How to create a morning routine (and stick to it)

BY Adrian Gonzalez

2nd Jan 2023 Life

How to create a morning routine (and stick to it)
A good morning routine can put you in the right state of mind to achieve your daily goals. Life coach Adrian Gonzalez shares his tips for waking up well
When we add a new goal to our New Year’s resolutions list at the start of January, our intent is strong with the promise of new beginnings.
But with the passage of time, our resolve begins to lose strength – our actions become inconsistent, and we end up dropping them before half the year is up.
The good news is that you can forget about the New Year’s resolution right away. Instead, focus on building a power-up morning routine, where you will integrate habits that will help you to achieve those goals you are pursuing.
The first step is motivating yourself to make a change to your mornings and implement a routine that makes time for you before the daily chaos ensues.
"Make it a weekly habit to reflect on how your morning routine is positively affecting your day-to-day"
The hardest part is consistency, and the best way to stick to your new morning routine is to follow up and measure the results.
Make it a weekly habit to reflect on how your morning routine is positively affecting your day-to-day. There’s nothing more motivating than seeing results.
So, how do you start? Here are seven quick habits you can incorporate into your mornings which will yield positive results for your energy, health, and productivity, making you ready and confident to start your New Year:

Put yourself on do-not-disturb

Make sure your closest contacts know not to text or phone you before you've completed your Morning Zen routine
Before beginning your Morning Zen routine, make a list of everyone important who might want to reach you in the morning.
Tell each of them about your new Morning Zen habits and ask them to avoid contacting you until a specific time when your Morning Zen ends.
That way, your mornings will be distraction and disruption free.

Wake up 35 minutes before your usual time

If you usually wake up at 7am, wake up at 6:25am. Waking up earlier will help you to allocate any task that will make you more productive or to include a workout routine—which for sure will boost your morning mood and improve your health.

Do not snooze your alarm

Set one alarm and avoid hitting snooze to wake up on the right side of the bed
The worst thing you can do is keep hitting the snooze button. Calculate how many hours you need to rest, and just put one alarm. Once you hear it, jump and start your day.
As a tip, don’t put your alarm clock on your nightstand. The best place to put your clock is on a table in front of your bed, so you have to get up to turn it off.

Do not look at your phone

For Morning Zen to work, you need to disconnect from the outside world and focus on yourself. This means no TV or phones—no social media, no news, no text messages.
Forget about the world for a moment because this is your precious time, by and for you.

Enjoy a homemade health drink

Go to the kitchen and make a special morning juice that will support your healthy diet and boost your energy. For instance:
  1. Pour two fingers of water inside a glass.
  2. Warm it up or put it in the microwave for 22 seconds.
  3. Take one lime, cut it in half and squeeze each half into the glass of warm water.
  4. Take a knife tip’s worth of sodium bicarbonate and add it to the lime warm water.
  5. Stir it up and let it rest for 10 seconds.
  6. Drink up!
As a tip, drink this juice 30 minutes before eating anything so your body can absorb it better.

Practise "collected conscious breathing"

To counteract the onslaught of stressful thoughts throughout the day, you need to first clear your mind and not think of anything.
Set aside ten minutes to focus on your breathing by practising meditation or, as an example, you can choose to practice the following:
  1. Sit with your legs loosely crossed on a comfortable mat, allowing your spine to follow its natural curvature—upright, yet natural.
  2. Close your eyes, forget about the world and just focus on your breathing.
  3. Inhale through your nose for four seconds.
  4. Hold your breath for four seconds.
  5. Exhale through your mouth for four seconds (be conscious—think about how with this exhale process you are releasing energy that needed to be let out).
  6. Repeat this breathing technique for at least ten minutes to make yourself feel at peace.

Be grateful and write your intentions

Take a moment to take note of your intentions for the day
Learning to be grateful will allow you to develop a happier state of mind, which will pave the way to a more successful and stress-free day:
  1. Take a blank sheet of paper or a nightstand notebook.
  2. Draw a line across the middle and divide the blank sheet into upper and lower parts.
  3. In the upper part, bulletpoint in any order, three things you are grateful.
  4. In the lower part, write your three intentions in the following way:
  • Your daily intention—this could be a project you need to complete, a problem you want to resolve, or a nice thing to have.
  • Your middle to long-term intentions—eg, you want a promotion. You’re not there yet, but you’ve taken on more responsibility and feel this is achievable in the next few months, in time for your appraisal.
  • A miracle—on this one, you don’t need to be specific about what you would write; in fact, all you need to write down is “today a miracle is going to happen to me”.

And from there, you are lock & loaded to Morning Zen

So as of now, no more New Year’s resolutions. Just practise your Morning Zen routine, stick to it, and get ready to be energised, more productive and boost your mood with this new mindset that you just built.
And remember: set your routine, feel free to add more habits, be disciplined, invest in your mornings, invest in yourself, and for the rest, practice your Morning Zen.
Adrian Gonzalez is a life coach and author of Morning Zen: Empower Your Life by Transforming Your Mornings, (Europa Ediciones, £13.90)
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