A morning routine is a set of habits you’ve implemented before you start your workday. Whether you’re aware of it or not, you already have one.
The key here is to make sure your morning routine is intentional, if not it can hinder your success and keep you from reaching your goals.
We have an average of 25,000 mornings in our adult life, how will you choose to spend them?
Benefits of a Morning Routine
The benefits of a morning routine go much deeper than reducing your stress levels before you head to work. They’re both physical and psychological:
ENERGY: The majority of us are taught to hate mornings because we’re tired and immediately think of everything we have to do, but a morning routine actually fixes this problem. One study that observed more than 60 Harvard students for one month found that people with the most consistent wake-up hours "performed better" compared to those who chose to mix it up, even though they were getting the same amount of sleep in general.
PRESENCE: Becoming more present not only reduces anxiety but also forces you to live in the now. By doing this we’re actually enjoying our life vs wishing it was something different. We’re enjoying the journey.
CONTROL: Are you controlling your days or are your days controlling you? No one enjoys the feeling of being rushed or late for an event. We become stressed out, upset, overwhelmed, and all-around negative. Being in control of the first 30-60 minutes of your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day- it makes you feel accomplished.
SUCCESS: When you (actually) wake up when your alarm goes off, workout, meditate, etc - you begin to feel like you’ve accomplished so much before your day even begins. These healthy habits will carry over into the rest of your day (and life!)
CONFIDENCE: You know that feeling when you work out, have a productive day, things are going great in your relationships? You just feel naturally confident. Creating a morning routine where you prioritize your personal care does wonders for your self-esteem.
5 Morning Routine Habits You Can Add to Your Day:
Morning routines will look different for everybody. What works for a single, 25-year-old, corporate employee isn’t going to work for a busy mom of 4, who drives her kids to and from school every day. It’s important to look at each habit we provide below, and ultimately choose which will work best for your schedule. A great way to do this is through trial and error, the only way you’re going to know if you enjoy something is by implementing it for a period of time.
Here are 5 habits the Cacti team swears by:
MEDITATION: Meditation doesn’t have to be all woo-woo, it’s about taking at least 2 minutes out of your hectic day to check in with yourself and see how you’re truly feeling.
Our Recommendation: GET READY MEDI
LOW IMPACT MOVEMENT: Sometimes all we need is a little stretch to clear our minds (and body). We’ve just spent 8+ hours lying horizontally, our bodies need a little introduction to the day before starting it.
Our Recommendation: GROUNDING MAT FLOW
JOURNALING: Journaling has an intimidating rep, but we want to change that. If you’re not ready to spill your guts to a blank page, try our positive habit workbook. Learn how to shift your routine with habits that benefit your life and growth.
Our Recommendation: CREATING & RETAINING HABITS
BREATHWORK: There’s a reason breathwork has been around for centuries. Changing your breath pattern means you’re changing your mental and physical state. We recommend this to anyone who isn’t ready to sit in complete silence (yet). This specific breathwork practice is used by the Navy SEALs to calm the mind and body and control the fight or flight response. Can be done anywhere, anytime.
Our Recommendation: BOX BREATHING
PLANKS: There’s a reason this exercise was in all the old 80’s workout vids. Planks are the ultimate exercise because they target your entire body, not just the core. If you work from home or in an office, you’re most likely going to be sitting all day, slumping over. Planks improve your posture, balance, and mood. This works because they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body.
Our Recommendation: PLANK SERIES III
The benefits of a strong morning routine are truly indescribable. Your mornings create your days, your days create your weeks, your weeks create your months, and your months create your years.
Life is already tough enough, try implementing these tips to make your morning routine run as seamless as possible:
5 Morning Routine Tips
NO PHONE: Your brain needs time to process waking up, the last thing it needs is to be bombarded with opinions on social media, texts, and missed calls. This immediately stresses you out and is the exact opposite of what we want from our morning routine - to lower our cortisol levels.
WAKE UP AT THE SAME TIME: Set a realistic timeframe, this allows your internal clock to adjust, making it easier for you to get up in the morning.
DON’T HIT SNOOZE: When you hit snooze, you’re actually signaling your body to go back into another state of sleep, but once it’s rudely interrupted again, you’re left even more tired throughout the day.
CREATE A ROUTINE FOR EACH ENERGY LEVEL: One good habit is better than zero. It would be silly for us to tell you you’re going to feel motivated each day to wake up and do a morning routine. To combat this try setting a morning routine for low, medium, and high energy levels. That way you’ve always accomplished one task!
DON’T TRY IT ALL AT ONCE: It’s about progress, not perfection. Aim to be a little bit better than you were yesterday instead of setting yourself up for failure. Learn more from our last blog post that teaches you how to aim for progress, not perfection.
At the end of the day, the goal is to do something your future self will thank you for. No matter what that looks like.
We guarantee you’re going to feel a difference after implementing these new habits. Tag us on Instagram and join the community over at @cactiapp for the extra accountability.
The Cacti Team