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5 Life Hacks for a Morning Routine for Your Best Day(s)

5 Life Hacks for a Morning Routine for Your Best Day(s)

When I wake up in the morning

And the alarm gives out a warning

And I don’t think I ever make it on time

By the time I grab my books

And I give myself a look

I’m at the corner just in time to see the bus fly by

It’s alright ‘coz I’m saved by the bell

The same thing every morning can start to feel like groundhog day, especially when it’s back to school or back to work after a great summer vacation and all you really want to do is soak up a few more minutes in bed without thinking about your to do list.

BUT…yes that’s a big but, routines are the secret of many successful folks and that doesn’t have to mean boring.

One of the most frequent questions I get after 15 years running is how do you stay motivated??

The answer is I don’t rely on motivation, I rely on routines and habits! Post knee surgery, where my normal habits were tossed out the window like rubbish, I needed to find a way to create a new routine for my sanity and recovery.

 

I’m partnering with my friends at goodnessKNOWS today to share some tips that have helped me create a routine for success and then….
If the teacher pops a test
I know I’m {not} in a mess

Oh Saved By the Bell, you are such good times. But onwards with the tips!

5 Hacks for a Great Morning Routine

Let’s start quickly with why routines are so fabulous!

  • Creates a sense of calm and peace
  • Eliminates decision making which stresses us out and hurts us later in the day
  • Allows us to enjoy moments of slowness because we’ve made them a required part of the day
  • It saves time which eliminates that pesky “too busy” excuse

If there were only 5 things that you could do each day to start your day on the right foot, ensuring that your entire day is calmer, more productive and enjoyable, this would be them.Standard Wake Up Call

One of the best tips I have ever implemented is to make your sleep and wake times consistent. Once I started doing this, I stopped needing an alarm clock and let’s be honest waking up sans that BUZZZZZZis one of the best feelings in the world.

That does mean keeping your sleep in the same cycle on weekends too, which I know seems like a bummer…but feeling refreshed is totally worth it, plus you can always snag a nap or let’s be honest, runners are up anyways to get in those miles.

Steps 1, 2, 3

Have a consistent process that you follow each morning, which provides you with a sense of starting the day on your terms.

For example, this process has proved helpful to me:

  • Make the bed – at least one thing is cleaned up and at the end of the welcomes me back
  • Wash face in cold water – helps to wake you up and to ensure skin in clean before sweating
  • Drink a large glass of water with lemon – kick starts hydration and helps to eh hem move things along (maybe you prefer coffee)

These should be super small things that are easy to do at home, on the road, over the holidays when life feels like it’s moving at warp speed. SMALL wins to start the day.

Planned Morning Snack Attack

I love food, it’s part of why I run. But eating randomly often leads to unplanned snacking, poor choices and bye bye goals. Instead, I plan to have a snack a few hours after my workout every morning when I know my hunger will strike.

I love this chocolate and nut pick me up from goodnessKNOWS (here’s where to find them).

Here’s the skinny on why this is great:

  • Chocolate – really I could just stop there.
  • Great combo of whole nuts, real fruits, toasted oats and dark chocolate
  • 100 mg of naturally-occurring cocoa flavanols
  • Portion control is done for you – 150 calories for all four squares
  • Six flavor (all with chocolate) – apple, almond & peanut; peach, cherry & almond; blueberry & almond; mixed berry & almond; strawberry & peanut; cranberry & almond

Gratitude Practice

There are many ways you can insert gratitude in to your morning, the goal of all is to set your mind rightfor a great day! Maybe it’s simply saying a few things before you get out of bed, so that even when you discover Fluffy hurled on your favorite throw overnight, it’s just not such a big deal.

Another great tool is the Five Minute Journal, which not only asks you to think about gratitude, but to think about a few things you EXPECT to go right during the day.

I love using this quick tool after I finish my workout and before I dive in to the emails that invariably will have me off and running in circles.

Sweat Quick or Slow

Did you really think I’d give you a morning routine that didn’t involve running?!

Clearly post surgery a morning run wasn’t in the books, but that didn’t mean I was just sitting around after those meds started wearing off. I’ve written in depth about the scientific benefits of a morning workout routine and how to make it happen, but suffice to say it’s going to improve your whole day.

Doesn’t matter if you opt for a slow yoga session or a hard core set of sprints, you’ll reap the benefits.

Right now, my routine involves hobbling down all the stairs to our basement gym. Doing an upper body workout, followed by all the physical therapy moves known to man for knees range of motion and hopefully by next week I’ll be adding in some time on the bike!

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