I’ve been working on a new morning routine lately.
I recently went to a Junior League training event on the “6-Minute Miracle Morning”.
This was based on the book The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, who has a really, really inspiring story!
The event was super helpful as far as just knowing WHAT to do in the mornings to set yourself up for success! And while brushing your teeth and getting dressed will certainly set you up for success, the 6-minute morning really focused on preparing your mind for the day ahead.
Hal used the acronym Life “SAVERS” to help us remember the categories.
Here is what they stand for:
Silence (meditation)- 5-10 minutes of silent meditation each morning. There are plenty of meditation apps out there, if you need help getting through it. However, thanks to the fact that we’ve pretty much all been to yoga at some point in our lives, this shouldn’t seem to crazy. Simply focus on breathing in and out for 5-10 minutes and deflect any distractions!
Affirmations– 10 minutes of repeating affirmations to yourself. The example that the presenter gave was Muhammad Ali. He is almost as famous for his affirmations as he is for his boxing. He told himself that he was the greatest every day… and he became the greatest!
Visualization– 10 minutes of visualizing yourself achieving your goals. I actually just used this to visualize myself having a productive and organized day… but it can also be used for long term goals, too!
Exercise– 10-20 minutes of exercise. Tone It Up has a morning “Booty Call” on their website and app. These are quick morning workouts that really do boost your energy throughout the entire day!
Reading– 10 minutes of reading. Probably not a Gone Girl-esque novel, but something a little more uplifting, like a book on positivity or a daily devotional.
Scribing (journaling)- 10 minutes of writing.
In order to turn this into a 6-minute morning routine, simply shorten the time of each activity to 1 minute!
I started this routine this morning and, since it was my first day, I spent 5 minutes each instead of 1 or 10. I wanted to make sure I felt like I accomplished a lot, but also got through everything in time to still look decent for work 🙂
Do you have a morning routine? Or have you ever tried the Morning Miracle? If so, tell me about it in the comment section!
I love routines. You know why? Because routines eventually turn into habits. And habits can make or break your productivity. Over the years, I have discovered that my morning habits typically indicate my day.
The other great thing about routines is this: They boost productivity!
Start your new routine: Take the following 5 steps today!
Do you have any advice for starting a new habit/routine? Do you prefer to add one tiny task at a time or to just jump right in with a whole new routine? And of course, tell me what’s worked for you in the past!
Mornings are tough. Can I get an Amen? But they’re also a completely undeniable part of adult life (and college life. Sorry.) so ANYTIME that I hear some good advice on how to get going in the mornings, I listen intently! Recently, Kiki (aka my mom) shared her routine.
( Learn more about her and her crazy ways here: 10 Things I Learned from My Mom )
The reason for this little routine is that just as bad things like smoking or drinking diet soda are bad for you over time (the key word is cumulative) good things in small doses over a long period are also going to pay off.
Here’s the 15 minute breakdown:
– I have dogs so the minute my feet hit the floor I go into the kitchen and feed them.
– While they eat I brush my teeth, wash my face, and moisturize. Use a moisturizer with a sunscreen. 30 years from now you’ll be so glad you did!
– Back to the kitchen to let them out, then I drink 16 oz.of filtered water and take my daily vitamins.
– I start the coffee maker (doing it before now or having it ready when I get up means I might skip the next step).
– While the coffee is brewing (notice I set myself up to be hanging around waiting for the coffee) I do a 7 minute yoga/stretch routine that I’ve developed over the years. The point of it is to stretch out all the big muscle groups and flood my body with oxygen which helps me wake up.
– While stretching and breathing I do not think about my day. I take deep breaths and think how grateful I am that I can move.
– Now the coffee is done. I let the dogs in, pour my coffee and head to a cozy chair to work a quick crossword puzzle to wake up my brain and read something spiritual to get centered for the day.
– I don’t finish the puzzle or the reading within the 15 minutes but the point is to get there. Once you are there with your coffee or tea and a few quiet minutes to yourself you can spend as much or as little time as you need.
By the time you finish your coffee or tea you are hydrated, oxygenated, energized, and ready to face your day!
I do this every single day. A couple of years ago I got a chance to test it during a difficult time. Because it was a habit I did this routine on autopilot once I got up. Some days hold exciting and fun things you look forward to. You’ll be in a better frame of mind to enjoy them if you jump-start your day. Make your routine a habit and all you have to do is put your feet on the floor. Then you find yourself doing the next thing and the next thing and so on.
