How My Morning Routine Leads to a Successful Day!
Imagine it's that time of the morning when you're jolted awake by the sound of your alarm. Do you hit snooze, rollover, fall asleep again for 10 minutes and repeat another three times? Or, do you turn it off, stretch and wake up slowly to begin your day?
I was a double snooze girl for the longest time but over the past year I've changed my ways and have come to embrace the benefits of a solid morning routine. It sets me up mentally, physically and emotionally for the entire day and if for whatever reason I don't go through my usual routine, I feel off and unprepared.
My job of running a dog walking business automatically means I need to be on top of not only my schedule, but the schedule of the other Pack Leaders. We've never missed a clients appointment and I prefer to keep it that way. But, being able to organize a schedule isn't the only thing that keeps my day running smoothly, here are my key habits that set me up for a successful day:
My morning routine actually starts the night before!
1. Organize & Visualize
Schedule & re-scheduled the to-do list! Every afternoon I sit down and look at all of our bookings scheduled for the following day. I break it down and assign a Pack Leader to each booking. I'll send this out to the girls and confirm they're able cover all of their walks. Throughout the rest of the evening I often get messages for cancellations or additions which means revising the schedule, often multiple times.
One last time, (usually before bed) I'll go through my entire to-do list for the following day. I visualize how my day will go, mentally checking off every task that needs to be accomplished, making sure to include time for my morning routine, all of my dog walks, personal errands and even family time with my partner and the dogs. This may sound excessive to have every last thing scheduled but it helps prepare me incase any last minute requests pop up. I won't be scrambling to figure things out and if I don't have time for it, I've learned to say NO (and there's nothing wrong with saying no...the world will not end and no one will think you're a horrible person). Trust me, you should try it more often! The to-do list visualization only takes a minute or two and then I stop worrying about it. I know I’m ready for the next day!
I recommend putting together your to-do list the day before and not day of. You can hand write it, put it in your calendar or even download an App to help you organize your schedule.
2. Sleep a Solid 8 Hours
I use to be a horrible sleeper, going to bed late and lying there for hours, wide-awake. I'd get restless and then get up and watch TV or brows the web. Then when I'd finally fall asleep, I'd toss and turn for 4-5 hours. It was not working for me and did not make for a good morning.
So how do I get 8 hours of sleep now? I make it a priority. I get into bed really early (we're talking like 9pm sometimes) but usually anytime between 9pm-10:30pm at the latest. I also use essential oils (EO’s) like lavender, that help with sleep, either in a diffuser or a rollerball application stick and apply it to my wrists (please take precautions when applying EO’s topically, the majority of them need to be diluted in a carrier oil, so please do your research as EO’s are VERY potent). I also keep the bedroom as dark as possible, no TV’s, no alarm clocks and blackout curtains are a game changer.
Make it a priority to get into bed earlier and make your bedroom a sleep haven. Comfy clean sheets, essentials oils, no tv and as little light as possible can all help!
3. Stress Free Mornings
Now that I've woken up feeling rested and my to-do list is already set, I can just enjoy the morning. I need at least an hour to get everything done before heading out for the day, so I plan accordingly.
My bathroom and wardrobe routine is pretty quick since my go to outfit is a pony tail, yoga pants and a work out top (I love my job!). I then head down stairs and immediately drink 2-3 big glasses of room temperature lemon water to rehydrate, detoxify and kick start my digestive system. I turn on some relaxing music, either jazz or a spa playlist and I’ll leave it playing throughout the day for the dogs. I also turn on another essential oil diffuser. The scent I use depends on how I'm feeling that day but my go to's are usually citrus, lavender, peppermint or an air purifying blend. Keeping in mind, it's not only me who benefits from the EO's but the dogs do too. So if you have pets, always make sure to use pet friendly oils.
Hydrate and create a relaxing and low stress environment!
4. Get Your Body Moving
I have a mini trampoline (known as a rebounder) and I loveee it! I jump on it for 10 minutes every morning and besides being fun to do, it also has a wide range of benefits. I specifically started using the rebounder for it's detoxifying effect on the body. Rebounding stimulates the lymphatic system and helps remove metabolic waste and toxins, in turn helping to boost the body’s immune system and reduce inflammation. More and more research is coming out nowadays on how inflammation can lead to chronic diseases like Alzheimer's, cancer, auto-immunity, leaky gut and the list goes on. For a detailed read of the lymphatic system and how to maintain it, check out this great post by Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS.
Move your body to circulate blood flow, remove toxins, boost your mood and increase energy!
5. Fuel up - Intuitively
What do I mean by intuitively? I mean, listen to your body, are you actually hungry, is your stomach growling or maybe the few glasses of water was what your body needed and you'll eat later that morning.
Do what works for you! No need to scarf down a big breakfast if your body's not wanting it. I realize this goes against what the food and health industry has been telling us for years and all the rules we tend to make up for ourselves but the more I eat intuitively, the better I feel. Somedays my body craves a big comforting breakfast and other days all I want is my matcha tea and I'm ready to go. Giving into intuitive eating has helped me over come my food obsession and sets me up for a stress free morning and day. Eve Lahijani, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Health Educator sums up intuitive eating in her Tedx Talk at UCLA.
Listen to your body. Are you actually hungry? What is your body craving? Eat until your full and most important - stop the mental food fight! Leave behind the 'good food/bad food' mentality and give yourself permission to eat without criticizing yourself!
Ahhh, its now time to start the day!
Do you have a go to morning routine, please share your favourite habits that help kick start your day :)