Wednesday, May 4, 2016

An Update on Mornings & The Importance of Night Routines

At the beginning of April I told myself I needed to be more intentional with my mornings. I was tired of feeling stressed before I'd even left the house to kick off my day. So, I set some boundaries, made a list, and realized they really weren't the things I need to change. In fact, I needed to change my nights and evenings in order to simplify (and destress) my mornings.

Here are my findings about my pre-morning makeover: 

1. Simplify your closet. 
I'm not talking capsule wardrobe or all black or any of that. Just get rid of the things that don't fit or are out of trend or might have a small hole you keep trying to hide. Why? Because those eye sore pieces grab your eye and beg you to try them. And then you've changed your outfit ten times and there's clothes everywhere and you are still not clothed. I cleaned out my closet in mid April and getting dressed has been so much easier because I don't have the temptation to try on clothes I really don't like. 

2. Make ahead lunches. 
The last month I've been utilizing the goodness that is a mason jar salad. And on the days I don't have them, I make sure there's leftovers from dinner ready to travel to work with me for lunch. I pack my lunch every day and I love the ease of reaching in to the fridge for my salad (or leftovers), a piece of fruit, and my water. Ease in the morning is IMPORTANT. 

3. M.I.T. -Most Important Things
I used to write down three of the Most Important Things I wanted to get done each day before I left work to go home. But in the last month, I've spent time thinking over the Most Important Things I need to do each day as I'm preparing for bed at night. Maybe it's a doctor's appointment or a work meeting or finishing up the commissioned piece I've been working on, but I find that I wake up looking forward to my day when I spend time reflecting the night before. I pretend I'm deciding on and carefully allocating all the energies I have for the next day. 

And then, the two morning habits that have made all the difference for my routine:

4. Add something you're excited about in with serious and dedicated intention. 
For the first half of April I was really focused on getting some quiet reading done each morning. Then the #100daysofpaintingbreakfast started and I prioritized my mornings to include 10-15 minutes for painting. And you know what? I haven't run out the door once since. I believe this is because I truly look forward to those contemplative moments with paint so I make there is extra time for them by skipping on curling my hair or changing my outfit a dozen times. 

5. Coffee. 
I love coffee. I had a blood test one morning and had to fast. TORTURE. Coffee helps me work with greater energy and efficiency. Some days I wish this were not so, but the other thing is: I love the taste of coffee. I love sipping on a warm cup of GET UP AND GO and I don't want to skip it. How do I know this? Because I had to fast for a blood test at 8:30 one morning and I was like BUT COFFEE. As soon as I was done I ordered myself one because why not?

What one thing makes your morning 
the foundation for your best kind of day?

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