How to Have a Great Morning Routine Waking Up at 5 a.m. is not as hard as it sounds. I’m sharing how I start my days, my schedule and the why behind what I do to have a clearer mind and more energy.
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How to Have a Great Morning Routine Waking Up at 5 a.m. is not as hard as it sounds.
In the past few months I have started a new way of living. On weekdays I wake up at 5 a.m. and follow a scheduled morning routine that gets my body and my mind energized and is helping me thrive.
I’m sharing the benefits of early rising and my morning checklist as part of my Thrive Series here on the blog. It’s two weeks of posts on the things that I am learning and working on that I couldn’t wait to share with you as I strive to thrive throughout all areas of my life personally, professionally, spiritually and creatively.
I can attest that in the last few months of this new schedule I have lots more energy and focus and feel better every single day.
So far in the series:
What’s Still to Come:
- Spaces to Rejuvenate
- Whole Wellness
Why wake up at 5 a.m.?
One of the biggest changes that is giving me amazing benefits is waking up a 5 a.m.. I have more energy throughout the entire day following this morning routine.
I was always a night owl while admiring early birds, but I was content in my schedule and told myself that it worked and was how my mind and body functioned best. I never wake up grumpy, but just love to stay in my comfy bed and snuggle as long as possible.
One or two days a week I would stay up past midnight doing creative work. As I’ve gotten a bit older, I don’t bounce back from that loss of sleep the way I did even five years ago. I still have school age kids that I need to get up with on school mornings, so am not able to adjust my sleep hours for nights I stay up late.
I also started feeling like I couldn’t get everything done in my day when I would wake up just before my kids did. So I got curious.
On one of my favorite podcasts I heard an interview with Robin Scharma, author of The 5 a.m. Club and I ordered the book. It is an interesting read. Number one, because it’s written as a quirky story. And number two, it may be the book I have highlighted the most in. It is full of inspiring quotes and wisdom.
It’s about two struggling people trying to thrive, an artist and an entrepreneur, who go to a conference and meet an interesting man who becomes their mentor flying them around he world in his private jet to teach them the value of rising at 5 a.m. I know, it is a bit far fetched, but it holds your attention as you read and it inspired me give the early mornings a try.
A second book had a big impact on my new morning routine. A friend shared it with me and I listened to it on Audiobooks, Aubrey Marcus Own The Day, Own Your Life. I got so much out of it, I ordered the hardcover so I could go back and reference things.
My morning regime for those first minutes I’m up, are adapted from Marcus.
I love when people give practical applications, not just the why’s, but what they are doing too. So I’m going to tell you exactly what my mornings look like. It may help you set up your own routine. You choose what’s important to you in those early hours before others wake up and tweak the schedule to fit you.
Your routine my look very different depending on your season of life. Do you have little kids you stay home with? Empty nesting? Retired? Working outside the home… Adjust for what works for you, where your life is at right now knowing it will change as your circumstances do. My life looks very different now that my youngest is in seventh grade and I work full time than it did when I was a stay at home mom with young children.
Here’s the quick list of what my morning looks like and then I’ll break it down with details below.
My morning routine
- Get up instantly when my alarm goes off at 5 a.m.
- Head to the kitchen to drink a glass of water
- Step outside.
- Do five minutes of stretching
- Take a cold shower
- Get dressed and ready for day while listening to a TED Talk
- High Five my mirror
- Make detox tea while reading First 5 App devotion
- Read Quiet Time Chapter while drinking tea
- Pray over prayer requests and praises in my prayer journal
- Write my Morning Pages
- Welcome kids into the kitchen for breakfast on school mornings, make my smoothie
- Throw in a load of laundry
- Add breakfast dishes and start the dishwasher, wipe down counters, sink and straighten kitchen.
- Posts to Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, You Tube
- Take kids to school
- Stop at one of the local coffee shops, review my to do list and intentions for the day enjoy coffee and oatmeal
- Some days I join friends for coffee or go for a walk during this time
- Take time to respond and scroll on Instagram and Facebook, check emails
- Pinterest pinning
- Head to my shop.
As we begin Summer and when the time comes, I’m not having to leave in the morning to take kids to school, my schedule will adjust. I will add in a workout in the early morning when I stretch and then follow my daily plan.
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Little Things That Make A Big Difference
Make Your Bed
I would make my bed first thing, but my husband usually gets up after I do so he makes it. Last one up, makes the bed. Making the bed is a very important part of a morning routine. It’s the first accomplishment of the day. It feels so good to walk into my room and see my bed looking beautiful and organized and put together. It helps me feel like I am too.
Pulling the covers down in the evening to get into bed feels so pampering, like staying in a fancy hotel room each night. Now I just need the chocolates on my pillow!
One of my favorite books is Make Your Bed by Admirra McRaven. It is also a great gift for anyone, even teenagers. It’s a perfect graduation gift. All my kids have read it and have really been inspired by it.
