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I am all about FLOURISHING and being the best we can possibly be and a great way to set yourself on the path to flourishing is to start your day right!

Mornings are often a rush to beat the clock and get out the door but I’ve found that if I make the time and effort to start my day with intention, the rest of my day flows so much more smoothly than it would if I woke up and went through the motions, reacting to everything that happens around me!  Jim Rohn said it perfectly:

“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.”

Personally, I prefer to be in charge!

So, whether you’re lucky enough to be able to spare an hour for a daily morning routine or just 5 or 10 minutes, it’s well worth doing!

What can you include in your morning routine? Well, it really is down to you and your unique life. If you use my Born to Flourish planner-journal, you’ll have a page dedicated to crafting your very own morning routine, where you can list down the things you will do to start your day right 😊

If you’re stuck for ideas, here’s 5 things I always include in my own morning routine. Depending on how much time you have available and what’s important to you, you can pick and mix from these or make up your own!

1 | Meditation / Reflection / Gratitude

Whether its meditation, prayer or reflection, starting your day with this practice will help ground you and enable you to be more intentional and mindful. Even if it’s just for a minute or two, close your eyes and connect with your higher self. Be grateful for another day on earth, for all the things you have, no matter how small. Focus on all the positive things you have in your life – people, experiences, things. Remember that what you focus on expands, so choose to focus on the good, positive things in your life to attract more good, positive things in your life! This is a great time to visualise too. Visualise your day ahead, see yourself confidently achieving your goals, having a great day. I once read a book that recommended starting your day by thinking of ten things you’re grateful for and then seeking guidance for the day ahead. If this is the only thing you can manage as part of your morning routine, it will still make a huge difference to your day and your life!

2 | Journal

There’s something therapeutic and also powerful about putting your thoughts onto paper – whether it’s to clarify your thoughts, set your intentions for the day or simply offload all the clutter lurking in your mind to free up some space! Even if it’s just a sentence or two, depending on whether you’re much of a writer of not, write something down. Personally I prefer ‘proper’ writing over typing on a laptop or computer, simply because it feels more ‘real’ and it’s so much more effective actually writing your thoughts than bashing them out on a keyboard. Not to mention I lost a couple years’ worth of journalling when my laptop crashed a few years ago!

As you might know, through my love of journalling and planning, I created my own hybrid planner-journal, the Born to Flourish planner-journal, which has a page dedicated to each day and which contains prompts to help me set my intentions for my day ahead, tie those intentions to my bigger goals, explore my underlying thoughts and feelings and then, later in the day, reflect on whether I followed through with those intentions, any lessons I learned and how I might improve tomorrow. I have been using this planner-journal for years now and couldn’t live without it because it combines the practical planning and doing stuff along with the all important, but often overlooked, internal mindset stuff. If you want to find out more about my planner-journal, check it out here!

3 | Exercise

Probably not what everyone wants to be doing as soon as they get out of bed! But this is a great way to kick start your metabolism and your energy levels for the day ahead. I was never an exercise in the morning type of gal, and would do so in the evenings – usually when I was frazzled from my day – and to be fair it did still help me, but now that I exercise in the mornings, I feel so much better and it makes me feel really energised for the rest of my day (and also helps me get a good night’s sleep). It’s easy to think the other way round – I’m going to use up my energy exercising and be too tired to face my day! But no, quite the opposite 😊 Exercise energises you, gets the blood pumping, your mind mentally alert, which is a great start to your day!

Personally I like to go for a run, or at least a brisk power walk. And while many times I have had to really convince myself to head out the door, not once have I ever returned and thought ‘oh, I should never have done that.’ Instead, a few minutes into my run or walk, I’m thinking ‘I am so glad I did this!’ Sometimes my run or walk is an hour, sometimes it’s half an hour, and sometimes it’s just a brisk walk around the block. But this practice also has a knock on effect in terms of wanting to eat something healthy for breakfast rather than comfort food (yes I tend to gravitate towards muffins, croissants etc otherwise!). Running or walking may not be your thing. How about some cardio? If the weather’s bad or I simply don’t want to go outdoors, sometimes I’ll do a cardio workout at home for 10 or 15 minutes. Or you could do something gentler like yoga? Whatever it is for you, choose something to help your body and mind – MOVE into action!

4 | Have a healthy breakfast

Not exactly rocket science and you already know that you are what you eat and that you should eat a healthy breakfast to start your day right! Yet so many of us either eat a far from healthy, rushed breakfast on the move, or have no breakfast at all. What’s a healthy breakfast? I try to have a healthy smoothie every morning and because mine tend to be quite filling, with things like avocado and walnuts in it, it tends to keep me full all morning (which is a good thing for me, keeps me away from those muffins!)! Having a smoothie also helps me to put a wide variety of ingredients in my breakfast than I normally would have e.g. toast. Other times I’ll have granola with live yoghurt and berries, or I’ll have toast with avocado and egg, one of my faves, or something like oats with a bit of almond butter and chia seeds in it. I am always on a quest to eat healthier and don’t always do this, but I do tell myself that I will begin my day eating something healthy at the very least! This will usually set me up to make healthy eating choices as I go through my day, even if I do fall off the bandwagon some of the time! I tend to use the 80/20 rule of thumb and aim to be as healthy as possible at least 80% of the time!

5 | Do something different

I’ve read in a few different places that it’s a good idea to change up something you do habitually every day to sharpen your mind. A while back, I did a really good course provided by Jim Kwik (author of the book, ‘Limitless’) called Superbrain and he suggested doing things like brushing your teeth with the opposite hand you normally brush with – so if you normally hold your toothbrush and brush your teeth with your right hand, try doing this with your left hand! It means you’ll have to focus a lot more (which is what you want – a good brain workout!) to make sure you don’t get toothpaste all over your face! Or, if you always put on your right sock or shoe first, make a conscious effort to put on the left one first. This doesn’t take long at all, seconds of your time, and involves an activity you have to do anyway (so shouldn’t really take up any additional time) but is a great brain training exercise to start your day!

My morning routine is habitual now and making your morning routine a habit is exactly what you want to do. Yes, there are days that things don’t go according to plan, or I’m travelling and things are different, but for the most part, I will do the above things without even thinking about it. I do other things too, like reading, I’ll read at least a chapter or a few pages of a book with my breakfast if I’m alone or I’ll do some personal development like listen to a podcast or audiobook.

The key is to find things that will work for you personally and set you up for your day ahead.

If you don’t have a copy of my Born to Flourish planner-journal and would like to create your own morning routine or ritual, you can download (for free) the ‘Morning Ritual’ page I included in my planner-journal right here!

 

Do you have a morning routine? What does it consist of?