Y’know how sometimes the day can just start off all wrong, and then go rapidly downhill from there. I am sure you know the feeling. There is a reason that “getting out of bed on the wrong side” is a phrase we use to describe someone who is being grumpy and obtuse – how we start our day has a covertly powerful influence on how the rest of the day rolls out. A deliberately created morning routine is one small thing we can do for ourselves that has a disproportionately large impact on how our days unfold. Here are 8 strategies for starting your day right:
1. Prep a bit the night before.
Obviously this one is a not rocket science. If you have the juicer out and on the bench, you are far more likely to use it. Similarly, if the kitchen is clean and tidy rather than last night’s dishes in the sink, you are far more likely to prep a healthy breakfast. What small tasks can you square away the night before that will add ease and flow to your morning?
Identify the things that are your most common morning irritants. Maybe it’s deciding what to wear and a heap of outfit changes. Or never having an ironed shirt. Or it might be putting the lunchboxes together under pressure or finding the sports kit. Identify your top 3 morning irritants and make a plan to eliminate them the night before (pick the outfit, iron the shirt, sort the lunchbox, find the cricket bat from its inexplicable hiding place behind the sofa). If you can resolve the top 3 irritants in advance, you are already on your way to a much easier start to your day.
My top 3 morning irritations are:
1. which I can resolve/lessen by
2. which I can resolve/lessen by
3. which I can resolve/lessen by
2. Set expectations
Few of us live in a bubble, so clearly other people in our domestic situation play a role in how our morning starts. This is a good time to reset some expectations on tasks and timing expected in the morning, so everyone can have an easier start. Maybe the kids are older and it’s a reasonable expectation that they make their own bed before school or pack their own bag? Maybe your partner is always late out the door and so that makes you late too. Or the buddy you get a ride with lets you down often and turns up late. Have a check in on any expectations that it would be a good idea to reset or redefine, so your morning has a calmer start. One conversation could make a massive difference.
I’d like to reset this expectation _______________________with ________________ so that ______________________________________________________________
3. What sets you up for the day?
What’s your number one non-negotiable? For some it might be 15 minutes to meditate. For others it might just be a solo 4-minute shower without anyone sticking their head in and screaming “muuuuuuuuuum…”. Clearly this differs widely and is deeply individual. What do you need to set you up best for the day? Identify one non-negotiable – if it’s just one thing, you are far more likely to make it happen than if it’s a whole list of “would like to’s” (well…a green juice, and then read the paper, and then a little light yoga, walk the dog then off to work – too hard and too many). Pick one and make it your non-negotiable for setting your mood in the morning:
My non-negotiable morning good mood setter is ______________________________
Part 2 – Coming up next week!