Do you have daily practices that keep you living full and intentional?
I’ve chosen routines as my first topic to touch on since becoming a Registered Dietitian, because I truly feel it’s the most important to our health. Small daily practices add up to long-term habits, and if you are seeking to live a more fulfilling life with habits that aid in longevity, this post is for you. Daily practices can span anything from morning movement to simple quiet time, but should be a reflection of YOU and your unique passions. These activities set the tone for your day, and get your mind in a positive space to take on the to-do list. I believe these moments help gain fulfillment in ourselves, obtain deeper mental clarity, and reach further goals or aspirations.
I have spent many of mornings rushed to get out the door and it sets me off track for the rest of the afternoon. I get overwhelmed faster, concentrate less, overcompensate more with coffee, and don’t connect with my “rhythm”. I know you’ve been there too. The difference between a routine morning and a frantic start to the day impacts you far beyond the moment you get to your destination. It’s my goal to help you begin to recognize those mornings of heat beating rushing out the door, and start to transform those moments into a more calm and present mindset. Also understand that there are seasons for everything and adjustments in one’s routine will come with changes. Career shifts, responsibilities, relationships, children, training, vacation, and more will impact your ability to carry out your morning routine. Simply embrace the change and figure out how to create a new routine for a new season, or alter the one already in place to gain the same benefits.
The way we begin to create is starting with an intention. You may prepare for the day best by getting up and getting an activity in, therefore, your morning routine will include a fitness component. If you are one who slams a workout better in the evenings, keep it in the evenings! Continual movement is an important component to a healthy lifestyle and living for longevity, but it should be placed at a point in your day when you feel the most energized to take it on. For others you may enjoy a more relaxing start to your day and this may look like a few quiet minutes to journal, read, meditate, yoga, etc. Both routes are fantastic because it’s individualized to you and reflects the way you best start your day!
5 Steps To Finding A Morning Routine That Works For You:
1) Write down your to-do list the night before. You will instantly eliminate the scattered brain syndrome and wake up with a plan of action to aid you in productivity.
2) Start small. Choose one daily practice to get done in the morning before your day begins. Adding more practices will come as your habits develop, but remember not to overload yourself with setting lofty goals of a brand new routine week 1.
3) Shift your sleep schedule by 30 minutes. Ever wish you had a few extra minutes in the morning? Well, you can have it! Simply set your alarm 30 minutes earlier to reduce the “rushed” feeling, but don’t forget to turn off the electronics and go to bed 30 minutes earlier so you feel rested.
4) Wake up and execute. I promise when you first begin any new routine you will find barriers and challenges. You will be tired and may not want to place your feet on the ground, but keep an open mind and execute your daily practices for two weeks. The moment you feel the difference between a prepared morning and a rushed morning will be all it takes!
5) Remember that every day won’t be perfect. Life happens and unexpected events will pop up, so be ready to go with the flow! Get creative with altering your routine if needed and get back into your daily practices the first chance you get.
If exercise is a component of your morning routine, i’ve found better results when I assess my week and plan accordingly. If I know I am going to be in town I will schedule in my workouts at a specific time and with the exact exercise I’m going to do that day. If I know I will be on vacation for part of my week or traveling, then I set my intention as morning movement. This allows for more freedom to choose my activity while still feeling like I stuck to my routine. I may choose to go on a long walk, do a yoga or stretching session, or a quick run to clear my mind before the fun activities start.
It’s great to have rest days and change your morning routine. On the week days you may choose movement, and on the weekends you may choose reading and journaling. Whatever you decide, make it yours! Implement practices that bring you life giving energy and a state of mind to propel you into your day.
Placing an intention to your morning routine helps you understand your reason for executing it. I choose to do morning movement in my daily practices because I love honoring my body’s strength and ability. I choose to have quiet mornings and rest because I honor the joy that comes from rejuvenation. Take your time creating unique daily practices and be intentional in the process!
I hope this post was helpful and please feel free to reach out with any questions!