Updated: Mar 19
How many of you hear your morning alarm and hit the snooze button a couple of times before rolling out of bed? Often dashing out the door with a quick snack, checking your email, and messages as you rush off to work. Starting your day like this will often lead to your entire day feeling rushed with your schedule controlling you, versus you, controlling it.
Many of us are busy, have a lot of responsibilities and obligations, and often feel strapped for time. Having a great morning routine can make all the difference in being productive, achieving goals, feeling organized, and doing all of this with confidence.
I’ll admit, I used to be TERRIBLE at waking up early. I also used to say “I’m just not a morning person”. I would stay up all hours of the night, and because I’m an entrepreneur and have the freedom to wake up when I want, I took full advantage of that. But I realized that my days started to feel really short. By the time I started my day and really got in the swing of things, the sun was going down and I always felt a shift of productivity.
After doing some research and learning how the millionaires and billionaires of the world have set morning routines and often wake up before the sun even rises, I challenged myself to learn the benefits of it and find something that worked for me in order to be better and accomplish more each day.
Having a morning routine helps us set the tone for the day. As we start each day fresh, we can better focus on what is in front of us. A morning routine helps us determine where to prioritize our time, and, ultimately, increase our productivity.
My goal is to better serve my community of women, to be the best friend, the best daughter, and best partner I can be and that means I have to make the necessary investments and sacrifices to be my best.
I’ll break down my full morning routine a bit later but right now, let’s talk about the benefits of a morning routine:
1. Studies show that the most successful people, wake up early and have strict morning routines
Our brains function at their best first thing in the morning. Which means we should take full advantage of the first couple of hours of our day. Before you begin serving others, their agenda’s, emotions, and nonsense, serve yourself! What is it that you need? What are your current goals? What are you focused on accomplishing short term? Who should you be dedicating time to? What are your areas of improvement?
Successful people are successful because each and every day, they start their days by giving their most valuable time, to themselves. Really honing in on where they are, where they want to be, and what’s going to get them there.
They also have a different type of mindset. A glass half full versus empty type of mindset. That’s not a born trait. That’s something that is skillfully developed through consistent patterns and behaviors over time. Successful people attack life differently. There is always a solution, there’s always a way! Imagine if every morning you woke up and told yourself that! Sooner or later you will begin to believe it and allow the stress and worry of day to day things slowly drift away.
Which brings me to the next benefit….
Having a morning routine will naturally begin to build and strengthen your self-confidence. Why? Because each and every day, you’re choosing to love yourself by giving you the “me time”, personal care and pep talk you deserve. All of the daily rituals you put in place will make you feel better about yourself as you go into your day.
Think about it. When you start your day with a goal-oriented mindset, your confidence grows each and every time you accomplish those small goals. Confidence comes from observing and experiencing ourselves doing the things we set our minds to. Every time we accomplish something we said we would, our confidence grows a little bit more!
When you start to realize how capable you are of achieving your goals, you will begin to think of yourself in a more positive light. You will have more faith in your abilities and see the potential you haven’t really tapped into yet.
A huge benefit that naturally comes with a morning routine is more productivity. Giving yourself intentional time to start your day properly will provide you with the opportunity to be more productive throughout your entire day! You’re simply going into the day with a more focused and calm mindset. Not rushing, not feeling behind or stressed out.
Now let’s dive into my personal experience with morning routines and then I’ll break down what works best for me!
During college, my sleep schedule and routines were all out of wack! I was a cheerleader so I had some really early mornings but other days, I took full advantage of sleeping in. The inconsistency in my schedule made it hard to really be my best. Some days I got too much rest and other days I didn’t get enough. But I was young, so it was fine!
As I stepped into being an entrepreneur, I was so excited to do my own thing and be on my own schedule. So much so, that I honestly didn’t have one. I was doing things as they came and juggling so much at 1 time that I never realized how much I was working against myself.
I was super forgetful, always late, rushing and procrastinating until I got to the point of hitting rock bottom. When things started to fall apart I had to look at how I was living and moving and realized I needed a change.
I started to slowly make changes and as I saw the benefits that came with those changes, I continued to do more.
When Dre left his 9-5 and joined me and our business full time, we had a period of “yay, you don’t have to wake up early anymore” and that phase quickly became a problem for us. We were up all hours of the night and woke up when we felt like it but saw how it had a negative effect on our motivation and business goals.
