How To Establish A Morning Routine That Sets You Up To Win.

You hit snooze seven too many times and when you finally roll over and look at the clock, your heart starts to race, and you quickly realize that you now have minutes to get ready.
Now you're rushing out the door, your hair is halfway brushed, and you might have even forgotten to brush your teeth. Yuck. You hit traffic on your way, which makes you even more late. You finally get settled in at your desk and your stomach starts to grumble. You forgot to eat breakfast. Your boss calls you into his office and all you can think of is 'Oh great, what did I do now?'.
Your patience is low. You are irritated with everything and everyone. The whole day ends up feeling off kilter. And you really can't figure out why. It can't get worse than that, right?
Oh, it can.
Some of us have even more craziness to add to our morning. One word; kids.
Because we're running late, they're running late. They miss the bus. They're off to school with mismatched clothes. Last night's homework that is due today was left on the kitchen table. You forgot to send the treats, that you spent the entire night baking, with your kid to school for their classroom party. Did they eat breakfast? Nope. And they most definitely did not brush their teeth. 
We have all been there.
And for some of us, more than once. Or maybe that's your 'morning routine' right now.
Well, let me break the news to you. You can have a better morning. Which would then equal an even better day.
That seems pretty great, right?
It is. But it does take discipline. Are you okay with a little discipline?
You can't just give it a shot with half effort. You kind of have to go all in and decide to change it all. Because otherwise, you're going to still end up with a maybe half less crazy morning and half less crazy day... and who wants that?
Not me. And you shouldn't either.
That's why I'm writing this article. To share with you exactly what I do in the morning, which totally has shifted the way my days go.
Now, there's a ton of morning routines out there. You just need to find one that fits you and your life. You don't have the same goals as myself or the thousands of other people that have a morning routine.
So create a morning plan that will set you up to win, specific to your goals and life.
This is exactly what I do on a Monday through Friday morning.
  • 6:40 - I'll be straight up with you. The fiancé is my alarm clock. He nudges me until I wake up. Then I head over to my comfy chair with a blanket, grab my book of the day and start reading my personal development book
  • 7:30 - I get my daughter ready for school while getting myself "semi-ready" for the day. I eat breakfast alongside trying to keep my daughter on task (ya know what I mean, moms?)
  • 8:15 - I sit back down in that comfy chair and hit 'do not disturb' on my phone, turn on my app Headspace and meditate for 15 minutes
  • 8:30 - I take a few minutes to think about what I'm grateful for that day and jot at least 3 in my gratitude journal
  • 8:40 - I visualize how I want my day to go
  • 8:45 - I write out today's to do list
  • 9:00 - I work on my training / focus of the day
  • 11:00 - I workout (typically about 30 minutes) 
And the rest of my day goes on from there.
I know what you're thinking. Some of you are not able to follow a schedule so complex as that. And I wasn't able to either at certain times in my life.
And sometimes, due to unforeseen circumstances or appointments in the morning rather than the afternoon, I need to move things around. The rule is, if I take it out of my morning routine, I must replace it somewhere else in the day.
And what I've learned is that in order to start my morning off right, there are no ifs ands or butts, with at least THREE of these habits. 
These are my daily "have to do's"...or someone gets hurt. Okay, not really. But kinda 😉 
1. Daily Gratitude
My life has not been the same without my daily gratitude journal. I'm tellin' ya. It's probably the simplest thing on there, but it definitely has a huge impact.
The greatest part about gratitude is that you cannot have negative thoughts when you're thinking about what you're grateful for.
In those few minutes you sit down and revel in what it is in your life that you're grateful for, your whole day can now have a different perspective.
Maybe you won't decide to freak out on the jerk that cut you off in traffic. Instead, you can be thankful that he didn't hit you. Maybe you will kiss and hug your kids longer before sending them off to school, because every moment with them is a gift. Maybe it's something as simple as the warm cup of coffee that helps you wake up easier in the morning.
Whatever it is. Big or small. Write it down. Don't just think about it. Physically take pen to paper and write it down. There's a powerful connection between your hand and your brain. So I urge you, go to HomeGoods or Target and pick up a cute $3.99 blank notebook and use it for your daily gratitudes.
