If you can’t tell by all of the tools we have created here at Dashing Dish (ie: meal planning tools), I am a natural born planner! In addition to being a planner, I am also a creature of habit, which means that I thrive off of routines.
While I know that not everyone is born with this type of personality, I do believe that it is possible to develop a routine that anyone can stick with! Just like anything else, we can all develop habits, whether they come naturally, or we repeat behaviors intentionally, eventually they will become a part of our lifestyle.
That all being said, why am I choosing to specifically focus on morning routines? Well, I have found that the morning is a prime time to get things accomplished! Why!?! Because you don’t have any excuses formed yet… you can’t say you are too tired, too busy, or too distracted, because the day has just begun!
I remember when I discovered the power of having a morning routine, when I first quit my nursing job to in order to work on Dashing Dish full time. When I went from working twelve hour shifts to working from home, I found that my mornings were scattered, distracted, and I often felt overwhelmed by lunch time, with little to nothing that was accomplished. I knew that something had to change, so I sat down, and created a morning routine. It took a few months to get it right, as I made small tweaks here and there that would fit with my lifestyle, but now that I have it down, my mornings are often the most productive part of my day!
I thought I would share a glimpse of what most of my mornings look like, in order to give you some inspiration, but I would certainly encourage you guys to develop your own if you don’t already have one! And if you don’t consider yourself a morning person, establishing a routine may just change your attitude towards the start of your day!
Now, let’s get into my morning routine shall we!?!
My morning routine actually starts the night before in theory, because I always plan out my workout the day before (if I am working out that day), as well as lay out my workout clothes, and I set my alarm based on what my morning plans will be!
The next day begins with my alarm going off pretty early (usually between 5-6:30 am, depending on the day). Setting an alarm is the first thing that I would practice doing if you don’t already…as it ensures that your morning routine starts at an hour that is early enough to get things accomplished. I also recommend going to bed early if you need to wake up early, as you should ideally get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
After I roll out of bed, I go downstairs and make coffee in my Keurig coffee maker. The flavor/brand of coffee differs depending on the morning. I always drink one caffeinated cup a day, which is first thing in the morning, and from there I drink tea or decaf throughout my day. To flavor my coffee I use my Dashing Dish coffee creamer, organic half and half, or coconut oil, as well as some stevia, (sometimes I use flavored stevia drops to give my coffee a kick of flavor if i’m in the mood)….and if i’m feeling super spunky, I will top it with a dollop of Tru Whip, and dash of cinnamon, (it’s the little things!) ;) Alongside my coffee, I drink a large glass of ice water with some lemon in it, to make sure i’m properly hydrated when I start my day…Plus, I am always super thirsty when I wake up!
Once I make my coffee, I go to my office, shut my doors, and spend some quite time with Jesus! This is the BEST part of my day, as I get to enjoy my coffee, as well as time spent with the Lord!
My time spent with God is a little different each morning, just like it would be if you spent time with any of your closest friends! Sometimes I play worship music, (my favorite being Bethel, Jesus Culture, or a soaking album), and most of the time I journal... But a few things that remain constant is that I always read my bible, and spend some time in prayer. In my opinion there is no better to start the day than to spend it with Jesus! Time spent with Him leaves me feeling filled up and encouraged, as well as guided and directed for my day!
On the days that I plan to workout, I typically have a snack that is easy to digest before my workout, such as a plain Greek yogurt with stevia. Even though this is high in protein, it tends to digest. If I wake up earlier than normal, I may also add some berries to my yogurt, but only if I have enough time to digest them, because they are high in fiber, and can take more time to break down in your stomach, (I have a pretty sensitive stomach, so I have to be careful about what I eat before workouts, so I don't end up with a stomach ache.)
On days that I don't workout, I generally have a oatmeal based Dashing Dish snack such as my no bake cookies, my protein muffins, or another homemade DD protein snack while I am reading my bible, because I tend to be pretty hungry right when I wake up on most mornings. Since these recipes are made with oat flour, they are essentially the same as having some oatmeal for breakfast! If I am working out, I generally have this part of my breakfast later in the morning, around 10 am or so.
After spending time with the Lord and drinking my coffee, I get on my workout clothes, and head to my local gym, (often times I drive with my sister who is my neighbor, as well as my workout buddy!) When we arrive, we will either do a workout that I have written, (which typically end up being posted as a Dashing Dish workout if it’s a good one), or we do a workout class!
After I get home from the gym, I jump in the shower and throw on some clothes, and quickly go downstairs to make a Dashing Dish protein shake...I am typically really hungry at this point, so my shakes are the perfect quick and easy post-workout meal!
After I finish my shake, I go upstairs and finish getting ready. I do my makeup and hair, although most days I keep it simple, (some foundation, powder, mascara, lipgloss, and a ponytail or bun), there are days that I take the time to get done up...Generally if I am going out for the day, or if it's the weekend!
On the days that I actually do my hair, this Bed Head Curl Wand is my absolute favorite tool to get loose waves!
After spending time with the Lord, drinking my coffee, working out, eating breakfast, and getting ready for my day, I am finally ready to sit down and do some work. Depending on the morning, this is generally around 8:00 am (now you see why I wake up between 5-6 am!) ;) Waking up early ensures that I am able to care for my spiritual and physical health, all before my day gets under way!
As you can see, having an established morning routine is such a powerful way to have a successful day, which in turn produces success in our overall lives!
If you feel that your morning routine could use more structure, there is no better day than today to create a successful morning routine!
Here are Some Tips to Create a Successful Morning Routine:
1. Map out a typical week day on a piece of paper, and decide what would be best suited to accomplish first thing in the morning.
2. Write down your plans for your morning routine, and what you hope to accomplish.
3. Write out an estimated time frame for each 'task', making sure you allow time for breakfast and getting ready for your day. Once you have a time frame established, decide what time you would need to wake up in order to accomplish all that you need to get done before work, (or before the kids wake up, or before any other responsibilities/appointments you have for that day).
4. Set your alarm the night before...Two alarms if you are known to press the snooze button! ;)
5. Lay out your workout clothes if you are working out, have your workout planned and ready, and have your breakfast/snacks ready for the next day if possible.
6. The first few mornings of trying out your routine, give yourself grace, and make changes as needed until you have a morning routine that works for you, and leaves you feeling accomplished, and at peace the rest of your day!
I hope that these tips encouraged and inspired you to create a morning routine if you don't already have one, or perhaps even gave you ideas for modifying your current routine so that it works even better for you! Everyone's morning routine may look a little different, but one thing is for sure, having a productive morning is an essential key to having a successful day!