You may not be able to face your whole day but you can face the first 15 minutes. It’s much easier if you have a plan in place. After this you are ready to go about your morning by having breakfast, checking your calendar, and getting ready. And just preparing to be fabulous and amazing for the rest of the day!
I was recently asked about how I organize my daily to-do pages. This was a great question because I have probably been trying for years to figure out an effective way to organize an efficient day! Last semester, I finally came up with a system that totally and completely works for me! Maybe it will work for you, too! I use a daily to-do page! Remember in a post a few weeks ago when I said that we should only be doing about 5 big things with our lives?
|The very first one I ever made for myself!|
Well, this to-do page works perfectly for that because it has 5 “categories” out to the side for jotting down quick task lists or recording notes. Last semester, I used my categories like this: work, school, blog, workouts, cleaning. Sometimes I switched out cleaning for errands or social for workouts. (Different seasons of life call for different categories!) This was the most helpful because it allowed me to list a MANAGEABLE number of tasks per category!
|This is the version available in the Etsy shop!|
Out to the left side, I just wrote my schedule for the day! If you color code the events in your life like I do, you could even use those colors to identify the time of day you’ll work on those projects! This was also super helpful to me because it really allowed me to create a concrete time management plan for myself. I have an easy time starting projects, but I have a reeeallly difficult time making myself STOP working on them! (or remembering to eat, drink…)
|The 2.0 version|
So, I use those time slots to force myself to say “hey, this is good enough” and move on to the next task! It has been a really helpful system for me! And so, of course, it’s available in Organized Charm’s Etsy shop for you to use, too! I would suggest printing out several days at a time and putting them into a notebook. Take a piece of notebook paper and write down every single thing weighing on your mind, then disperse those tasks throughout the days!
If you have long term tentative plans, you can use Post-It’s to show when you’ll be out for certain events (like meetings, appointments, etc) until they become “confirmed” plans! I also really love to use Washi tape on the edge of mine to add some color, and give me a space to write motivational quotes or decorate! For a while, I was even using the blank space at the bottom of the page to write down good things that happened each day!
(I should probably start doing that again)
Do you have a system for getting through your task list each day? What kind of planner/ notebook/ list do you use? How do you organize your planner/list to show the different “categories” of your life?
- Check out your entryway/front door area.
- Gather up all of the things that tend to linger in this area.
- If it’s by the front door because it needs to go somewhere, then put it in a bag to grab the next time you’re walking out the door!
- And speaking of bags, take a minute (or 10) to clean out your purse / laptop bag / backpack / etc. No need to carry around a bunch of excess junk in this new month!
- Move on to your bedside table.
- For me, this is always a place where random tiny things accumulate.
- I’m talking 39 bobby pins and ponytail holders.
- Take a second to remove anything that doesn’t belong there, so that you can go to sleep and wake up to a simple and streamlined space!
- Make the bed.
- And I mean really make the bed.
- Use all of your decorative pillows, throws, whatever you need to do to make it look/feel like a hotel bed!
- You’ll thank yourself when you go to get in it tonight!
- Make sure your “getting ready space” is in order.
- Make sure that every hairbrush, bottle of nail polish, tube of mascara has a home.
- I bought 3 bins at Target’s Dollar Spot to keep under my sink:
- 1 for nail polish, nail polish remover, cotton balls, etc.
- 1 for skin care related things like lotion and face wash.
- 1 for toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss.
- Everything doesn’t need to be arranged perfectly, but it does need to be categorized in a way that’s easy enough to follow every day!
- Round up all of your clothes.
- Here is the simple rule for clothes, every item of clothing should either be…
- …clean and hanging in the closet or folded in a dresser
- …dirty and spinning in the washing machine
- …unneeded and in a bag to donate / sell
- Round up all of your towels.
- They should either be…
- …clean and ready to use
- …dirty and ready to wash
- …old and ready to toss
- Now, let’s move to the kitchen!
- Really clean out the coffeemaker
- Wipe down the counters
- Wash ALL dirty dishes (either in the dishwasher or by hand)
- Spray and wipe out your newly-empty sink
- Deal with every piece of paper in your home.
- Either recycle or toss all unneeded paper
- File and organize every piece of important paper
- If a piece of paper has been lingering around for a while because it requires some type of action, go ahead and take that action so that you can file or toss the paper!
Do you have any suggestions or tips to help start a cleaner and more organized new month?! Add them in the comments below!
So, school has pretty much started back everywhere at this point!
Which means… mornings. And waking up early during mornings.
And even worse, being expected to show up to places on time during those mornings.
I’m pretty sure that getting the day started has always and will always be a difficult thing for people to deal with.
