(Photo Courtsey: tricialottwilliford.com)
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Check your BBM or Whatsapp messages? Facebook? Email? Twitter? Instagram? Or do you jump right out of bed and start working? Maybe you’re one of those that snooze their alarm clocks up to three times and sluggishly roll over for 30 more minutes before standing up. Sound familiar? I know we’ve all been there at some point.
About three years ago, I started creating an intentional inspiring morning routine and decided that it needed to be motivating, focused, refreshing and generally help me manage my time very well. I’ve gotten to the point where I appreciate all 24 hours of my day and I don’t want to spend it on frivolous things or habits. At the same time, I avoid having to rush out without fulfilling some very important aspects of my life such as my meditation time.
Creating an effective and inspiring morning routine has been one of the most beneficial aspects of my life. It has become so important to me and have allowed me to put on an extra go-getter attitude and move right into executing efficiently and effectively.
Who said it was easy? Far from it!
It’s definitely tough keeping a strict routine, but consistency is key! I’ve not always been like this. My habits have definitely changed from university years to moving from Boston to a faster passed environment- Lagos. In Lagos for example, everyone has to literally add traffic time as their to-do list (jokes!). Things are not so smooth- from the roads, traffic, electricity and all those other bits and bobs.
However, people that really want to have a productive day, will have to wear different hats and be proactive in a place like Lagos. The more I began working towards my morning routine, I realized that I felt more energized, focused on my goals, used my time wisely and my positive mornings generally set the pace for my entire day.
A successful and inspiring morning routine normally involves committing the soul, mind and body to work together. Above all, remember that the beauty of your morning routine, whatever you decide to do, should reignite a light within you and inspire you into your day while helping you make the best of your to-do list.
Starting your day on the ‘wrong side of the bed’ or on the wrong foot can lead to all sorts of grumbling and anger while limiting the way you apply your potentials to your day to day activities. I mean, who wants to dwell in negativity all day? Not me! And I’m sure you’ll prefer something better too.
Tired of starting your day grumpy and tired? Well, a good morning routine works wonders and I’ll show you how!
Below is an outline of my morning routine which I believe can help you towards starting your day right.
Don’t Snooze It! Get Up Immediately
As much as I love my beauty sleep, I’ve held on to this verse of the bible for a long time which has helped me acknowledge that my time is very precious. Check this out-
I tell you, I don’t want to be poor neither do I want all the other things associated with poverty to hunt me. You feel me? So I might as well spend my 24 hours very well. That’s the same number of hours given to the wealthiest people in the world. When that alarm clock barks, get up! Don’t spend your time sitting on your bed doing nothing or how thinking about how horrible your job is or how annoying the traffic is. Sometimes, I set my alarm about 30minutes before my wakeup time, mostly by 5.00am or 5.30am, depending on the day of the week. Too early for you? Well, if you live in a place like Lagos, Nigeria, then you’ll learn to wake up early, especially because of traffic. Even when I’m not doing the regular 9-5, I sometimes wake up early to work on other side projects. Some people say they are not early morning risers. Well, you can learn anything. It takes discipline. Don’t snooze it!
Drink Water or Mix it Up
I try my best to keep a bottle of water by my bedside as it helps keeps me refreshed. Sometimes, when water alone feels boring, you could prepare some fruits or lime the night before and add them to your water when you wakeup. Get hooked on the infused water hype! Water in general helps me wake up and nourishes my body.
Prayer & Meditation
This step is actually what keeps my life intact. Connecting with God through prayers, praise, worship, studying the Bible and quiet time, helps me stay inspired, motivated and focused on my purpose and goals. It sure goes a long way and gives me the right word and mantra to start my day. If you’re like me and you love staying spiritually connected, then you can’t skip this step. On days when I don’t have to work or I’m in a hurry, I really spend time writing verses and revelations as directed by the Holy Spirit. Also, I spend some time meditating on the Word I just read or just focus on some motivational words while listening to gospel music. This is my hype and calm time, I LOVE IT! It gets my soul and mind energized. You could meditate while sitting on your yoga mat and just basking in the silence. It sure makes a big difference. Morning routines are therapeutic for me and help my mind relax, reflect and wander on the right path. For example, if I’m stuck in traffic and it’s raining cows and elephants in Lagos, I know I obviously cannot fly (who can?), so rather than get annoyed, I see it as an opportunity to listen to more podcasts on the way, reflect or quickly reply to messages- if I’m being driven.
Speak To Myself: Affirmative Words
Over the years, I have formed the habit of speaking LIFE through words into my life. I do this not just in the mornings, but throughout the day especially when my day isn’t going right. I have a list of affirmative words which I use, sometimes in front of the mirror. I say things like-
I’m Blessed and Highly Favored. Everything is working out for my good. I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. The GREATER One lives in me. I love my Life. I am ENOUGH. My Dreams are Valid. I am a blessing to my world. I help and support people. I am an inspiring and motivational individual, etc.
