So let’s talk Morning routines. Routines may sound boring to some but to me, it’s been an obsession of mine lately to really tweak and refine my own routine so that I can set myself up for success daily. I’ve learned that a routine or set of habits that we do either consciously or subconsciously can literally make us or break us.
After studying and reading about the habits of many successful people, every single one regardless of occupation or industry whether they are a professional athlete, President or CEO of a company or a stay at home mom, all have a routine they follow most especially in the morning in how they lay the foundation of their day.
Wherever we choose to give and invest our energy the minute we open our eyes can determine the trajectory or our entire day, which compounded overtime can create space for a more fulfilled life. Because when we’ve conquered ourself first thing in the morning, then we’ve conquered the rest of the day and now we are in control of our day rather than the day controlling us.
Therefore by practicing a morning routine, I believe we now become creators of our destiny rather than just reactors to the cards were being dealt.
After a few years of consciously following a systematic morning ritual, I’ve finally come to a set of steps that works for me. I’ve added whatever has helped me and removed whatever doesn’t work. And I’ll probably continue to keep refining and adjusting my routine especially as seasons in life change. Below, I share my 20 step morning routine that has sparked me joy and brought me fulfillment, empowerment and peace of mind.
Keep in mind, I refrain from absolutely NO emails or Social Media UNTIL I’ve tackled all 20 Steps. Because my time and energy is so important to me, I prioritize ME time before social “MEdia” time. I use to wake up and the first thing I would do is find myself stuck on my phone scrolling at the lives of other people, wasting at least 15-20 minutes of my morning starting off in a non-peak State. I would sometimes already feel discouraged because I didn’t set the tone of my day by being in the driver seat and in charge of influencing how my day unfolds. I would be immediately reacting to the stimulus of my environment and sometimes missing almost my entire routine altogether.
There is no right or wrong way to be honest but try whatever works for you. I was just able to identify what works for me in helping me at all levels–mentally, emotionally, and physically. I can almost guarantee that when you begin implementing a morning routine that allows you to feel accomplished and empowered to perform in a peak state, you will probably agree that having a solid morning routine is actually more life changing than having no routine at all.
So I know you’re probably thinking, 20 steps?! Wtf. Lol. Chill. Whether you have 2 steps or 20 steps, I encourage everyone to cultivate a routine that enables success in all departments of your life in the areas that you value most. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t always have perfect days and I’ll miss a couple steps some days but as long as I have a baseline, then I’ll make sure to follow through tomorrow.
In fact, you may already have your own 5-10 step routine already taking place without you even being aware the minute you wake up, such as drinking water, brushing your teeth, and enjoying your morning coffee 😉 My Goal is to shine light on the act of organizing those steps in a specific and meaningful order that brings you positive vibes and benefits for the Win! Sooo let’s do this.
MY 20-STEP MORNING ROUTINE: (estimated time duration 2 hours and 54 minutes)
1. Breathe – 3 minutes
Using the Breathe App on my Apple Watch, I always make sure to wake up in a calm state with at least a total of 3 rounds of one minute breathing sessions. You can also do this without the app by inhaling through your nose counting to two, then exhaling through your mouth counting to four and then repeating for at least 1-3 minutes. This helps keep cortisol stress levels low and steady through the morning.
2. Natural Light- 1 minute
I immediately open the drapes from my windows to allow all the natural light to enter the space around me. This natural light activates my circadian rhythm reminding me that it’s time to wake up. I feel an instant rush of energy just with light alone.
3. Tongue Scrape- 2 minutes
Call me weird but this is one of my favorite steps. Tongue scraping is an ancient Ayurvedic technique that’s been around for centuries and helps to scrape off all the bacteria built up on our tongue while we sleep. It is recommended to do this before brushing your teeth and before drinking any liquids to prevent that bacteria from being swallowed and circulated in your digestive system. You can purchase these tongue scrapers on amazon for under $10.
