I’m a creature of habit. I crave routines and consistency. I guess that’s why I love week days. I’m in my element Monday through Friday. That’s when I set my goals (whether they’re writing related or not), get to work, and basically thrive. Don’t get me wrong, I love the weekends too but there’s more stuff going on, like family time, outings, and house projects. And even though I love that stuff too, it very rarely has anything to do with my goals or dreams. And for a goal-minded person like me, that’s difficult. Saturdays and Sundays shake up my routine and honestly that used to throw me off. But not anymore because I’m more focused than ever on the day to day that happens M-F.
One of the best ways I’ve found to focus my weekdays is to have a consistent, positive, morning routine. It may not work for everyone, but it works for me and I can’t imagine my days without it now. I call it my Five Star Routine because there are five steps to it, like a typical star. And because stars represent dreaming big and chasing dreams, I think that’s pretty appropriate! Each step is helpful on its own, but when I do all five together, they always, always set me up for a more positive and productive day.
1. Shower & Get Dressed
I do this before anything else. Always. I think it’s important to shake off the groggy feeling first thing. Nothing is as refreshing as water so why wait to feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day? Sometimes, while do my hair and make-up, I listen to energizing music too or even a motivational podcast…something that will put me in a strong, confident state of mind.
2. Make my Bed & Think
I always make my bed. Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me, maybe it’s because I hate sleeping in an unmade bed, or maybe it’s just that I love when my bedroom looks beautiful. But whatever the reason, I’ve made my bed every single day since I was probably 13. The difference now is what I do while I’m making it: I think up five things that I’m grateful for. Sometimes they’re big things, like my family’s health or that I’ve finished a first draft. Sometimes they’re small, like the fact that I have sweet cream creamer in my refrigerator. Thinking of even just five things though, reminds me of all that’s good in my life. The two acts done together are so important to kickstarting my day because they remind me to be productive…and grateful.
3. Drink Water, Make Coffee… and Read.
We all need to drink water. That’s not news. But when it’s the first thing I drink in the morning, I instantly feel rejuvinated. I used to immediately sit down with my coffee to write in the morning but now I force myself to drink my coffee while reading first. Reading wakes up our brains and what could be more important than that? I hardly read fiction in the morning, though, because I’d rather do that at night. Instead, my morning reading always consists of something motivational or instructional. That way I feel like I’ve learned something (about myself or something else) before I get bogged down with other things.
4. Take a Quick Walk
I don’t mean go on a hike or even take a long walk. This step is not intended to replace my exercise routine. I literaly mean—take a quick walk. My morning walk is about 10- 15 miutes long and meant to wake me up and get myself moving in a physical way. It gives me some much needed fresh air too and I use this time for positve affirmations as well. I think of it as my positive pep talk! I also use my walking time to visualize my goals. I imagine exactly exactly what I want to achieve (short or long-term) and rehearse in my mind how I will get there. Affirmations and Visualizations are keys to my quick walks and afterwards, I always step through my front door with a great positive mindset.
5. Positive Lettering
This one is could be interchanged with any type of journaling. I’m not much of a journal keeper though so hand lettering is something that I love to do instead. It’s no secret that I love inspirational and motivational quotes. My middle grade books are filled with them and so is my Instagram. Once I discovered that there was a thing, similar to calligraphy, that people do, I was hooked. I’ve always loved handwriting and so now, right after my walk, I write down one or two inspirational messages with my colorful lettering markers. It’s another creative outlet for me and I always end up with a phrase that motivates me to make the most of the day ahead.
So that’s it! That’s my Five Star Morning Routine. It may sound like a long, drawn out morning but it’s really not. The whole thing takes me less an hour and a half, but at the end of it, I feel energized, motivated, and ready to start my day. Maybe it can help you too!