This is a guest post from Love Your Mornings founder Alice Ko. As self admitted night owls, we are committed to becoming more of "a morning person" this year. After wrapping up our last morning book club at Milano Coffee, we are stoked to keep the ball rolling with our next series at Cartems Donuts. Want to join in and see more sunrises? Details here.
Earlybirds get shit done.
What are the benefits of waking up early? In my opinion, as soon as you hit the the snooze button, you immediately lose the opportunity to have a successful day.
I know this sounds a bit dramatic but here’s some real talk from Richard Branson himself on why he wakes up early:
“These early hours give me the opportunity to start each day with a fresh and organised slate.” (Read his blog post here).
There are many different morning routines that propel plenty of good people into their day, but everyone is different. Here are a few tips from my morning routine:
1) RISE & HYDRATE
The moment my head lifts off the pillow, fill yourself up with fresh water. Not only is this a super refreshing start to the day after being dehydrated for 6-7 hours, but water helps you flush out toxins.
2) REFLECT & CONNECT
One of favourite things about early mornings, is that this is your YOU time. Be selfish with it. No distractions, no emails, no appointments, no deadlines - it’s your solo time to reflect and set the intention on what type of day you want to have. I will think, write in my 5-minute journal, visualize, set intentions and depending on the time of year - even watch the sun rise! Also, I just started to meditate (thanks Anita!) and use an app called Buddhify or listen to tracks from Attuned Vibrations to keep me focused.
If you have not already done this the evening before, make your to-do list and know exactly what needs to be done today. Remember to be realistic. You may have 20 things you ‘want’ to get done, but only a few are mission critical tasks for each day. Make this list first thing in the morning should free your mind of worries and make room for strategic brainstorming and actions.
4) MOVE & SWEAT
Whether it’s yoga, weight-lifting or cardio, making room for your physical practice in the morning is a great strengthening routine for the mind, body, and spirit. Prioritizing your self-care and health first thing sets the tone for the rest of your day.
5) FUEL UP
There are different schools of thought as to whether breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Whether you fuel up an hour after you rise, or right after your workout, the bottom line is this: your first meal of the day should be nutrient-dense and give you energy. There are many different breakfast recipes for you to play with from breakfast bowls, overnight oats and smoothies to good old fashioned eggs and toast. I love finding breakfast recipes on Mind Body Green, Greatist and Breakfast Criminals.
6) LEARN SOMETHING NEW
Learning new things expands your mind and strengthens your brain. So whether it’s learning a new language, learning a new workplace skills (here are a few ideas!) or learning new concepts, don’t miss out on the opportunity when you have some quiet time in the morning. I personally love listening to podcasts and audio books while I walk to the office in the morning.
7) ACCOUNTABILITY CHECK-INS
When I have hard deadlines or projects with a short timeline, I use an accountability partner to keep me in check. For myself, I find that having an accountability partner is critical to help you stay on track and remind you of all the things you said you were going to do. A trusted confidante can also keep you motivated and provide clarity and insights on your hangups and fears.
There you have it. My typical morning routine. This has not only become a routine to get geared-up for my goals, but has become a grounding practice and rock-solid foundation of my day. What is your daily routine like?