4. Oil Pull- 5 minutes
Another ancient Ayurvedic technique known as oil pulling is also known to draw out toxins from the mouth by swishing around oil for 5-10minutes. I basically leave a spoon next to my toothbrush and a jar of organic cold pressed coconut oil in my medicine cabinet so that I don’t forget this step. Supposedly, this practice has been known to help prevent cavities and strengthen teeth in the long run. Goodbye dental visits lol.
6. Brush Teeth- 2 minutes
This is pretty self explanatory. But I make sure I do this step after I’ve tongue scraped and oil pulled. My favorite toothpaste right now is using Activated Charcoal with Peppermint Oil. Instantly, I notice pearly whites with a brighter smile. Immediate Confidence boost.Yass!
7. Hydrate + Take AM Supplements- 2 minutes
By this step, I aim to drink at least 32oz of mineral alkaline water to get hydrated and get my juices flowing. I also take my morning supplements with my water so I don’t forget!
8. Stretch/Light Movement- 5 minutes
Next is another favorite. I love to get a good full body stretch from my ankles up to my neck. I have a specific order of how I stretch my body which takes me about 5 minutes. Not only do I feel my body waking up, but I feel stronger and more flexible. And it’s important that we work on increasing both our strength and flexibility!
9. Make the Bed- 3 minutes
This step I believe is a MUST! There’s nothing more rewarding than making a bed which is suppose to jump start momentum for success beginning in the morning and encourages better decision making all day long. For me I automatically feel empowered and accomplished, plus it allows you to come back later at bedtime to a neat and made bed which psychologically gives you satisfaction and pride.
10. Meditate- 20 minutes
This is probably going to be the MOST important step in my morning ritual that has helped me not only be more aware and mindful throughout the day but has dramatically relieved my stress and anxiety in how I respond to everything around me. Meditation allows us to focus on the present and not hold on to the past as well as not worry about the future. I have been using the Headspace App which is a game changer. I started meditating 10 minutes every morning but recently committed to doing 20 minutes every day. It’s helped me in positive ways!
11. Journal- 15 minutes
Journaling has been something I’m still practicing and trying to get better at. Sometimes I find myself skipping this step but I always remind myself how important this step is after meditation. Because our brains are in its most creative peak state in the morning, it’s so crucial to record our thoughts because that’s when we feel most inspired. When journaling, I keep a notebook bedside where I write out my prayers, what I’m grateful for, things I want to change and improve upon, emotions that no longer serve me, affirmations and personal and professional tasks I intend to accomplish that day or that week.
12. Exercise- 30 minutes
I think we already know the benefits of exercise for our physical health. At minimum, do something that gets your heart rate pumping. I prefer to get my workouts out of the way in the morning so that it’s just one less thing I have to worry about later.
13. Dry Brush- 3 minutes
I’m all about detoxification and I’ve been practicing dry brushing for some time now that it’s just become a habit for me. This technique is known to help with detoxification, exfoliation, reducing cellulite and improving circulation via the Lymphatic system. I’m already obsessed with Lymphatic drainage and it’s benefits, so dry brushing for 2 minutes is worth my time. There are more benefits you can google but I do this after a workout in the shower and make sure to always brush the skin in long strokes in the direction towards the heart.
14. Hot+Cold Shower- 15 minutes
Obviously we want to keep our hygiene in check but there are benefits with taking cold showers in the morning. First, hot showers create a steam-room setting that helps open up the pores on our skin and allows our bodies to continue detoxing. Then finishing with a cold shower for at least 2 minutes helps to close back the pores on our skin, but even better, cold showers activate the theta waves of our brain where we become even more creative and inspired. In addition, cold showers increases the production of beta endorphins aka feel good natural anti-depressants. It takes getting use to but it’s a win-win if you’re up for that challenge.
15. Facial Skincare+Massage-10 minutes
This is of course is a non-negotiable step for me where I do my quick 5-7 minute morning skin care routine followed by a facial massage I do myself using facial oil along with either my hands or a facial tool – jade roller and/or Gua Sha. Incorporating a facial massage helps with Lymphatic drainage which will reduce any bloat and puffiness in my face. Yes please!
