Mornings. Some feet find the floor with ease, ready to move forth with the day ahead. Some of us reach over to slap the snooze button one more time – then toss and turn under the covers fighting the sun rays streaming through the window.
I’m here to admit – my feet hit the floor pretty readily. The calm each morning brings + the gentle stirring of the world pulls me in without much reluctance. Maybe it’s the promise of a mug of steaming coffee or maybe it’s the allure of the sunrise over the lake (or both paired together), but mornings at our farmhouse have quickly become my favorite part of the day.
And I’m also determined to create a world that looks forward to, and embraces, mornings the same way I do. My husband isn’t always so enthusiastic about this challenge, but my toddler has my full support – as shown by her 6:15 wake-up calls.
Regardless – I’m here to share 5 steps that will send you on your way to creating a morning filled with margin. These steps are guaranteed to create a positive mindset you can carry with you all day long.
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Like anything else, how we approach a new task/routine is all about the work we put in upfront. In this case – it looks like making sure your body is well-rested, ready to rise, and met with minimal stress. PM PREP: Drink a glass of water + head to bed a half-hour early. This is also the time to set your AM alarm clock + set your phone to “Do Not Disturb”. New to this whole early morning thing? Start by setting your alarm 20 minutes earlier than usual. From here you can work your way back to a time that feels like an adequate amount for the white space you’re needing.
Your evening routine should also include completing as many AM tasks as possible. If you’re able, pack lunches, set your coffee maker to auto-brew (my favorite hack), lay out outfits, and organize items needing to head out the door in the morning. Work to create new systems. This alleviates stress + tension, while allowing you to be fully present in the morning routine you create.
And again – being that this a new routine your body is adjusting to, consistency is key here. Feel free to start out by waking up earlier 2-3 mornings per week, knowing that the more consistent you are with this schedule, the more easily your feet will hit the floor.
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Drink a full glass of water before all else. PERIOD. Clear the mental fog and wake up your body with hydration. Your physical + mental state will thank you. Bonus: Add a squeeze of lemon to boost your hydration + flush out toxins along the way.
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For me – knowing a steaming mug of coffee (paired with light read) is waiting for me is enough to propel me into motion.
This is no one’s routine but your own. For you this may look like sipping a mug of green tea, throwing on your cozy oversized sweater, listening in on your favorite morning meditation, taking your pup for a walk around the block, dishing up your favorite breakfast recipe, or simply enjoying a moment of stillness on the porch. Whatever it is that inspires you and brings you joy in a moment’s notice. Make note and know that THIS is worth prioritizing within your morning routine.
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Incorporate a task that creates a positive mental mindset. This means opting out of reaching for your phone or starting with any form of screen time. News alerts, inbox pings, and text messages from your co-workers can wait a few minutes. Instead, consider including your favorite workout – gentle yoga, a walk outside, or heart-pumping cardio – to lift your spirits and leave you feeling confident.
If the thought of a morning workout has you filled with dread (hand raised here), opt for inner work as an alternative. Options here include a morning meditation (I personally enjoy Insight Timer), journaling, or reaching for an insightful or inspirational book (two thumbs up for my current read: Make Something Good Today).
All of the above will leave you with a similar result – feelings of confidence, joy, and increased mindfulness that you can carry with you throughout your day.
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By this point, you should be feeling hydrated, mentally alert, and filled with positive energy.
Before you jump into your typical routine, create a transition that eases into your day. Pull out your planner and map out your daily white space, as well as the day’s to-dos and important events. This allows you to protect the margin in your schedule, while preparing for the workload + tasks in the hours to come.
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Keep in mind there’s no one right way to mapping this all out – only that you create a routine that excites you and inspires you to rise with the sun. Give yourself grace as you figure this out and work through the real-life challenges (i.e. a poor night of sleep or an early rise from a little one). Once this routine becomes second nature, you’ll find yourself eager to start the day (with a sense of control) and carry this energy with you as you navigate the day ahead!
Cheers to all the sunrises you’re about to catch!