I’m thrilled to be sharing my morning routine in this post today! This has been a routine I have been working on and refining for several years and I am finding that it makes such a difference in how successful and productive my day is.
I don’t just mean successful by how much I can get done during the day. I also mean being successful by being able to maintain a good attitude, make healthy eating choices for my body, keep my emotions in check and have the clearest mind throughout the day. Productivity is an added bonus!
Why a morning routine is so important
Before I can dive into my morning routine that has molded the successful habits, I have to say that this current routine is something I have had to work really hard for. Waking up early and doing all of these things before the sun comes up is not easy or natural for me. I tend to be a perpetual quitter and give up on things really easily. So I have prayed for years for God to give me the motivation to keep going and keep making healthy choices to change my life so that I can do the things my heart is passionate about.
There have also been seasons when my work life and mom life (hello newborn days) did not allow for this kind of morning routine. That is majorly due to going to bed much later, not sleeping as much, and being needed much earlier in the morning. So just know, this is not a prescription for everyone in every season.
- 9:30 PM - Go To Bed
- 4:30 AM - Wake Up
- 4:40 AM - Quiet Time
- 5:40 AM - Workout
- 6:10 AM - Go for a walk
9:30 PM Go To Bed
The first step in a successful morning routine actually starts at night. Getting enough sleep to wake up early is the only sustainable way to maintain a successful morning routine like this. You might be able to do it for a little while, but eventually, your body crashes and you need to catch up. *Speaking from experience.*
4:30 AM Wake Up (10 Minutes)
Set as many alarms as you need to. I set 3 alarms with the first going off at 4:30 AM, then 4:45 AM, and the last at 5:00 AM. I like the 5 o’clock one going off because it is my last opportunity to get up and still be able to do some modifications to this morning routine and feel like I have started my day strong!
When I get out of bed, I always brush my teeth, get dressed in my workout clothes, and put on my shoes. I also go ahead and put in my contacts because I don’t like to work out in my glasses if I can help it. My goal is basically to be completely ready for my workout when I sit down for a quiet time. I want to have myself ready to walk out of the door to work out (in my driveway) so that there are fewer opportunities for me to talk myself out of doing my workout.
Remember, this is not super easy for me! If you are thinking, Abby this sounds hard and not fun. I’m with ya! But trust me. It will be so worth it!
4:40 AM Quiet Time (45 Minutes)
As a Christian, spending time with Jesus in the morning is a MUST MUST before I can do anything else. I like to make sure I have read my bible before I open Instagram, check emails, or start internet shopping.
When I do this, I pay better attention to what I am actually studying, I have a better understanding of the Word, and am able to focus on the Lord. When I open my emails first then it is really hard for me not to get distracted by the Jane.com email and want to shop or be discouraged by some work-related thing.
I don’t want Jesus to get the second-best part of my brain or a half-paying attention version of me in the mornings. I want to give Him my FULL attention and my full heart so that I can be filled with His spirit to take on my day.
The next part of my quiet time routine is to handwrite a gratitude list. My pastor used to call this the "1st & 10" list. Meaning the first thing you do in the morning is write 10 things you are grateful for.
These don’t have to be super profound things. They can be anything you want to express gratitude for. When you practice gratitude, it helps prime your heart with the right posture and center you where you need to be with a good perspective of things around you.
I think writing this by hand is really important! It helps the mind-to-body connection better than typing in my option.
This usually morphs into writing prayers. Sometimes I just talk to God like I’m journaling. Sometimes I list prayer requests or things I am anxious about and hand them over to him. This can look like whatever makes sense for you and your relationship with God.
The last thing I do during my quiet time in the morning is read a book. Usually, this is some kind of spiritual or personal development book. I try to keep any business books or fiction books for later in the day or at night time.
5:40 AM Workout (30-40 Minutes)
I love Beachbody workouts. I have been doing them for a few years now and they are so perfect for my season of life. I can change what I’m doing often and keep working on my body in different ways. I tend to get bored easily so this helps make it more fun! These programs are anywhere from 3 weeks - 13 weeks long!
In addition to that, I don’t have to leave my house, see anyone else, and it doesn’t take much time. This is important to me for this season of life where Tim, my husband, and I are alternating shifts with our toddler and me not really wanting to spend more time away from her. I can also include her in my workouts and not have to worry about taking her to a gym.
6:10 AM Go for a walk (20-30 Minutes)
When I am working through an exercise program that has shorter sessions, I love to go for a walk after I’m finished. This gives me the space to think and breathe. I usually listen to a podcast or worship music and take care of my mind and soul during the last few minutes of my morning routine where I am alone.
If I wake up late or have had a rough night (#momlife), sometimes I will do this first before my workout so that I can still get my body moving and sweat while I let my mind wander off to the places that need attention.
Some of my best ideas and opportunities to process situations or emotions come from this time in my morning routine.
After that, I’m off to mom mode with breakfast, lunch, getting people dressed, and out the door!
Helpful tips to keep you going when you lack motivation:
Count to 3 and then just do it! I learned this tip a few years ago from a friend who said that any time you have something that you don’t want to do but still really NEED to do, try this! You literally count out loud to 3 and then do the thing. You don’t give yourself excuses or room to back out.
It feels like giving yourself a little quick pep talk and then just doing the thing. I do this to get out of bed all the time!
Lay out your clothes at night. Taking out as many steps in your morning routine and eliminating choices when you are half asleep or still not thrilled about being awake gives you the minimal amount of opportunities to quit on yourself.
Think about what motivates you. I have a ton of things that motivate me. Right now, I am really celebrating how proud of myself I feel when this morning routine works out flawlessly (confession, this isn’t all the time)!
When I have accomplished so many things and have taken care of myself first thing in the morning, I feel excited and proud of myself. This really helps me feel ready to take on the rest of the day with a good attitude and a healthy mind. All of the success and productivity come from this perspective for me.
So that’s it! I hope you enjoyed this peek into my morning and have some new ideas or encouragement for your own productive morning routine. Even if you don’t like the mornings, starting with some of these things can really help. Over time, you grow to appreciate them so much that you would rather get up and take care of your mind and body than sleep in longer and start your day from behind.