I’ve been an entrepreneur for over a decade but I would really and honestly say that I truly stepped into entrepreneur leadership about 3 years ago. Prior to that, I ran a business and did the best that I could to manage. I had all of my children during this time and most days I often felt like I was managing chaos and trying to keep my head above water.
It was thrilling at times, and I did what I had to do to manage it all especially since our photography business grew so incredibly fast. But it was a lot. Jason and I would often stay up well past midnight and I would often wake up at 5am or earlier just to get a jump on the day. We were absolutely exhausted but we didn’t know how to do better until we couldn’t go on like this any further.
And when you know better, you do better.
Waking up at 5:00 am, brewing a cup of coffee and sitting straight down to checking email and social media is hardly a morning routine. Taking the morning to slow down and to build a routine can feel counter productive, but actually it’s very life giving. When you don’t take time to shape your day, your day is going to shape you. Time is going to move forward at whatever rapid rate you choose, and you are in full control of how hectic and rushed your days are.
When you leap out of bed early and don’t set your intentions for the day and rush to work, this is a scarcity mindset and won’t help you achieve your goals. You are basically saying that you don’t trust the time that you have and that you’ll never have enough.
On the flip side, if you are rolling out of bed late and not getting a jump on the day, this is also not managing hours of your day that are given to you to help you be successful. As a result, you likely feel like you don’t have very much time and that there aren’t enough hours in the day. So you continue through your day with a scarcity mindset and feel like there’s never enough time. When in reality, you have plenty of time but just aren’t using all of it well. You say things like:
- “I’m not a morning person.”
- “I can’t get out of bed before 7am.”
- “I don’t like mornings.”
These are ALL limiting beliefs that are holding you back. We don’t all need to be morning people to be successful in the mornings. I’m not saying you need to wake up three hours early. I AM suggesting that you challenge your mindset to considering how you can use your morning hours better than you are now.
My morning routine is essential because it helps me to feel more human. It gives me space in the day to remember that I am a woman and that I have other things that I enjoy besides attacking my to do list. It allows me to honor the quiet stillness of the morning and the chance to center my mindset on what’s important. A morning routine is so essential, especially ever since the quarantine. I am so thankful that I had it established prior to our worlds turning upside down, but it’s not ever too late to implement a new way to better yourself.
To start developing a morning routine, it’s first important to determine what is actually doable for you. It doesn’t make sense to plan to get up at 4:00 am if that truly isn’t realistic for you. First, decide what it is that you want to accomplish in the mornings and figure out how much time you want and need.
Before the stay at home movement in our country, I wanted my mornings to be quiet and a time where I could wake up and take care of myself. I wanted to be able to do Morning Yoga with Julia Marie (my favorite!), mediate with Headspace, read, and drink an entire cup of coffee in silence. I wanted space to read my Bible, a devotional and also a leadership book that I was interested in. Currently, I’m reading Dare To Lead by Brene Brown, and it’s awesome.
For me, waking up at 5:00am to get all of that done before I would wake my kids up for school at 6:45am was really doable for me. The house was quiet and dark and it allowed me to wake up and get a few things done that I couldn’t really do during the day. Once the quarantine happened and all the schools started to close, I knew I would have to give myself grace with my morning routines and that it would have to shift a little bit.
But that’s the beauty of it! It’s personal to you, what you need but also can fit the schedule of your family. If you are feeling stressed with the current situations and state of the world, and anxious that everything has altered your schedule so drastically, just try to remember that you really still are in control of your days. I flexed my morning routines during this season to help all of us here at home, and I reverted back to an old routine that was familiar to me when my kids weren’t in school yet.
I still aim to get up early, but I’m also remembering that we are living through a global pandemic AND a historical revolution. I’m giving myself grace to sleep and rest as I need it, but when I can, I use my mornings differently right now. I get up, make a cup of coffee, read my bible and use the rest of the time to work until my kids get up. With our days full of summer activities at home, trying to get outside even though it’s hot, projects and what not, it’s really the only guaranteed way to ensure that I can get a couple of concentrated hours of work in right now. Is it ideal for me or what I want? Not really but I’m choosing to be flexible and make decisions to take charge of my day.
To create your morning routine, it really involves 5 steps:
1. Decide what you want your mornings to look like and what you need.
2. Be realistic about Step #1.
3. Lay out your plan and decide what time you’re going to wake up.
4. Put your plan into action daily.
5. Stop breaking promises to yourself.
When you make a plan for a solid morning routine and then you don’t put it into action and stick to it, you are only telling yourself that you aren’t worth it. And you absolutely are! I’ve found that my morning routine, even the one I’ve formed in the middle of this global pandemic, has been crucial. It’s given me a sense of normalcy, it helps me to feel and be productive during this uncertain time, and it gives me a quiet space daily during a time that is anything but.
People ask me all the time how I accomplish everything that I seem to and the answer is simple. I go to bed early and I wake up every day for my morning routine. I want to encourage you today. If you feel like the days are swallowing you whole and like you are beyond exhausted, it might be helpful to at least take a look at what your mornings currently look like. Where can you adjust to create more space for yourself? Can you add something like yoga or take a walk before everyone is awake to allow for some ‘you’ time? Can you get to bed 30 minutes earlier so you are getting the rest you need to be mentally confident as your days start?
You don’t have to start your days frazzled. It doesn’t have to be like this. Review what you currently have in place, make some decisions and then commit to putting them into massive action. Be consistent and I promise, waking up earlier does get easier but its still an active discipline to make each and every day. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it!
What does your morning routine usually look like? I would love to hear it in the comments!
Make every day stellar!