self care

Makeover your morning routine

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One thing I've mastered (at least to the point of being proud of myself) this summer is my morning routine.

Is it perfect? NOPE

Is it consistent every single day? NOPE

Do I accomplish everything I want to do for myself before the day begins? NOPE

But that's why I love it -- it's imperfect, inconsistent, but I have been showing up for myself in a way that feels really great.

Here's what it looks like in this season of my life:

M/T/TH/F

5:30: Wake up, put on workout clothes, drink pre-workout mocktail, read personal development until Ben wakes up. He pushes PLAY at about 6:05 so I am forced to work out whether or not I am "ready." (<<this has been key to overcoming my procrastination. GET A BUDDY.)
6:45: Make my post workout recover, post on instagram, check in with my challenge group, shower and get ready, eat breakfast, get on with the day!!
Around 8, after breakfast but before work I will probably journal to organize my thoughts and record where I'm at in my cycle and how my energy/mindset is feeling. Extra credit: do my "write the word" devotional.
I try to be at "work" by 8:30ish in my home office, or get out of the house to a coffee shop.

***To make this happen, I need to be in bed by 9:15 and in a perfect world asleep by 9:30/9:45 to get enough sleep!! This is a work in progress. I also love to read before I sleep, which has been a challenge lately since we are also trying to get preggo (hey just keeping it real) and I also have been obsessed with Game of Thrones which is a horrible bedtime reading selection.***

WEDNESDAY

Rest day! I "sleep in" until 6ish, then spend some time on the deck journaling, reading, reflecting/meditating chilling. If I have lots of energy or motivation I might get outside for a walk/jog/run while listening to a podcast which is one of my favorite ways to pump myself up into a fabulous mood.

SATURDAY

Grab bag! I might go for a jog, meet a friend for yoga, or just sleep in and have a lazy breakfast and spend 5 hours reading Game of Thrones.

SUNDAY

Again, I might get outside for a jog or else sleep in, then do our meal planning and make a grocery list (get my meal planning guide here!), go to church, and hit up Aldi on the way home.

Why is it important to have a morning routine?

I'm sure there are a billion blog posts and articles that will tell you all about the science behind kick starting your day with positive energy, but I'm going to keep it simple.

I love having a morning routine because it makes me feel FREAKING AMAZING, and it's always great to have enough discipline to prove to yourself that you can follow through on your commitments to yourself.

But mostly, I just love feeling good :) Waking up at 5:30 doesn't feel good, but once you get through the first 5 minutes and get moving, it's fine.

Do you want to whip your morning routine into shape? Here is my strategy!

How to makeover your morning routine (and follow through)!

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1. PREP

  • What time do you need to leave the house/get to work?
  • Do you have kids//other responsibilities in the morning?
  • Work backwards: how much extra time do you want to add? Start with 15 or 30 minutes.
  • What time will you need to go to bed to get 7-8 hours of sleep?

*use the Bedtime setting on your phone, or use a regular alarm clock and put it across the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off.

  • What will you have to REMOVE/STOP DOING at night in order to go to bed early? Will you have to sacrifice your Netflix time? Social media scrolling? Set the intention and remind yourself why this is important to you. Your inner little kid might rebel or throw up some resistance. Be an adult and set some boundaries for yourself!

2. CREATE YOUR ROUTINE

I know you're an overachiever, but don't fall into the trap of trying to do allthethings. Set your "baseline" routine first.

For example, you don’t have to go to a one hour yoga or workout, meditate, make a green juice, go for a walk, journal, read, all in the same day. You’ll only set yourself up for failure and fall back into the “all or nothing” trap and end up right where you started.

Instead, pick 1-3 non negotiable activities you want to make the baseline of your routine, small and easy things that are so easy to do it will feel natural like brushing your teeth. Heck, brushing your teeth could be one of them! The goal here is to prove to yourself that you can show up and follow through on the intentions you set for yourself.

It’s ok to start small, once your confidence builds you can add on! It’s like training for a marathon. You don’t set out by running 20 miles. You start with 2-3 miles and grow from there! Trust the process.

You can also create “good/better/best” goals to give yourself some flexibility if you have extra time.

For example:

If your “non negotiable” habit is yoga:

  • GOOD (this is your baseline) = do a few sun salutations.
  • BETTER = do a 30 minute Yoga video from beachbody on demand
  • BEST = go to a 60 min yoga class

Once you have your baseline, make a “self care menu” of other things you could do as a bonus for the days you have more time. This is like offering yourself dessert. Nice to have, but optional.

3. ACCOUNTABILITY

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but as humans we are fickle creatures and almost never follow through with our own best laid plans. Who can you find to hold you accountable? Your spouse/partner/roommate? Get a friend on board and text each other a selfie when you’ve done your routine?

Get other people who are important to you to invest in your intentions too!

If you need a kickass support system, I've gotchu covered girl.

4. FOLLOW THROUGH AND MAKE IT YOUR OWN

Show up! Remember that your routine doesn’t have to be the exact same thing every day.

I also love adjusting my morning routine based on where i’m at in my cycle. During my period, there’s a lot more resting and I give myself permission to be “lazy.” During the early and later parts of my cycle I have a lot of energy so I channel that into workouts, or extra time writing (like right now!) to get all my swirling thoughts out of my head.

Like anytime you're trying to change your habits or behavior, knowing yourself and your weaknesses is power. Let's be honest, self sabotage never takes us by surprise. Think ahead -- where do you know you're going to struggle? How can you set up systems or accountability in those areas? How can you have your own back?

And finally, remember this:

Imperfect but consistent action trumps occasional perfection.

This isn't about having a consistent routine for 21 or 30 days and if you miss a day you have to start back at square one. This is about making small, achievable shifts towards supporting yourself and growing into the person you want to be!

And at the end of the day, feeling freaking amazing.

You've got this.

xo Anna

The problem with self care

Did I catch you on that click-baity subject line? ;) I am ALLLLL about self care, so why could there ever be a problem with putting ourselves first?

The problem comes when we start to believe that we don't have time for self care, or that we're too busy to slow down and tune into what we actually need.

Here are a few of the stories I used to tell myself:

"I don't have time to slow down and be present"

"Self care is for women who are less ambitious"

"Putting yourself first is selfish"

"I have too much to do"

"Naps and bubble baths are for lazy people"

"If I take a break I'll lose control and nothing will get done"

"My brain is too busy for yoga and meditation"

I can't believe I used to believe these things!

When you put the voices in your head on paper, they look pretty silly and empty, don't they But that's the thing -- when we keep our limiting beliefs, fears, and excuses trapped inside of us, we don't even realize that we're trapping ourselves.

WHAT IF … you could slow down, unplug, and still be productive?

WHAT IF … you could actually find time in your crazy schedule to do something nice for yourself?

WHAT IF ... you had the motivation to get healthy?

Things I've learned since I started challenging the voices in my head and making self care a priority:

+ Slowing down makes me happier

+ Taking breaks doesn't limit my productivity - in fact, it makes me MORE productive because I'm rested and can focus better

+ I have a lot more fun when I relax and stop being a control freak

+ I still don't love bubble baths and naps...but yoga is my JAM.

+ I am a lot happier and a better wife, friend, and person to be around when I'm not stuck inside my head.

+ Self care is NOT selfish

+ Filling your own cup FIRST lets you show up for everyone else with more energy and a much better attitude.

Your family, friends, and co-workers deserve you at your best, not your most burned out. 

So dare yourself to challenge the excuses in your own head that are holding you back from really going ALL IN for yourself. Flip them by asking "what if?" and just see what happens.

xo Anna