It’s important for our bodies circadian rhythm to get outside the house and into the sunlight for just a few minutes, even if it’s cloudy. Right now I step outside on our back porch and look out at the lake for a few minutes while I drink my water, or let the dogs out and walk around with the new puppy, if Brian didn’t already. When my mornings have a little more time I will take a walk or go for a run.
It’s so Cold!
I didn’t think I’d have the courage for cold showers. It’s one of the reasons I do it, to challenge myself. Here’s how my morning showers go- I get in the shower at my normal, comfortable warm temperature. I soap up my shower puff with my favorite body wash, take a big smell of it and lather up. At the end of my shower I turn the water all the way cold. I don’t think, I just turn the dial all the way over.
I work on keeping my breath slow and steady and stand in the cold water for one minute on my front and then turn around and do one minute on my back. I just count in my head. It helps me grow in willpower, self discipline and teaches my body to handle stress.
Get Dressed For the Day
The first blog I ever read still makes an impact on me. It was The Fly Lady. She talks about a few important things to do when you get up to help you be more productive. One is get dressed and put on your makeup. She suggests even putting your shoes on. I can tell you, for me personally this makes a big difference to not still be in my pajamas for hours. My energy level is instantly higher just by changing.
The Kitchen Sink
I like to remind myself to just “Take the Extra Minute” to get things accomplished and do them better. So many things only take an extra minute or two to complete and they make a huge impact on our day. Starting a load of laundry keeps my laundry chore manageable. I also have my kids do all their own laundry so that helps me and benefits them too by gaining responsibility.
I also try to unload the dishwasher from the night before and load anything that’s in the sink, then I wipe down the sink and the kitchen counters. It’s the same feeling I get from making my bed. I’ve accomplished something that makes me feel organized for the day ahead.
Engage the Senses
I try to engage all my senses throughout my morning routine. I take big inhales of the scent of my body wash in the shower, my tea, the fresh air, my coffee…
Stretching and the feeling of the poof on my skin in the shower help get my blood flowing, so does doing a detox scrub on my feet.
I have a teak shower stool in the corner of my shower and I sit down pulling one foot up over the opposite knee (it’s a great figure four stretch at the same time) and massage my foot with the detox scrub.
So many of the things I’m sharing in this post take only minutes to add into my routine and have such great benefits. You can always just add one new step in each week, until you build up to a schedule you like.
Each morning I try to write for at least 15 minutes in my journal. I free write, not worrying about spelling, grammar or even making sense to anyone, but myself. This writing is not to share, just for me to enhance my creativity and get thoughts out of my head. Often I will pick a topic and just write whatever comes to my mind.
My penmanship is something I’m working at slowing down on and taking pride in, but for my Morning Pages, I don’t worry about my handwriting. Read more about why good handwriting still matters IN THIS POST.
Morning Pages were inspired by my reading of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.
Drinks and Breakfast
My nutrition contains most of what I need to naturally detox my body, but I love to start my day with a warm detox tea with honey in it.
The first thing I do in the morning is make a “cocktail”. I fill a 16 ounce glass with room temp water (cold water makes it harder for our bodies to absorb the minerals) then I add in the juice of half a lemon and a tablespoon of sea salt. I use pink Himalayan sea salt. Our bodies wake up dehydrated, so this is essential to rehydrate and put back minerals lost over night.
I make a Smoothie each morning, not as a meal replacement, but as a vehicle for getting nutrients into my body. I add in water, spinach, frozen berries, flax meal, chia seeds, Ancient Nutrition Collagen, and Ancient Nutrition Super Greens with . I add everything into a blender, mix it all up and drink as I take the kids to school around 8.
I don’t eat anything until after 8 when I enjoy avocado toast on Ezekiel Bread, yogurt with granola and berries, oatmeal or eggs. This is when I have my first cup of coffee. Because I try to eat my last meal before 8:00 the night before. That way I have fasted at least twelve hours.
How can I Wake Up Easier?
I use Mel Robbins‘ “5,4,3,2,1 Launch” method. I set my alarm the night before to 5:00 a.m. and when my alarm goes off in the morning, I seriously say in my head right away “5,4,3,2,1 Launch” and throw off my covers and get up. Not giving myself time to think or argue with myself to stay in bed is the key.
I used to think setting my alarm and then snoozing it was a wonderful way to wake up, but I don’t believe that anymore. It’s not kind to our bodies.
What Apps Help Your Mornings?
- I do a faith filled devotional reading with The First 5 App from Proverbs 31 Ministries.
- I do my own stretching routine or follow one on my Peleton App. For $15 a month I get all kinds of workouts including yoga and stretching.
- I listen to a TED Talk on their app while I do my hair and makeup. I got great inspiration when I read Talk Like Ted by Carmine Gallo.
- I read headlines and articles from the New York Times App. I don’t spend too much time listening to or reading news, but a little bit a day, keeps me informed and not stressed.
- A few podcasts that are great in the morning are: Max Lucado, The Next Right Thing
I’d love to hear your feedback if you decide to try any of these morning routine additions! Email me or message me below. I’m excited to Thrive together!