How are your 2018 goals coming along? That first week of January always feels so fresh and empowering, but right about now is when I usually have to recall what I even set out to improve for the new year. One of my biggest goals for this year is a better morning routine. Mornings have always been hard for me, and I wish I could say that I am one of those people who leap out of bed excited to start the day. It is so true though that how you spend that first hour or two after the alarm goes off really determines the tone of your day.
I am embarrassed to admit that I was in the habit of hitting the alarm, and then immediately falling down the rabbit hole of notifications and scrolling and messages and emails….all before I even put my feet on the floor. I can’t think of a worse way to start your day. For me, filling my head with all the clutter of the outside world – whether it was the news, or social media, or business – immediately made me feel like I was already behind, and the day hadn’t even started. I couldn’t enjoy breakfast or coffee or time with Ben, because my mind was already feeling the pressure of people I needed to respond to or a growing to-do list. It is an exhausting way to start every day, and this year I decided to make it a priority to create a better routine. Sure we are still in January, but they say it takes 21 days to create a habit, and I am hopeful that this new approach to mornings will be here for the long haul.
After the alarm goes off, I head to the kitchen to start coffee and breakfast while Ben gets ready for work. A few months ago, he began a new job that means our mornings start a lot earlier. I don’t even want to say what time the alarm goes off, because I don’t even like to think about it….for a non-morning person, denial is just easier! After he is out the door, I sit on the couch with my coffee and read my Bible and quiet my mind before rushing into the day. Yoga has long been a love of mine, and tying some yoga flow into my morning routine makes easing into the day more enjoyable. If you don’t already practice yoga, just stretching first thing in the morning feels like the equivalent of drinking coffee! It doesn’t have to look pretty or perfect, just move your body in a way that feels good! After showering and getting ready, then…then…*THEN* I open my computer, open my phone, and allow the voices of others filter into my day. But instead of rushing into my office and scrambling to log on and catch up, I can begin my work day out of a place of rest and not stress.
How are you starting your days? Before you even get out of bed, what are you allowing to fill your mind and heart? I shared this post on Instagram last week, and one thing I always learn from these kinds of conversations is that we are never alone in the things we struggle with. So many voices chimed in that the phone habit is also the way they are starting the day. I know that everyone’s schedule is different, and sometimes it just isn’t an option to read and stretch and spend time alone in the morning. But I think that whether you are a mom getting the kids out the door for school, or working crazy shifts, or making it through college days, we can all improve our wake up routines by eliminating the phone factor. The first days feel a little weird, but I promise that after a week, it feels SO GOOD when you can turn off the alarm and not immediately fall into the time suck that is our phone. Just remember, 10-15 years ago we weren’t hitting the alarm and then running to the phone in the kitchen to listen to voicemails, or running out the door to get the paper to catch up on the news! Smart phones can be used for so much good, but it is a balance in not allowing them to rule our days and how we spend our time. I’d love for you to join me in this new year challenge!