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  • Writer's pictureShannon Sponagle

Morning Routine? Yay or No Way?

Are morning routines for everyone? What do you think?

I’ve been thinking lately about Morning Routines. Do you have one? Do you love it? Has it made a difference in your life?

There’s so much talk about morning routines lately and how “important” they are if we’re going to live up to our potential and make all our dreams come true. Hmmm. Buuuuut…we’re not all the same, are we? What works for one person (or lots and lots of people) may not work for you or me. And I think that’s A-OK. I’m a big believer in “To thine own self be true” and knowing what make YOU feel good. If getting up an hour early to exercise, meditate, make a green smoothie, etc. works for you, that’s awesome! I have friends who swear by their morning routines. But here’s the thing: some of us are simply not morning people. No matter how well I understand the value of carving out that “Me Time” first thing in the day, before I get busy, I simply don’t want to do it, because it doesn’t make me feel good. We are all different and if we want good habits to stick, then it’s important to know ourselves and set ourselves up for success by building habits in a way that fits with our lives and that we actually enjoy.

I’ve done the morning thing before. When I was an actor living in Toronto, I’d have phases where I’d drag myself out of bed before sunrise to go to the gym. But, although I was happy that I was fitting in my workout before my day got crazy, it actually made me feel quite miserable. I am not a morning person and I need my sleep to feel good. Now that I have children, I’m barely dragging myself out of bed at 7AM (total honesty) and then it’s full on: getting kids up, making breakfasts, packing lunches, feeding pets, driving to school. I’m not willing to go to bed an hour earlier so that I can get up an hour earlier to fit in Me Time before I wake the kids. I value that hour in the evening, when I can unwind and have some quiet time. What feels right for me is to get a good sleep, get my kids off to school and then settle in to work for the morning. In those morning hours, I’m able to focus and get lots done and by afternoon I’m itching to get moving. THEN I go out for a run and do some yoga or I get on my elliptical machine if it’s too cold or wet outside. I often fit this in during the hour or so before I pick the kids up, which has the added benefit of giving me a nice transition between work time and parenting time. If my work day is too busy to exercise in the afternoon, I’ll wait until just before dinner or early evening. I’ve learned that this works really well for me and I look forward to my workout breaks, rather than dreading them (which I did whenever I’ve tried getting up early to exercise…especially in the winter when it’s still dark).

As for meditation, I practice every night before going to bed. A lot of people think that they need to meditate first thing in the day to be doing it “right”. Not true. Do it when it works for you. I often slip in another meditation somewhere in my day, at any random time, when I find an opportunity. This works well for me.

I’m not trying to discourage anyone who may want to set themselves up for an awesome morning routine - I understand the value of one, if it works for you - but I’m a firm believer in knowing yourself and doing what makes YOU feel good, not what you think you SHOULD do.

Also, we all change and grow over time. Our lifestyle, work situation, responsibilities change. So check in with yourself now and then to see if what you’re doing is still working for you or if some tweaks are in order. Hey, maybe one day something will shift and I’ll miraculously become a morning person (that WOULD be a miracle), but until then, I’ll do what works for me and feel good about it. Remember that comparison is the thief of joy. You do you and don’t worry about what other people are doing.

Have a great day!

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