The first time I remember setting a strict morning routine (i.e., not rolling out of bed at the last possible moment and dashing for the shower) is around the time I moved to my present home city. I wanted to make time with God a higher priority, so I began to start my day with some Bible reading, a devotional, and prayer.
And then things, as they always do, changed, and so did my priorities. Here are some of my morning routines from the past five years:
- intense cardio exercise, then God time/breakfast
- yoga, then God time/breakfast
- God time, then intense cardio exercise
- God time, then exercise, then blogging
- God time, then hooping
- God time, then writing
- morning pages, then God time, then writing
- morning pages, then writing, then God time
Not quite. For me, a morning routine helps set my tone for the day, self-employed or not. I try to get some spiritual time in each morning because it helps make me aware of God for the day ahead. It encourages me, and reminds me to ask for help when I need it.
A morning routine also kick-starts my energy. It starts a ball of kinetic action rolling, which picks up momentum and carries me through the morning and afternoon. This is especially true for exercising in the morning darkness. As contradictory as it may seem, morning exercise (when I was healthy) was incredibly energizing. It's also nice to get the sweaty work out of the way early, especially if you don't like to exercise -- as one fellow YMCA goer once told me, he likes to exercise super early because he's not really awake enough to know what's happening until it's done.
But right now, I have a whole slew of things I'd like to relegate to my morning hours, because they will all benefit me and my day, albeit in different ways. Here are a few of the things I want to put first in order to set the done for the rest of the day:
- God time
- morning pages
- more professional writing
- morning walk
- intense, sweaty exercise
Now, I could just do all these things, getting them done one right after the other straight through the morning and afternoon. But I suspect that that would take the power out of the one or two prioritized morning items. I don't want to make my life a rote to-do list.
So here's what I want to know -- what does your morning routine look like? What things to you prioritize? Or do you have a morning routine at all?
And if you're totally lost as to this whole morning routine thing, here are some interesting articles on morning routines that are bouncing around the blogosphere: