks) (35 minutes)
  • shower (10 minutes)
  • I drink a glass of water with juice from a lemon and a pinch of Himalayan salt (5 minutes)
  • I visualize my best life  (5 minutes)
  • read my affirmations three times (10 minutes)
  • gaze on my window (5 minutes)
  • do a breathing exercise (5 minutes)
  • I meditate (20 minutes)
  • read or listen to an audiobook (15 minutes)
  • make the bed (5 minutes) 

 

Water Plan (wake up 06:00 – 07:00)
  • I move my body (yoga, pilates, jogging, fitness or long walks) (20 minutes)
  • shower (5 minutes)
  • I drink a glass of water with juice from a lemon and a pinch of Himalayan salt (5 minutes)
  • I visualize (5 minutes)
  • read my affirmations two times (6 minutes)
  • gaze on my window (5 minutes) – sometimes I move this to a later part of the day
  • do a breathing exercise (5 minutes)
  • I meditate (15 minutes)
  • read or listen to an audiobook (10 minutes) – sometimes I move this to a later part of the day
  • make the bed (5 minutes) 

 

Fire Plan (wake up 07:00 – 07:30)
  • I move my body (yoga, pilates, fitness) (7 – 10 minutes)
  • I drink a glass of water with juice from a lemon and a pinch of Himalayan salt (3 minutes)
  • visualize my best life (2 minutes)
  • I read my affirmations once (3 minutes)
  • do a breathing exercise (2 minutes)
  • I meditate (10 minutes)
  • read or listen to an audiobook (5 minutes) – move this to a later part of the day
  • make the bed (3 minutes) 

 

How many days does it take to form a new habit?

According to Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher at the University College of London, a new habit usually takes more than one month — 66 days to be exact — and as much as 254 days until it’s fully formed. 

​​There’s no one-size-fits-all figure, which is why this time frame is so broad. Some habits are easier to form than others, and some people may find it easier to develop new behaviours.

Suppose you decide to commit to a new morning routine. First of all, plan it. Then I recommend doing it for 30 days in a row and evaluate the situation afterwards. 

 

 

When I forget to do it

As soon as I remember, I drop what I’m currently doing and make at least one step of my morning ritual even if it was just for a few minutes. It doesn’t matter where I am — in a public space, in the car, or on the metro. I feel better every time I do this because it adds to my self-esteem, and it’s best for my health too. 

Once, I was at a friend’s house and remembered that I didn’t exercise. So when she went to change, I started stretching and doing a few squats. I instantly felt much better, my pulse got up, my brain oxygenated and my self-esteem had a boost. It only took me 5 minutes.

It’s essential to do your morning ritual every day, so the neurological paths form in your brain and instil healthy habits. Everything lies in consistency.

 

What if you skip a day?

Add an extra day to the 30 days. For example, if you skip day 7, you have to keep up your ritual for 31 days instead of 30. This is a productive and less overwhelming way to be consistent in your practice. I designed a 30 days challenge Morning Routine printable you can download for free and help you keep track of your progress.  

  bulbRead also  Mindfulness & How To Create Daily Rituals That Stick + Free Download

 

Morning practice ideas

Take time to make a plan and organise your morning routine as much as you can. Look into your daily habits and see what stays and what no longer serves you. If you have one habit that you are okay with, build on it. Then see all the natural things that will follow. Here is a list of new practices you can add to your morning routine. 

Morning rituals for the mind
  • Write what goes through your mind without bothering to make sentences or logical phrases. Instead, just write the words as they come through your mind. This is called brain dumb. By doing so, you make space in your mind for silence and great ideas. If you do this long enough, at one point, your brain will remain without words for a few seconds, and that is a beautiful moment to experience.
  • Read a positive affirmation you wrote, or you resonate with – Today is going to be a great day/ I am creating the life of my dreams/ I am abundant/ I am healthy.
  •  Read from a book – reading a few pages in the morning puts you in a different mood and gives you the confidence that you’re a few pages wiser.
  • Listen to an audiobook or a podcast – listening to inspiring conversations in the morning will connect you more with the world around you and will widen your perspectives.

 

Morning rituals for the body
  • Take a cold shower – this can seem a bit extreme but believe me, the feeling is precious. You will feel all your cells waking up and filled with life.
  • Drink a glass of water with lemon and salt – in the morning, we are usually dehydrated. Taking this glass of water first thing in the morning will wake your body up and make your mind clearer. Himalayan salt is considered to be one of the healthiest varieties of salts. It can boost food and water absorption, which can lead to better nutrient and mineral absorption by the body.
  • Drink a cup of hot tea with lemon, ginger and honey – I like to drink this in the cold winter mornings. I love the warm feeling of the water filling my chest.
  • Do a breathing exercise – there are many techniques for breathing, depending on the situation and the outcome you desire. Some will energise your body, while some will slow down your body. If you want to vitalise your body, do this breathing
  • Move your body – yoga, pilates, jogging, fitness, long walks, stretching, anything that makes your body move is beneficial.  I use the FitOn app. It has great teachers and different exercises structured based on the minutes you have to invest in your body. And it’s free

 

Morning rituals for the soul
  • Meditation – the most important of all. Meditation is not something we need to do or don’t know how to do because it is already a part of us. We just need to follow some steps, notice it, understand it, consciously do it and in the end, undo all of the above. The purpose of meditation is to cultivate the moments of awareness that we encounter in our daily life.
  • Write three things you’re grateful for – if you feel you have no reasons to be thankful, start with basic things. For example, be grateful you have eyes to read these lines, a computer or a phone with internet, encountering this article that reminds you about the things you already know, and the things that need your attention. 
  • Make a compliment or a massage to someone dear – this will instantly lift the energy in the house. Who wouldn’t like to receive a compliment first thing in the morning when he barely woke up? The feeling will come right back to you when you see the smile of your dear one.
  • Listen to music – sound has the power to heal and uplift our souls. Now, as I’m writing these words, I’m listening to Derek Gripper – Jarabi (Passion). Sometimes, I like to hear Vivaldi Recomposed By Max Richter Spring 1 first thing in the morning. 
  • Visualise – visualise yourself completing that task, making that change, being more confident, living in that house, acting with compassion and awareness, being healthy.
  • Gaze on a window – the simple act of looking on a window, at a plant, to a bird, a candle, to the sun or in someones eyes puts you into a better emotional state. 

morning routine challenge

 

Final words

Even though it imposes rigour, consistency should be something that flows with you and helps you have a steady ground when life throws lemons at you. So be gentle with yourself and work on your morning rituals with patience and joy. Change is painful and annoying until it becomes familiar and we start to enjoy it. After this, you will realise that you can no longer live without it. 

I remember how tired and angry I was at the idea of getting up early. I was constantly asking myself; Why do people need to wake up early? Why do people want to wake up early in the morning when that sleep is so sweet and fluffy? Now, I miss the quiet mornings when I woke up every day at 5 AM. When everyone was asleep and I was enjoying the first ray of sunshine. Mornings have a different kind of magic than nights. Now I long to experience them both each day.  

Dear soul who took the time to read this article until the end, believe me when I say that You got this. Have confidence that you got all you need to install the habits you want in your life. Even though it may take you months, don’t stress, but be consistent, and you will install this new pattern in your life. 

Please let me know if this article helped you in any way. It will mean the world to me to know if something you read made any difference in your life. 

 

Remember to love yourself,

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