Make Your Morning Ritual Work for You

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Time to make the donuts.”

This phrase from a classic commercial points out that most of us have some type of morning ritual.

Whether you’ve made it intentional or not, you have a routine you tend to follow when you first get up.  It may be haphazard, or very structured. But whatever it is, you DO have a routine.

You can leverage your morning routine to help you get your day started in the right direction to excel for the rest of it. How?

Here are a few tips:

  • Think: What does my morning routine already look like?
  • Decide: What would I love my routine to look like?
  • Adapt: make reasonable, incremental adjustments.

THINK: Ask yourself, on a typical weekday, what does my routine look like? Does it include getting dressed, making breakfast, pouring a cup of coffee, reading the paper? Make a list of what you typically do on a morning.

For example, I have an extended morning routine because I have the flexibility to work from home a lot. Many others have to be somewhere by a certain time. My morning routine contains quite a few elements that pertain to my personal values.

DECIDE:  What would you LOVE your morning routine to look like? Do you want to have time for exercise first thing in the morning? Would you love to have 30-60 minutes to pursue a hobby or study? I have a client who decided that writing was important enough to her to get up one hour early daily and make time for it. She now treasures that daily time before her workday begins.

ADAPT:  Your morning routine will be a work in progress. You probably can’t suddenly decide to get up an hour earlier each day if you don’t make changes on the other end by going to bed earlier.  As my friend did above, she adapted her morning ritual to fit writing time in. You may not be able to adjust by an hour or more, but perhaps you could start by waking up 15 minutes earlier.  Make small, incremental changes, perhaps one per week or even one per month, until it turns into a habit.

YOU are the only one who can make your morning routine work for you. Think. Decide. Adapt. You’ll begin to see a difference in how the rest of your day goes!


Bonus tip: If getting up early is hard for you, start your day in bed. If reading inspirational material is important to you, for example, set the book or tablet by the side of the bed and as you wake, do some reading. Sometimes it’s the idea of having to pop out of bed immediately that makes it so hard for us to try to get up earlier. Ease into the day instead.

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Beth Beutler is the Executive Director of H.O.P.E. Unlimited, a small business offering collaborative virtual assistance and business soft skill education to Help Overwhelmed Professionals Excel. She has over 25 years experience in administrative assistance and office management, soft skills training, and writing.