I have realized that the words I speak into my life are seeds that are sown and the more I speak them, the more they are watered and become real. Imagine speaking them for days, weeks, months and years. They become part of you and make you think positively as you gradually see your life transform for the better. Trust me on this, it WORKS! I do it morning and night especially. I’ve become so used to affirmative words to the extent that when I wake up, no matter how down I feel, I say to myself- Thank You Lord God for a blessed day! I have a blessed and great life. Guess what? I smile as I say it. YES! The more grateful you are, the more you show that gratitude by speaking positive words into your life. Words build into your subconscious and gradually show up in your life. You speak what you want to see until you see what you’ve spoken.
Oh la la! Not everyone likes this part, but it works wonders. After feeding your mind and soul, you can’t leave your body out. Depending on the kind of environment you live in, you can decide to take a walk, job or just use your Jillian Michaels DVD for some workout. It doesn’t have to be intense workout, but spending some minutes doing some kind of activity (maybe just taking a power walk or indulging in Zumba?) keeps you energized and your brain and body working perfectly. Currently, I try my best to workout 3 times a week and it works best for me at this phase of my life. While exercising, I always listen to podcasts (my latest obsession) or music. Currently, my workout routine is not as extreme because I don’t want to put too much pressure on my leg, but I do my best though to sweat…
Beyond the essence of a morning routine, think about how exercise or a healthy lifestyle will positively impact your life 5-10years from now. Imbibing a good workout routine to your life is one of the greatest investments you will make. No excuses, just do IT!
Shower & Get Ready
Take a hot, warm or cold shower, depending on the weather or whatever works for you. Incorporate your unique style into what you wear while getting light makeup and your hair and other things prepared.
Make a healthy/light breakfast
Emphasis on healthy! I’ve noticed that when I eat heavy in the morning, it shows in the way I work. I don’t want my day to be sluggish or dull. I believe life is what we make of it and I love my body enough to eat right. Eating the right food or snack in the morning helps set our day right. Think of oatmeal and bananas instead of fried food. Others include light cereal, apples, wheat bread etc.
Listen to Beautiful music in between
Yeap! It’s important to know yourself and what kind of music works for you. Gospel and inspirational music or messages keep me motivated throughout my day, not just in the morning. Remember that the music you play in the morning is likely to stick to your mind throughout the day. You might as well listen to something worth it. From driving your own car to using the subway or bus to work, get in the habit of listening to something that inspires you keeps you excited about your day.
To Do List Time
Look through your to-do list and check if you need to take care of any other items before heading out. I’m a fan of all the to-dos and must-dos, goal setting and more. It helps me stay organized and productive. Make sure this was written earlier during the week or at least a night before.
Check Emails and then continue my day
You can decide to check your email at work or at home if you have time. It’s really not worth it spending your whole time on your emails or social media when you know deep down within you that it will help you waste your precious time.
Quick additional tips that will help you get started:
- Commit to a new habit and make up your mind to make it happen
- Keep your alarm clock and phone far from you, so you’ll have to stand up and get it
- Splash cold water on your face, brush your teeth and drink a glass of water immediately you wakeup
- Plan your day the night before and briefly envision the next day
- Don’t eat a heavy meal the night before
- Meditate the night before- this helps you clear out the negative part of your day and focus on greater things ahead
- Consider using apps like Buffer to schedule your social media posts (if you’re a blogger, entrepreneur or just need to post early). This helps you focus on other things instead of getting carried away.
If you’re determined to have a more fulfilled and productive day, the good news is that- YOU CAN! Do your best to develop a morning routine this week; one that keeps you inspired, focused and motivated. Depending on your work schedule and plans for the day, it could take you a longer or shorter time to achieve your morning routine. Honestly, your routine might change a couple of times, but with determination, you’ll eventually figure out what works best for you. If it means waking up 1hour earlier, do it. It’s time to set systems and structures that will keep you in check and motivated throughout the day and in your life.
An inspiring and intentional morning routine has helped me grow spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. I have also been able to manage my time well and stay productive while achieving more goals throughout the day. How has your morning routine transformed your life?
Now it’s your turn: Tell me about your morning routine. What do you think about having a morning routine? Please share some activities that keep you focused and inspired throughout your day.
Honestly: I really appreciate you for reading. Please share your thoughts, experiences and ideas in the comment box below.
Life is more meaningful when we share. Let’s get more people achieving their purpose. Share this post via:
Love & Light
External Links: The Feisty House Morning Routine
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