Do you ever go bed with so much ambition to take on the world the next morning, but wake up and can't seem to remember what you have to do? This is how my brain works. If it's not laid out in front of me, with bright pink highlighter and alarms going off, its not getting done. That's why I HAD to create an easy morning routine that automated my moves and made me way more productive.
When you have nothing to go by, it makes it easier to procrastinate, become sidetracked, and lose your focus on what needs to get done.
My brain has a million tabs open at all times so even though some of these things are quite simple, I don't even have to put any effort into thinking what needs to get done, I just do it on autopilot. Take a look at what my mornings look like-
1) Make coffee ~ Obvi. I have a Keurig so I quickly pop a coffee tab into the machine and away it goes
2) Load the Dryer ~ If you read my free e-book, you know that I load the washer at night and set it to run in the AM before I wake up. By the time I get downstairs and make my coffee, the load is ready to go in the dryer! (and if you didn't read my e-book, shoot me a message and I will send it to you!)
3) Gratitude ~ I have the "5 Minute Journal" from Indigo and I LOVE IT. It literally takes 5 minutes to jot down the 3 things you are grateful for and what your intentions are that day. I swear it puts you in a more positive mood and sets the tone for your day
4) Workout ~ This is when I do my squats and pushups. If it's a gym day, I will do them AT the gym, and eat breakfast before I leave
5) Protein Breakfast ~ Either protein oatmeal and berries, scrambled eggs and avocado, or a protein shake (chocolate, peanut butter banana is my FAVE)
6) Check email/to do list ~ I used to do this on my phone (bad idea) Now I sit in my home office and check email and it's way easier to concentrate. My to-do list is created the night before so I check and see what's on the agenda for the day
7) Eat the Frog- I learned this in a podcast for Studio Owners but I think its important for everyone. Eating the frog means to tackle the most daunting thing on your to-do list. Once it's completed, everything else will be a breeze! Don't put it off! It will cause unnecessary stress :)
8) Plan snacks/dinner ~ I either pack my bag for the day or I decided whats on the menu for dinner and either take it out of the freezer or pop over to the grocery store.
The rest of my day is tackling the to do list! You can use my list as a guide or create your own routine, but my challenge is to create a tangible list that you can work off of, at least until it becomes automatic for you
Creating an evening routine is my number 1 way to ensure I have a productive morning. When I am organized before I go to bed, I cut out all the morning chaos and even catch a few extra ZZZ's because I planned my day the night before.
The main reason I get most of my tasks done, is because I prepare it all at night! There's nothing worse than waking up and not having a plan of action for the day (unless you're on vacay and the plan is to have NO plan!) So prepping myself for the upcoming day just helps my brain map out what I will be doing. The more you do in the evening, the less you have to do in the AM :)
1) 10 minute tidy ~ I set a timer on my phone for 10 minutes, and I go around and pick up around the house. I start with main rooms: front entrance, living room, toy room etc. This is a quick pick up of items that don't belong, so 10 minutes gives me enough time to run around and put everything back in it's place :)
2) Kitchen Sink Rule ~ When I first read this on a blog years ago, I dismissed it, but I started implementing it a year ago and now I can't go to sleep without doing it! The rule was to always make sure your kitchen sink is empty and DRIED before you go to bed. No dishes, no wet cloth, and sink dried and shiny. Theres nothing more calming than walking into your kitchen bright & early and seeing a clean, empty sink. Just try it!! It starts your day off right
3) Load laundry/set timer ~ My washing machine has a "delayed start" button so I set it an hour before I wake up
4) Lay out agenda ~ I leave my agenda on my office desk, opened, so I can look at it in the AM and have a clear idea of what I have going on that week
5) Set alarms ~ I take full advantage of the alarm app on my phone, and I set an alarm for EVERYTHING. My alarm is regularly going off with reminders (don't worry, it plays popular songs instead of annoying loud tones) I set them for everything including- "Mail cheque for venue", "PVR the Bachelor", "get Stella from school", "book order due"... I like this better than the reminder app because you can SNOOZE something if you can't do it immediately (don't worry I always get Stella from school!
6)Tomorrow to-do ~ I jot down everything I need AND want to do the next day. Then I circle the "frog" to make sure it gets done first. This list goes beside my agenda
7) Remove Makeup/mask ~ I take off my makeup as soon as I know I am home for the evening. Then I try to do a facemask every other day. I have a couple fancy, pricier masks that I use weekly, but I have a TON of the sheet masks you can buy at a drugstore. (3 for $5 at Shoppers) It's a gooey, thin white sheet with eye and nose holes that you place on your face and take off in 15 minutes.
There’s so much to be grateful for, isn’t it? You have a job that pays the bills, a roof over your head, food on the table, family and friends who love you, etc. What more could you ask of life? The answer is: as much as you want! You have a good life, yes, but is this your dream life? The only way to know is to take a step back and listen to your heart. So far, it’s likely you’ve only been listening to your mind.
That’s all fine and great, but sometimes our minds can trick us into believing we’re not good enough to chase our dreams and create the life we truly want for ourselves. We’ve been conditioned that way; so we’re often scared of straying from the path into the unknown and begin working towards our dreams. Well, I’m here to tell you something important: you are capable and you are worthy of creating the life of your dreams. So why not start today?!
1. Define Your Vision
The first thing you want to do is define your vision. What are your dreams? Sit down for 30 to 45 minutes and look inward. I recommend you get a journal and start writing about your dreams, goals, and desires, no matter how big or small they may be. Write them all down and give yourself the time to focus only on what you want from life.
2. Start Visualizing
We’ve been taught to believe that visualization is a waste of time, it’s daydreaming and we could use that time more productively. But visualization is never a waste of time! Take a moment to think of the dream you are most passionate about from the list you created, close your eyes, and visualize yourself in that scenario. You already made it, you’re there. How does it feel? What does it look like? Lose yourself in the vision and think of nothing else for 5 minutes. When you do, you’ll realize how helpful visualization really is.
3. Take the First Step
Now that you know what you want and you’ve created such a complete vision for yourself, the only thing left to do is take action. Take the first step, then the second, and the third, and don’t stop until you’ve reached your goals. There will be hurdles and you may even make a few mistakes along the way, but don’t stop. Lost time is something we can never get back, so we need to make the most of it and start now!
Yes, it can be intimidating to get up and start changing your life. It means you have to step outside your comfort zone, which is something we’ve been taught to avoid. However, taking the step is worth it because, at the end of the road, you’ll have the life of your dreams. What could be better than that? So, get yourself ready and take action. Be brave and the universe will reward you!