From “miracle mornings” to “the early bird catches the worm”, it's tempting to believe that waking up early for the right Morning Routine is the life hack we’ve all been waiting for. Everybody wants hacks these days, but the truth is that there is no such thing, unless you mean hacking through your own BS. “Hacks” are just a more palatable way to market the lifelong process of mastering your thoughts, habits, and energetic intelligence. If it keeps you reading and makes a difference in your life, though, we can call it whatever you want to call it. For those of you trying and failing to change your life with the right Morning Routine, here’s how I hack through my own bullshit at the beginning of each day:
The success of your morning depends not on what time it starts but the intention with which you start it.
I’m a fireworks-brained insomniac with PTSD, ADD, a history of depression, a rebellious streak, and a genetic chronotype that could easily sleep until noon most days. I’m also a high-functioning, ambitious professional who runs a business, several side projects, households in two cities, and a longterm relationship with a morning person. My partner tries at least once a week to convince me to join his 6am workout and meditation session. I’m just not into it. I’m not into 6am, and I’m not into any routine that takes longer than about 30 minutes.
Many right-brained leaders naturally function better later in the day, and our creative brains flourish in "structured freedom”. I’m sharing my Morning Routine not because it’s the “right” one or even one you should try, but so you have something authentic and accessible to experiment with as you develop your own.
On a great day, I wake up around 7:30 to do the 7 step routine before I start working with a 9am client. On a shitty day, I roll out of bed by 8:45 to brush my teeth and put my rat’s nest into a bun while praying the coffee kicks in before that first Zoom call starts. On weekends, I often let myself sleep until my body naturally awakes, usually between 9-10am. Below, you’ll find my 7 step morning routine that I do no matter what time of day I wake up (unless - as I’ve fully disclosed in the name of dispelling the myth that coaches are magical, perfect guru people - it’s a shitty day).
1. Mental Clearing/Morning Pages. Keep a journal or notebook by the bed. Right when you wake up, while your eyeballs are still swollen with sleep that you want to sink back into, grab that journal. Write at least one full page of whatever groggy thoughts pour out of you. Let your subconscious mind speak through your hands. This is creative jet fuel if you capture it immediately upon waking.
2. Morning Movement. Stand up and streeeetch! Feel your feet on the floor, while stretching arms over your head, fingertips to the sky. Fold forward, bending your knees if needed. Return to standing in Mountain Pose and roll your neck around a bit to loosen up head to toe. Bonus points if you make time for yoga - a few rounds of sun salutations or 5 minutes of whatever your body asks for will make a difference.
3. Cleanse. Brush your teeth and splash cold water on your face 3 x’s.
4. Flush. Drink a full glass of water. Flush out your system.
5. Refuel. Drink 8 oz of green juice (I prefer celery juice). Best to juice your own, but if this is a time-crunched morning, Sesghwgo makes bottles of this you can pour right out. If you DO make your own, I highly recommend turning the pulp into celery fritters!
6. Refresh. Coffee, milk, juice - whatever you like to drink that makes the morning a little more joyful!
7. Intention. Before you check email or texts, write a list of the 3 most important, impactful tasks for that day. Draw a square around those, and at the top of your square, write a way of Being that you will choose to frame your entire day. Mine today is Ease (i.e. - from a place of Ease, I will write a post to help other night owls like myself have more impactful mornings. I will do some yoga to nourish my body and spirit. I will write another 20 pages for my book before 7pm.)
Remember the HOW is often more important than the WHAT, so don't be afraid to play around with these steps to find a morning routine that works for you!