What are some of your morning habits? Do you have a particular routine that you follow, anything that you must do before your day can begin? No really, I want to know!
A while back I read a very inspiring article posted on Lifehack.org that fell completely in line with habits that either I already had in my morning or those I wanted to have.
For this article, I figured I could research a ton of morning habits belonging to the most successful people in the world (which you’ve probably read before), then share the best common habits….but then, I had a better idea. Why not share my morning habits with you and ask you to share yours with me?
I’d love to see what we as writers, bloggers, social media mavens and some of us parents, do to get their day going on the right track! If you’d like your habits to be featured in the follow-up to this article, just let me know in the comments section or on Twitter and use the hashtag #MorningHabits.
Here are the “10 Habits” from the Lifehack.org article:
- Wake up really early
- Burn your calories
- Do an “Hour of Power”
- Jot down on your gratitude journal
- Ask yourself one important question
- Eat that frog first
- Connect with your partner
- Plan and strategize
- Meditate and clear your mind
- Cuddle and bond with your kids
The italicized habits were the ones I already did and the aqua blue habits were the ones that I wanted to incorporate into my morning. Ironically, the items on the list that I didn’t already or necessarily want to do, ended up being integrated into the new list that I created and still use today! Here’s that list, along with a brief explanation of why each item is important for me…and you!
The 10 Morning Habits of alegriasmuse:
- Wake up really early – Like 5:30am! It sounds crazy, trust me I know. I’m a former Night Owl….we’re talking 3am-8am sleep hours. Not only is that not enough sleep in order to function properly but I kept reading a lot about highly successful people who made waking up super early a habit and they always wrote such encouraging words about how it effected their overall productivity (which is what sold me in the end!).
- Meditate (or Pray) – I cannot stress this enough, upon rising (then using the restroom, grabbing an essential cup of coffee and a bottle of room temperature water) I get right into the habit of chanting. Some people meditate quietly, others pray either aloud or quietly and some of us chant. I chant a calming mantra that focuses on “devoting myself to the mystic law of cause & effect through sound (my chanting)” and I focus my energy on all the causes that I want/need to make in the day that lies ahead.
- Take Jasper for a brisk walk/jog through the neighborhood – “Your health is one investment that is guaranteed to pay dividends!” I never thought I’d be quoting my least favorite Shark, Mr. Kevin O’Leary (sorry Mister Wonderful!) but he does have good point! Before revising my #MorningHabits into the list that you see before you, I would occasionally take Jasper out in the morning but because of my former “night owl” status, I’d usually end up jogging around 1a. Not only was this incredibly unsafe (no matter how cute my neighborhood is!) but studies have shown that exercising before bed is good for some and not so good for others. I actually fell into the later group, so the switch to morning workouts has been incredibly beneficial to me for pretty much every reason listed in the article above!
- Ask the “Steve Jobs” question – At this time, it’s just after 6:30a and time to ask myself the infamous question that Steve Jobs used to ask himself every morning, “If today was the last day of your life, would you still want to do what you’re about to do today?”. If he answered this question with a “no” several times in a week, he would look at what his current goals were in both his professional and personal life. Then he would make a change, never knowing if he “would have the opportunity to do so the next day.” I am grateful that Jobs shared this daily question to himself during a speech at Stanford many years ago because it has truly become a habit that has changed the way that I view my goals and how important it is to look at whether or not something is really working in my life.
- Check my “daily to-do list” & social media stats – This section has the potential to get really lengthy, so I’m going to try to sum it up as best I can! Depending on how long I took to answer my “Steve Jobs question”, it should be about 6:40a by now. I have 20 minutes before I must jump into my daughter’s bed to snuggle with her (see #6) so I need to get in front of my computer. My longest-standing work-related habit has been to look over my daily to-do list (written out the night before), then I check my: Email, Buffer, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram accounts, taking note of my social media stats for both my writing biz accounts @alegriasmuse and my small “Event & Wedding” biz (Creative Event Consultants) accounts @createventweds. Finally, it’s time to open up the WordPress Dashboard for my self-hosted website “alegriasmuse“ to make sure everything is running smoothly there.
- Wake up child with lots of snuggles & tickles – My 6 year-old daughter loves both snuggles and tickles. These tickles must be mild at first since she’s just waking up but I like to stay in the snuggle phase as long as possible, as this particular habit is one of my favorites. I’ll jump into her bed and scoop her into my arms at 7a sharp, then get started on a healthy breakfast. Fortunately, her school does uniforms, she showers the night before and we live about ten minutes from her school, so we can make her 8a start time just fine 🙂
- Eat the Frog! – No I don’t eat frog legs for breakfast! “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day” said Mark Twain in his famous quote, which became a metaphor for advice on how to tackle the day! Most people take this to mean “that big article (they) have due at work” or even “that traffic ticket (I’ve) been putting off going to court about”. This particular habit is usually work-related for most but I tend to eat the frog that is the biggest thing I need to tackle first thing, professional or otherwise.
- Connect with my partner – This became one of those points that I adopted as soon as I read the article that inspired me from Lifehack.org. We decided together that even if he didn’t have a client (he’s a Contractor) in the morning and could sleep in, he would get up with Claire & I, to have breakfast then go with me to drop her off at school. Depending on our schedules we try to make a habit of grabbing some coffee on the way home or if time permits, we try to stop by the chiropractor together!
- Study time – Assuming I arrive back at home directly after dropping Claire at school, it should be 8:15a and I’ll spend the next hour and 15 minutes (to round off the time) studying. This can include a “half hour of power” for me, for others it’s usually the popular “hour of power” but I already get a lot of my inspiration & encouragement during my early morning chanting session! I also gain a lot of encouragement, reading books by established writers, businessmen/women and my personal favorite, successful entrepreneurs!
- Acknowledge and appreciate my life – It’s 9:30 and time to start writing! But first, I like to take a look back on my morning, the already 4 hours that I’ve been awake and productive. Since this look back inevitably sparks gratitude within in me, there’s no need to think about what I’m grateful for and jot it down in a journal. I like to take the appreciation I have for my life and put it into my writing, my coaching, my dealing with clients or people I meet on social media and of course, into my relationships with family & friends. If at any point throughout the day I become frustrated or irritated with someone or something I just close my eyes, take a deep breath and think back on my morning with a smile. This habit is sometimes a forced one but I smile either way! It’s amazing what the act of smiling can do for your emotional wellness during a stressful time.
Well there you have it, my 10 #MorningHabits! Again, I’d love to hear some of your own morning habits in the comments section or on Twitter (using the hashtag). I look forward to reading about your #MorningHabits and seeing how many of them we all might end up adopting from each other in the future!