It's also really fun to go back and read what it is you have been and are grateful for in your life. You can always use those extra moments of gratitude when you're having a 'rainy day' in your life.
2. Personal Development
If for some reason I don't get up early in the morning to get my fill of reading, I HAVE to replace it with something later in the day. I love my podcast app because I spend a lot of my time traveling in the afternoon.
So instead of listening to the radio, I'm filling my mind with amazing inspiration.
My go to Podcast Station is School Of Greatness with Lewis Howes. He has the best guests on the show and there's always amazing information and golden nuggets from each episode. I'm not kidding ya. Go follow him now.
Another simply amazing gal you need in your life has personally been a huge inspiration and 'virtual' mentor of mine throughout the years. Her name is Chalene Johnson. She has two, yes two, podcasts that are a must follow. Check both of her podcasts out here.
There are SO many more that are oh so good, but those two are ones I cannot live without.
3. Meditation
I get it. This subject might be totally foreign to you. It was to me at some point too.
And no. You don't have to sit on a pillow, legs crossed, candles lit or whatever mental picture of meditation it is that you have. It can be whatever you want it to be.
As long as you can enjoy it and reap it's many benefits.
Thanks to the School of Greatness podcast, I was introduced to the app Headspace (see, so many perks!). Andy is the creator, and besides being able to listen his super cool accent on a daily basis, this app is extremely easy to use. In fact, your 2 year old could totally run it.
There's a free version that will introduce you to the concept of meditation and get you started on the habit. But I highly recommend purchasing the paid version sooner than later, as you can get really specific to what your goals are.
For example, I'm on the "Creativity" meditation series, but there's ones on sleep, anxiety, pregnancy, focus, patience (don't we all need a little more of that sometimes 😉 ) and so much more!
I promise you, once you start to make this a habit, it'll be hard to go back to a life without it. There are days that I don't get my meditation in until later (usually on weekends) and I can tell a difference in my mood when I'm not able to take the 15 minute mental break for myself.
Meditation isn't just for you. It truly does affect every single one of those around you. So if not for yourself, do it for your marriage, your kids, or your family and friends.
So there you have it. My top 3 'must do's' to make sure my day is set up for a big W.
Now let's talk about you!
What will your morning routine look like? Probably a lot different than mine. And remember, that's totally okay!
You have to find what works best for you.
Try these steps to get started! 
Step 1 | Sit down for about 30-45 minutes and plan.
What are your goals? What are your struggles? Develop a morning routine that works for where you're at in life. I (along with many other experts) highly recommend doing them at the same time every day, as it's easier to make the habit stick.
Step 2 | Have accountability
A great way to staying accountable is downloading a "habit tracker" app on your phone. The one I use is Habit List in iOS. I click on the habit once I accomplish it, it shows me how long my longest streak is, and I can also set up reminders at a certain time of the day.
If not an app or tracker of some sort, grab a success partner and check in with each other daily or weekly to see how you're doing with your new morning routine.
Step 3 | Start small and give yourself credit
Just know, change is hard. It's going to take getting used to. It takes time to really solidify those habits. Celebrate your successes.
And don't set yourself up to fail. What I mean by that is start small. Start with 1-3 new habits you'd like to implement in your morning routine.
It might be just getting up 30 minutes earlier to give yourself more time. Promise yourself no snooze button. Or it might be turning on a podcast on your morning commute. Just start somewhere. 
Step 4 | Give it time
Some people say it takes 30 days to develop a habit. Some say 66. Some say 90. Whatever it looks like to you, just commit yourself to it.
And once you develop that habit, it's going to feel more natural. You'll start to crave the habits.
Once you reach your goal, once the habit is something you don't have to think about on a daily basis, you can then start adding more (if you wish).
You'll be setting yourself up to win, each and every day.
So that's it!
You can do it. I believe in you. Give yourself some credit, and believe you can do it too.
Thank you so much for stopping in today. I truly do always appreciate your time spent with me.
And hey, if you know someone that desperately needs a morning routine, do them a favor and share this article with them.
Sharing is caring after all. 
Love and morning success,