16. Listen to a Podcast- (concurrent)
Now If you’re a multi tasker like me and you want to be mentally fed positive and inspirational motivation, then find a podcast station that teaches, inspires and expands your mind on topics you love. They say we become the average of the top 5 people we spend the most time with therefore we are lucky we can choose the 5 loudest mentors to coach us even if it’s through a podcast. I’m obsessed with podcasts because I can just press play while I listen and get ready or do my makeup or make my breakfast. I try to avoid the negativity on the news or just watching TV especially in the morning because I want to make sure I get my mind right and ready to conquer anything that comes my way. Keep in mind, I still have not yet logged onto any social media platforms.
17. Get Dressed for the Day/Hair+Makeup- 20 minutes
This step is where we can put on our best uniform that screams confidence all around. Theres something special that happens when we look our best, we actually end up feeling our best and performing our best. For me, it’s therapeutic to get into the state of feeling beautiful and professional because in my opinion, life is too short to feel otherwise. But honestly this step just resonates with me and it may not necessarily resonate with everyone else. Do what makes you light up. It might be something else. But for me, it’s an act of self-love and it’s also a confidence booster because I know the difference in my demeanor when I’m dressed up vs dressed down. I actually can be really shy, introverted and also doubt myself when I don’t feel good about myself. On the other hand, I’ve discovered that I always make better decisions when I’m dressed & dolled up. Hmmmm.
18. Breakfast + Morning Beverage- 20 minutes
My morning beverage is typically something super healthy and usually consists of my functional mushroom coffee, peppermint tea with Lemon and organic apple cider vinegar, or a green juice or all of the above. For breakfast, I usually try to have a high fiber meal with moderate protein and some healthy fats to keep me full and satiated until Lunch. Btw, I’ve been also intermittent fasting so I make sure that the timing of my breakfast happens at least 12 hours since my last meal or dinner the night before.
19. Take care of Loved Ones – 20 minutes
After pouring enough self love into our own cup, by now we should be overflowing with more love and energy to give to our spouses, our kids etc. So we don’t have any kids at the moment but I do have 3 fur-babies who are also my life! But if I did have human children of my own, my goals would be to use this same morning routine but make sure that I wake up a couple hours earlier than anyone else in the household and tackle everything before they all wake up. In a perfect world, they would wake up around this step. At this point, I make sure I feed them, get them cleaned up/dressed or take them out and just fulfill their needs. They would have a morning routine of their own too 🙂
20. Conquer the 3 most important tasks before 12noon-
And lastly, I’ve read this in countless books and articles that most successful people make sure they get the top 3 most important tasks on their priority to do list that day whether it’s working out, making an important phone call or prospecting for business. But most importantly is aiming to complete those tasks BEFORE NOON. Im not perfect and I don’t always get to do all 3, but I think it’s such a good habit to develop because it helps build the discipline of crushing procrastination. Can you imagine conquering 1-3 things that we usually put off but are super important that we should handle, every single day before lunchtime arrives? Can u imagine how our life would dramatically improve 365 days later? Oh my the unlimited possibilities.
So there you have it! My 20 steps to a happier healthier ME! As long as I take care of ME, then I can take care of anyone and anything. If I don’t, then we risk getting the hangry, moody and bitchy version of ME lol. But I prefer the first version of me as long as I get my shit done before noon.
Hope this post shined light in any way. If you haven’t yet, feel free to follow me on Instagram at @helloselflovesundays.
Life is too short to procrastinate another morning waking up on the wrong side of the bed lol. Cheers to creating a healthy morning routine for the person you are becoming– the best version of you, because you all deserve it! Xoxo
“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”-John C. Maxwell
Stay tuned for my evening bedtime routine blog post coming soon. They say a morning routine truly begins the night before 😉