I'm a big believer that what we do everyday matters and what we do at the beginning of each day helps us make healthy, good decisions all throughout our day. The beginning of the day sets the tone! I sat down with my friend Amy Longard, a plant-based Nutritionist and Chef to chat about morning routines and to share some insights, practical strategies and tips on how I start my day. Read on for the full interview!
Amy: I know the concept has been around for ages. Lately, morning routines or morning practices have been front and center among health and wellness experts. Can you explain why it's important to have a morning routine?
Manal: We have a specific amount of energy and willpower when we wake up in the morning. We have to consciously decide where and how we're going to use that energy and willpower. Essentially, we have the power to decide how we want to feel going into our day and we can carve that through a consistent morning practice.
Do we want to leave the house frantically, unorganized and stressed out? Or, do we want to create space that makes us calm and at ease so that we can go about our day with a clearer, more creative mind?
Cultivating an intentional routine each morning nourishes, motivates and energizes us to start our day with an optimistic mindset. It sets the tone for the day and reminds us of what’s important.
Amy: This makes perfect sense to me. But to give the readers some perspective, can you tell us what a typical morning would be like for you?
Manal: Sure, but before I begin, just remember this a "practice" so it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s better to be flexible. Maybe one day I feel like writing before reading my book, maybe the next day I need to meditate first. It really depends. But, start with a general plan that includes the things you want to incorporate into your morning, and be clear about WHY they are important to you, and go from there. Here's how I started my day today:
Make my bed
Drink water (I try to fill my water bottle on my breaks)
Ten minutes of journaling
Thirty minutes of reading my book while sipping my morning coffee
Ten minutes of meditation - I use the Headspace app and I love it!
One hour of exercise or some sort of movement
Gratitude journal and top three priorities for the day
Start my work!
Amy: Your morning sounds fantastic, but I'm sure some people are reading this and feeling like it would be quite difficult for them incorporate a practice like yours. Do you have any tips for people looking to dip their toes into a morning practice?
Manal: Start small. If you can’t do everything or if you get overwhelmed, just start with one thing in the morning. Maybe that’s only doing a 10-minute meditation and do that every day until you’re able to incorporate something else. To make any behaviour a habit, we must do it consistently.
Amy: I often talk to my clients about the importance of being well rested and setting a regular bedtime. I know you’re a big advocate of this too.
Manal: Yes, definitely. Sleep is very important! It helps with stress and anxiety. I recommend shutting down all your technology at least an hour before bedtime. Maybe journal or read before going to bed. Also, make the small decisions in the evening to make your morning routine easier. Like setting up the coffee maker, or laying out your clothes for the next day. Eliminating small decisions leaves more energy and willpower for bigger decisions.
Amy: I love it! Any final words on the importance of these types of routines?
Manal: Research tells us that 40 to 45% of what we do every day is habitual. Essentially we’ve performed a habit so many times that it’s become automatic. They’re the building blocks of our lives; so, if you want to change your life, take a closer look at what you DO want, and then cultivate the good and healthy habits that will create that life.
Once we’ve decided what we want our morning to look like and why we can do these things consistently every day. This consistency makes it a habit. When something is automatic, it frees up space for other things. This increases our efficiency. We no longer need to think about it, we just do it. No reminders, and less need for willpower (which is limited) and motivation (which comes and goes).
You can read the original blog post here.
I'd Love To Hear From You!
What does your morning routine look like? What are some habits that you must do to start your day off right?