When I think of being productive, happy, and balanced, I immediately think of the word routine. The reason why this word comes to my mind is because I believe that it’s essential to have a routine, as it’s the most effective way to achieve productivity, happiness, and balance. Routines can seem scary and even overwhelming, but truly they are only a vehicle to a cultivating a more mindful life and achieving what you desire.
My morning routine is one of the things that I take with me. Whether I travel for work or go on vacation, I always try to start my days following a couple simple steps. It’s pretty much a guarantee for success.
1. Before I start my day, I stock up on sleep.
Yep, I would say that sleeping enough is the first step for a healthy routine. Having worked in startups for a while now, I often hear “sleep is for the dead,” but I really think that’s incredibly ridiculous. Not only does sleep deprivation lead you to be unfocused and unproductive, but it’s also associated with hormonal imbalance and weight gain. Your body basically tries to get energy from food instead and this can lead to unhealthy eating patterns. Mostly, though, lack of sleep also affects your relationships with other people because it will absolutely put you in a bad mood and make you irritable. I recommend at least 8 hours and try getting two of them in before midnight.
2. Next up: I set an intention.
Setting an intention is like picking a personal mantra for your day. It’s like your very own campaign that you are following and marketing for the next 24 hours. The reason why it’s so important is because speaking out or thinking or formulating in any possible way what you want to achieve each day is incredibly powerful, and it really makes the goal real. It becomes a true goal and you can focus on it and remind yourself of it throughout the day. An intention can be to finish work on time and be productive so you don’t have to work late if you have plans at night, or it can be to receive feedback and criticism with an open mind if, for example, you have a presentation with your boss planned for that day. Or it can be to eat healthy food and drink enough water. Literally, any mantra that can make your day positive will work. You just have to set it clearly each day.
3. I take some time for myself.
Once your day has started for real, it’s almost impossible to actually practice self-care. Maybe you can sneak in a sporadic walk in the afternoon or 5 minutes to take a breather, but really, there is not much time to fully focus on yourself during work days. Hence, the importance of getting up early, before everyone else, and taking some time to practice self-care and love. My favorite way to do that is to practice a physical activity first thing in the AM. Usually, I wake up at 6, drink a liter of water and some coffee, and put on my running shoes around 6:30. I love hitting the road so early and listening to music or a good podcast. It’s an hour just for myself that I dedicate to take care of myself. It’s also a great way to get your workout in before you can come up with excuses not to do it 😉
What morning rituals do you swear by?
Also by Isabelle: Why It’s Time To Ditch The High-Protein & High-Carb Diets, For Real
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