First of all, 48% of Americans say they don’t get enough sleep.
And second of all (and my personal problem with waking up), this is winter.
And it’s cold outside.
But I do have to say that the worst ever at waking up in the morning is my dear, sweet husband. Here is our interaction in the morning: I bring him coffee in bed and stay out of his way.
All those typical morning words like “cranky” and “grumpy” and “moody” don’t even begin to describe his level of disdain for waking up in the morning. But since I have to be up anyway, I did some research on how to create the best ever morning routine!
There are actually tons of articles (and opinions) out there about how to start your day off the best way possible. But you know, that’s something that each person really has to decide for themselves. SO I gathered all of my 15 absolute faves and listed them below!
Just scroll through the list and choose a few that would work well for you! Oh, and one thing that was pretty consistent throughout every article:
NO PHONE for the first hour of your day! (you know why)
2 minutes of meditation. By now, we all know that meditation is beyond-beneficial for us. But we still picture it taking place in a dark and silent room… which probably seems a little unattainable for most of us! Just do your best to clear your mind for a couple of minutes each morning.
Clean 1 thing you don’t want to. For me, it’s the dishes in the sink that have to be washed by hand for some reason or another. BUT I’ve found that if I go ahead and knock that thing out before I even have time to dread it, the rest of my day seems to be just a little more productive. It’s kind of like saying, “Hey, Procrastination! Don’t mess with me today.“
Drink green tea/juice/water. 8 hours is a long time to go without drinking anything… plus morning is a super easy time to remind yourself to drink more since you’re probably already in the kitchen!
Eat breakfast. Of course, when we picture breakfast we picture all those sugar-filled and indulgent brunch foods (Belgian waffles? Yes, please!) but the best way to start the day is with something hydrating like fruit or something high in protein such as greek yogurt. Save the
good sweet stuff for weekend brunch!
List 10 things you’re thankful for. This is one thing that I definitely do pretty much every morning. I also do it if I get in a bad mood throughout the day. Aaaand I also
Make the bed. This is an easy option. It’s quick. It’s not time-consuming. And it makes a huge impact on your space immediately! Plus, it acts as a barrier to keep you from getting back into bed!
Read. Now, I have to admit that (for me) writing “read” on my morning routine list would be straight-up dangerous because 98% of my reading is done on electronics. Electronics = internet connection. And internet connection = access to social media (as you know, it’s always downhill from there). BUT if you are the kind of person who reads books the old-fashioned way, then this may be a good idea for you! Just try to make sure it’s something encouraging and inspiring so that positivity can flow over into the rest of your day!
Repeat a personal mantra. I actually created one of these and said it to myself every morning last summer. Something about how I was the most productive person in the world and I moved quickly from task to task accomplishing things with confidence. Also, you could go the Blair Waldorf route: I am Grace Kelley; Grace Kelley is me. Either way, it’s totally effective!
Review your goals for the day. One of the habits I’m trying to get back into (after Christmas break totally demolished ALL of my good habits) is planning each day the night before… what to do, what to wear, etc. That way, each morning all I have to do is review the goals I’ve already set for the day and get started!
Smile for 1 minute. Yes, like a crazy person. I do this all the time when I get stressed while driving. Smiling relaxes you and basically forces you into happiness. And hey, forced happiness is still happiness, right?
Turn on all of the lights. I can feel my husband cringing as he reads that. He (and all men, apparently) are allergic to “wasting” energy. But science says that lights = productivity… so turn ’em on!
Visualize your day. There are so many ways to do this, but one thing I’ve started doing is choosing 3 ways that I can simplify the tasks ahead of me. For example, “I will simplify my drive to work by leaving 30 minutes early“, “I will simplify dinnertime by deciding now what I will make“, and “I will simplify my lesson planning by organizing my classroom materials ahead of time“. By the way, my husband would call this “doing less”… and he would wonder why anyone would have to remind themselves to do that.
Write in a journal. Nothing long or poetic or brilliant. 1 page. Or even just 1 sentence. Write about something that annoyed you yesterday and let it go. Or write about the awesome day ahead of you! Or all of the things you’re grateful for. Or about the crazy dream you had. Literally, anything is on limits!
Yoga. This = my favorite thing of all time ever (mimosas and Target excluded). I have recently started doing 6:40 AM yoga and it’s been a great way to start the day. For me, yoga is just so much easier in the morning before I check my e-mail or get stuck in traffic or do any of the other 34,000 things that try really hard to stress us out and ruin our days. Plus, when those things DO happen, I probably handle it a little better than I would have otherwise!