It took us a couple of months to get into a routine that felt right for us. And even now, we have some days where we step out of our routine and stay up a little later or wake up a little later but we always get right back on track and hold each other accountable.
But in order to have a great morning routine, you also have to have a great night time routine. How you end your day is almost as important as how you start it.
For example, I don’t bring my phone into the bedroom. I let it charge overnight at our kitchen Island so that as I lay down, I’m not tempted to open it up, look at my email, social media or text messages. I completely unplug after 9pm. I keep my phone on do not disturb and only the people I have listed on “favorites” can reach me after that time.
I also have a set skin care routine with soothing oils that help me get into “sleep mode”. If for whatever reason I’m not feeling very tired, I make a large glass of lemon tea and that helps! Without my phone to distract me, I snuggle up next to Dre and peacefully fall asleep after giving God my last thoughts and prayers.
So here’s my morning routine:
I wake up Monday-Friday at 6:30am. I hate the sound of alarms and first thing in the morning I like to be reminded of God's love for me so that I start my day in gratitude and thanks. So my google home wakes me up to 1 of my favorite Gospel Songs, right now it’s “Reckless Love of God” by Cory Asbury. I immediately wake in such better spirits!
My bedroom has a large floor to ceiling window and we sleep with our shades up so that when the sun rises, our room is bright and we are introduced to our day with a beautiful view versus a dark room.
I do a little stretch, brush my teeth, wash my face and get in a workout. Normally, I walk to Orange Theory and get it in but thanks to corona, I’m forced to workout in our spare room or go outside and honestly, it’s not the same at all so I’m looking forward to Orange Theory opening back up!
After my workout, I shower and do my morning skincare routine which is just cleanser, toner and moisturizer. During my shower, I also listen to Gospel music and this is when I have my 1 on 1 time with God. Simply thinking of him, thinking of the things that I can do to be a better person and reflecting on life. If it’s a Monday, Wednesday or Friday, I might study the bible, watch a sermon or journal. But if it’s Tuesday or Thursday, I prep for my call schedule.
I pour up iced coffee and sip while I create my plan for the day. I focus on my immediate To-Do List which depending on the day, looks a little different. Then I have a secondary list of things to do IF I get my primary list done. Dre and I like to end our workday by 5pm and spend quality time with each other so whatever I don’t get done by 5pm ends up moving to my next days To-Do List.
If I work like I anticipated during the week, my Friday is free and we get to enjoy 3 full days of no work! But if I wasn’t able to complete everything, Friday could end up being a full workday.
After I plan for the day, I cook breakfast which is always 1 of 5 meals:
- Protein, banana and egg chocolate chip pancakes with strawberries
- Apples and oatmeal
- Egg bake or breakfast pizza
- Breakfast mix
I’ll be doing videos on all these recipes because they are super yummy but really healthy and I get a lot of questions about them!
After coffee and breakfast, I start my workday! By this time it’s no later than 9am and I have a full day to be productive. By 5pm I accomplish so much and feel super proud of my day!
So if you’re ready to create a strong morning routine, here’s my tips:
1. Throw away the traditional alarm (if it’s not your thing)
- Wake up peacefully
- Choose your favorite song or sound over (beep, beep, beep)
2. Let up your window curtains, this will help your body naturally wake up in the morning
- Create space for a moment of clarity
- Realize it’s time to start the day but have enough time so that you don’t have to rush out of bed
3. Start off with gratitude, think of all the amazing things and people in your life
- Think of the things you’re going to do to start your day off right
- Take a couple of deep breaths & stretches, then get the heck up
4. Have a consistent routine to take care of your body and skin
- Facial masks
- Steam Treatments
5. Have a glass of water
- Especially if you don’t drink a ton of water throughout the day
- Your body needs to be hydrated to function at its best
6. Coffee, Tea, Shake or Breakfast while you:
- Read the bible
- Listen to a sermon or podcast
- Just take time to think, clear your mind, or prepare for the day
Each of your routines will look a little different because you all have different needs and schedules. Find what works best for you. This may mean that you will need to test some things out and see how you like them.
Just like with anything I ever say or give you guidance on, the key is progress not perfection. Take the baby steps needed and soon you will have mastered a morning routine that sets you up for success!
Until next time, be shameless!