I’ve written before about setting yourself up for a good day and starting the day off right. I wanted to revisit the idea of morning rituals and bedtime routines.
As I’m settling into my new home in a new country (well, not really new, but since I just moved here again, I’m re-familiarizing myself with my surroundings), I feel like I need to anchor my day with some sort of routine. Instead of trying to bog myself down with a detailed, hour-by-hour plan of my day, I think establish a few set practices for first thing in the morning and last thing at night could be a good starting framework.
The key word here is ritual. Rituals are good in that they help create consistency and can even provide you with a sense of control and fulfillment.
When I first started thinking of a morning ritual, my list looked something like this:
- Wake up
- Wash up
- Make the bed
- Start a load of laundry
- Put the dishes away
- Check I have what’s needed for the meals of the day
Sure I was setting up a routine of tasks to do each morning, but it really was dreadful. I would dread getting out of bed because I knew this list of errands would start as soon as my feet hit the floor.
This made me rethink the whole idea of a morning ritual. I didn’t want to start my day with a feeling of dread or that I was constantly working or that I was already behind before I’ve even begun!
Instead, I had a new goal – choose things that make you feel relaxed and happy.
Some aspects of my morning ritual now – put on my morning playlist; complete a specific mobility/yoga routine; text my mom. These three things get me off to a good start each day.
Do you have any morning rituals?
There are several articles online with suggestions on how to start your day off well, such as this article by Forbes and this one by Business Insider. While these suggestions are great, I would definitely recommend starting your day off with things that uplift you and make you feel good. If you really dread working out first thing in the morning, get your exercise in later in the day. Don’t tie yourself down to tasks that are unpleasant. This is your morning – make the most of it!
my mat is always laid out the night before – so that it is ready for me in the morning
Setting yourself up for a good day definitely starts with having had a good night.
A bedtime routine is not just for kids! All those things we used to do when we were younger – make sure your (home)work for the next day is completed, pack your bag, set out your clothes … these are all still great habits to practice in order to help prepare you for a good start the next day.
For me, the key is to go to bed earlier. Even after deciding this, I would find that I would turn off the TV around 10 pm, but by the time I would actually get into bed and go to sleep, it would be almost 11 or later. I definitely did not want to be going to sleep after 11 pm. That is when I realized that I needed to start preparing for bed a lot sooner.
Some things I do now:
I brush my teeth right after dinner. This helps reduce the temptation of any late night snacks.
I get into my pjs and remove the bed cover from the bed so that pretty much all I need to do is hop in when I’m ready.
I set my gadgets to charge (preferably away from my bed, but I haven’t fully succeeded with that yet).
Take a few minutes to make a short list of what I want to accomplish the next day.
Set out my clothes and anything else I need for the next day.
Preparing for the following day from the night before really does help. It’s made such a big difference that now I am incredibly stubborn about when I want to start winding down. I’ll selfishly say no to watching an extra episode of a TV show or lingering at a social event. I used to feel shy and a bit guilty doing this, but I don’t anymore. Preparing for my day and going to bed to get a good night’s sleep means so much to me that I make it a priority. When it all goes to plan, I don’t wake up feeling frantic, unprepared, or rushed. This then carries on through the day, and eventually, when it’s time to wind down, I know just what I need to do.
What would you have as your morning ritual or bedtime routine?
My previous posts about this topic:
The Whole Life Challenge is a great opportunity to explore just how much you can accomplish each day. My favorite thing about the challenge is that it forces you to make yourself a priority. Even though that can be tough at first, as you get used to the lifestyle changes, things get easier! To find out more about the challenge, please get in touch. If you’re ready to sign up with a team who is ready to support you to the finish line, then click here.