After years of attempting to be consistent with a morning routine and failing time and time again, I realized why I was never successful. I never wanted it bad enough or, in other words, I never defined my why. I would hear how important it is to have a solid morning routine and what a difference it made for people, but my attempts always fell short. I would be successful for a week, sometimes a day, to only revert back to getting that extra hour or two of sleep. So what steps did I take to get there?! Well, they may seem easy but let me warn you now, you have to decide to implement these steps because it's what YOU want to do. Not what you think you should do or what your favorite Instagram influencer told you to do, which brings me to step one...
1) As I mentioned, you need to define your why! More often than not fitting a solid morning routine into your current life requires you to get up earlier than you already do. Very few people have the capability of adjusting their day without adding more hours to the allotted time they have. For me this took setting an alarm clock for 5 AM instead of 6:30 AM, giving me an hour and a half of extra time to myself. You better believe that my why had to be really good for me to be convinced to get up that early.
What is my why you may be wondering? Well, that is to make time for God every day. To learn more of His truths by diving deeper into the word. To take time to journal, work through anything I may be feeling, and set my mind right for the day ahead. To pray and conversate with God in a space where He is getting my undivided attention.
2) For me, this next step might be just as important as defining your why, and that is to have a treat waiting for you each morning. Let me tell you, knowing that the most delicious latte is waiting for me downstairs is usually what makes me pull back those warm covers and place my feet on the ground. Since I was diagnosed with cancer I have had a complicated relationship with coffee. Due to radiation, I couldn't stand the taste of it for the longest time. Once I got past that, I then struggled with finding the right creamer/milk for my coffee. I've never been one to enjoy black coffee and the majority of creamers are filled with sweeteners. Since I do my best to now avoid any added sugars I was in a real dilemma. This is what eventually led me to get creative in the kitchen. Here is my secret to the best cup of coffee (IMO). Oh and if you aren't a coffee fan this creamer makes for delicious hot chocolate/chocolate milk!
*These are rough measurements and can be adjusted for preference. I prefer to make a large batch and store it in the fridge for use throughout the week.
- 150g Pitted Medjool Dates (7-10 depending on size)
- 4 Cups Forager Coconut Cashew Oat Milk or any milk of choice
- 1 Tablespoon Cacao
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla
Blend all ingredients well. This usually requires several minutes of blending to get the dates fully broken down.
3) Once you understand why you are pulling yourself out of bed and have a wonderful cup of coffee, tea, or maybe a bowl of oats waiting for you, now it's time to create the perfect spot in your home. I enjoy grabbing a blanket and curling up on the couch with dim lighting filling the room. When I am feeling like taking that extra step I may even light a candle. Unless I am using my phone for devotional purposes (She Reads Truth app), I keep it on the charger across the room. For the longest time, I would end up spending my morning in emails and on Instagram instead of accomplishing what I set out to do. If this is you, don't give up. Instead, make the adjustments necessary for you to succeed.
4) The final, and hardest step for most, is to have a solid night routine. Thankfully I am an 80-year-old in a 31-year-old body. I enjoy going to bed ridiculously early. A late-night for me is getting in bed past 9 PM. Most nights I aim to be in bed around 8:30 PM so I can have time to read and wind down. Going to bed this early allows me to get sufficient sleep, which not only makes the morning easier but aids in living a healthy lifestyle.
Since January is approaching it would only be fitting to start a new morning routine if that is something that intrigues you. I promise you won't get it down right away, but be persistent. As James Clear says, "Every skill you have was once unknown to you. The human brain is a learning machine. Stick with it."