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Sticking to a Morning Routine: Why the Night Before is Important
Making and actually sticking to a morning routine are two different animals. But why all the emphasis on the morning and not the night before? Setting yourself up at night is a great hack to conquering your morning.
For me, sticking to a morning routine has always been tough. Once I made a routine of how I wind down before bed, that totally changed the game. Your routine also has to be personally important to you so motivation comes naturally. I talked about how to personalize your morning routine in a previous post, but let’s talk about last night…
Why have a night routine?
Here’s the thing about success: it doesn’t happen by accident. I grew up thinking you had to get lucky to become successful but I didn’t yet know that I create my luck every day. Being successful requires discipline to do what you know is right even when it is hard or uncomfortable.
Having a routine for your evenings sets you up for restful sleep, one of the most important assets of success.
Setting yourself up to conquer your next morning every night is a great hack. There are usually many things you can get done the night before so you’re not spending energy on it in the AM. Also, your morning routine is useless and won’t get done if you didn’t get good rest.
Sticking to a morning routine works wonders for your happiness and success because it’s the habits that make us. A healthy task repeated overtime becomes part of your habits. We all have habits. All of us are defined from our habits. Crafting a night routine to support your morning will allow you to decide what habits can define you.
If you’ve been having trouble getting up as early as you want to, work your way backwards to find out what time you need to fall asleep to feel rested in the morning. Once you have that time, work backwards again and give yourself at least 2 hours of time to “wind down”.
Factor in all the things that you need to do to be ready for bed to figure out a time to start. Then set a reoccurring alarm on your phone for this time.
What I recommend doing is figuring out four different times. Start with the time you want to wake up in the morning. Second, the time you will need to get to sleep. Third, the time you will need to start winding down for sleep. Fourth, the time you need to start getting yourself ready for bed and your morning.
Setting up Your Morning
Make your morning smoother by doing as many tasks the night before to have less to do in the morning. This could mean laying out your clothes for the next day, setting up your coffee machine, packing your lunch, packing up your car, etc…
Anything that can be done the night before is helpful for sticking to a morning routine. Try to do all these things at the beginning of your night routine so you can then wind down.
Popular culture has made many of us believe that winding down includes habits that actually don’t help. Things like watching TV before bed, or drinking actually sabotage the quality of our sleep. Poor sleep is the enemy of sticking to a morning routine because we’ll want to hit the snooze button.
You want to have some methods that actually help your mind prepare for relaxation and start doing this at least two hours before bed. Two hours is a long time so you’ll be choosing more than one method but here are a few examples:
Journaling about things you are grateful for
Setting a timer to take deep breaths for 5-10mins
Listen to relaxing music
Taking a luxurious bath or shower
Giving a self massage to your legs, feet, hands, and arms (and thanking them for all they did for you today)
Turn OFF all screens (no phone, no computer, no TV)
Dim the lights
Be Your Own Mother
If you have kids or know someone with kids, you can probably notice that moms are always making their kids do healthy things that they don’t want to do. Things like not eating an extra cookie or brushing their teeth can get an “I don’t wannna!” from a child.
Just like a mother looking out for their child’s best interests, you have to do that for yourself as an adult. You might never “feel like it” when it comes to sticking to a morning routine but you know it will better your life. Which brings me to my next point…
Keep the End in Mind
When I don’t feel like practicing yoga in the mornings, I take time to think about how amazing I will feel and do feel every single time after a nice, sweaty practice. You have to trick yourself in this way sometimes to exercise, meditate, or do other things you “don’t feel like doing”.
Think about what kind of person you would be if you stick to a routine that is important to you. Your mood would be different, your mind would be clear, you would be ready to conquer your days.
Mindset + Relaxation
Keep your routine simple and do one of each of these categories even if just for 5 mins each. Do one thing to up level your energy (affirmations, journaling about what you are grateful for and why, talking to a friend) and one thing to relax your mind (meditate, take deep breaths, take a bath, listen to calming music, drink chamomile tea)
Make it Personal
A routine is way more motivating when it’s personally important. Things that people outside of ourselves tell us we SHOULD do is not motivating. Unless you personally care, it won’t get done.
How do you make a routine personal? That takes a little bit of self reflection. I created a free guide in a previous post designed to help you create a morning routine that will stick.. feel free to apply this to a night time routine! Having a morning routine planned out will make it easier to know how to set yourself up at night for a great morning.
Check out the guide/blog post for a personalized morning routine here
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