• Ashley McGuirk

The Morning Routine That Has Changed My Life

Updated: Feb 6

The Morning Routine That Has Changed My Life

I know, I know this sounds a bit dramatic, but in all seriousness, I mean every word of this title. My morning routine has become my daily ritual. It has become my space and time to really reflect on what I’m feeling physically, emotionally and spiritually. Not only that, but it helps me organize my thoughts and schedule for each day. I take the time to make an intention and set goals so I feel successful at the end of the day (which feels pretty damn good if you ask me). If you have the flexibility, take an extra 20 minutes in the morning to practice a routine of your own. I highly encourage you do this on a daily basis! I promise you that with consistency and time you will not regret the daily practice of a morning routine.

Practicing in a morning routine starts your day off on a positive note, keeps your mind focused and sets you up for success. Below I have outlined the five daily practices I incorporate in my morning routine. Feel free to do them all or make up new ones on your own! Just whatever you do, please take your time when committing to this morning practice. Do not start your morning routine, keep up with it for a couple days and then fall off the wagon. Commit to your routine. Commit to yourself, because this is a serious (and free) way to improve your daily life.

Another important thing to note: Be patient with yourself. Be patient with this practice. Find what morning rituals work best for you and which ones speak to you the most. You may not realize it, but you may already be participating in a morning ritual that’s been benefiting your wellbeing for a while. For example, maybe you read a newspaper, maybe you enjoy watching the sunrise or take a few minutes to sit down and drink some coffee. Whatever it is, stick with it and notice the peace of the present moment. I'll wrap this part of the post up with this, there is no right or wrong. Find a few practices that feel right to you. You know you’ve found the right routine when you’re feeling refreshed, excited, happy, grateful, rejuvenated, humble, loved or content.

1.) Drink a glass of lemon water

I don’t know about you, but the first time someone told me to do this every morning I literally rolled my eyes. It made me feel like it was a snobby, uppity thing to do. Then I realized I was the one being a snob. I had to check my ego at the door and ask, “What’s wrong with drinking lemon water?” Then when I answered my own question with, “There’s nothing wrong with drinking lemon water.” That’s the day I started drinking lemon water. Ha, I know. I can be a bit dramatic sometimes. OH, THE DRAMA we create in our own minds…. But back to my point, seriously WHY WOULDN’T YOU DRINK LEMON WATER?! It has been proven time and time again to be one of the easiest ways to cleanse your body and improve digestion! It’s a great source of vitamin C, it freshens your breath, and can improve skin quality. If you don’t like lemon, feel free to switch it out for lime. It’s a great way to hydrate your body after a long night of dehydration.

2.) Meditate or pray (or both!)

Every morning I like taking the time to meditate or pray (or both) for just five minutes. Taking the time to do one or the other helps me reflect on what I need to take note of. It’s also a great way to discover feelings/emotions/thoughts you may have been ignoring for a while. So make sure you take time to meditate and silence yourself for a few minutes. Or maybe just say a prayer to someone or something greater than your ego sense of self. Both practices take five minutes or less and can drastically improve your mood.

3.) Journal + reflect

This is probably my favorite part of my morning routine. At first, this use to feel like a task or homework assignment. However, after sticking with it for over a year now, I have really learned to enjoy journaling. I think what makes it so enjoyable for me is that I have allowed myself to write about anything I want. I don’t have to write about what happened that day or what I ate for lunch. Instead I like to write about whatever comes up first. Whatever thoughts I feel the need to mention I start to write down and then from there on, I reflect. Its honestly a liberating feeling and it makes me feel safe. It’s my safe space to share whatever I’m thinking or feeling. It’s a space I never feel judged or ashamed. It’s altogether my place to sort out my thoughts and feelings while also moving forward to set up the rest of my day. When I wrap up the thoughts and emotions I needed to write down, I always close with three things I feel so grateful for. They can be anything and range from my amazing husband, to the plants in my house who purify my air. Write down whatever you feel is really resonating with you that morning and actually feel the gratitude you have for it. Keep in mind that practicing gratitude is the best way to notice how wonderful life truly is.

4.) Daily Intentions + check list

After I journal for a few minutes and write down what I need, I begin setting up my intentions and check list. I write down something like, “Do what is right not what is easy” and I replay that quote in my head for the remainder of that day. I remind myself that today, this is my one intention. With every task I complete, I make sure to keep this in mind. After I choose my intention I like to write down the top three tasks I want to complete that very day. I stick to three tasks instead of the ten thousand I want to complete because I never want to half ass a bunch of tasks just to get them all done in one day. I also will run myself ragged trying to complete ten thousand tasks. It’s like that quote Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec. says, “Never half ass two things. Whole ass one thing.” In doing this I make sure I can successfully complete my top three tasks so I feel productive and satisfied. My advice to you is to find yourself a journal and get writing! I also want to note it is super beneficial to journal in the mornings because it’s the time when your mind is the least distracted. Because you’re still waking up, it gives your mind the chance to reflect on thoughts that may exist deep within your subconscious.

5.) Cup of hot coffee or tea

Nothing makes me happier in the morning than watching the sunrise with a big ol’ cup of joe warming my hands. It is honestly my favorite time of day. There’s just something so comforting about a cup of coffee. Enjoying a cup of coffee every morning is honestly one of the ways I like to treat myself. If coffee isn’t your thing then feel free to drink some tea, or even warm up your lemon water and add some honey. There is no right or wrong here. Choose something that you can enjoy physically and mentally. Treat yourself to a warm beverage of your choice and relax. Take a minute or two to acknowledge your present moment. Hold your cup of goodness and just be there.

If you have any questions or suggestions on creating a morning routine please feel free to share below! I love learning new ways to practice self care. Until next time,

Stay Sweet.