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Makeover Your Morning Routine

podcast routine Oct 17, 2021

My recipe for creating a morning routine that will help you feel like yourself!



Do you feel defeated by your “reactive mornings” and rushed or unproductive starts to your day?


With a recent move to our new home, my morning routine has been completely out-of-sync. For me, it’s been a whirlwind of backpacks, school lunches, and KIDS all while trying (read: forgetting) to take care of my own needs.


This all used to run on autopilot!


Normally, I get up before my family as part of the routine I’ve created. That time to myself helps me feel centered and more in control.


This contrast has solidified for me that my morning routine is crucial! It sets the tone for the rest of the day. So, I’m making over my morning routine and want to take you along for the ride.


In this episode, I want to give you my recipe to makeover (or create!) your morning routine.


My #1 goal is to leave you with a morning routine that makes you feel like yourself!


Note: this isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” kind of recipe. My four tips will help you to create a unique routine that will support BOTH your time constraints and your needs.


And don’t worry. . . If you’re facing obstacles that are getting in the way of creating your “ideal” morning, I have tips that will help you overcome them.


We start by creating habits that SUPPORT you, rather than push you.



About a few other things...


Reclaim your creative power and rediscover who you actually are! If you’re ready to come back home to yourself, to be able to say that you know who you are and what matters to you, take my foundation course, “Finding Me.” It’s OK that you’ve lost parts of yourself along the way; but as you learn to anchor back into who you are and align your life to what matters to you, you’ll find that you have more strength, more fulfilment, and more creativity to bring to your important roles and responsibilities.


I have a goal to get to 1000 reviews, and I need your help! If you would leave a rating and simple review on Apple Podcast it would really help the show grow, and reach even more women who need this community. I appreciate each one, as well as your shares, it helps me keep the show going and know better how to serve you!


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Songs Credit: Pleasant Pictures Music Club




Morning time, a time of quiet, introspection and peace . . . Unless your mornings are anything, but! Today I am going to help you make over your morning routine.


Right now, the very day that I am recording this, I will honestly tell you that every routine I have successfully created the past several years has been totally thrown out the window. We moved into our home finally a week ago today. And right now that means we are scrambling every second. From the time we wake up to the time we fall asleep.


So of course my routines are going to be thrown off, with a huge move like that. And I am feeling especially the lack of my morning routine, which has inspired the need for this episode. Whether your morning routines are off in a major way, like mine, thanks to a life event or maybe some unpredicted circumstances, or you simply want to improve or tweak what you already have in place in your morning, I thought it would be nice to do a little makeover of our morning routines.


Let's start by just stating some of the obvious facts here that morning's matter so much for many reasons. But if we were to distill it down to one, I would say that they set the tone. They set the tone for our energy, for our feelings. They set the tone for our level of productivity. They help us feel like ourselves as we face so much of what is not controllable throughout a day.


Maybe you are a working professional right now, and you are working nine to five in an office. Maybe you are a stay-at-home mom right now, and you have little kids who don't go to school yet who have very pressing needs at every moment. Maybe you are working part time from home and you have kids who are teenagers that need you to shuttle them around all the time like you're a constant taxi driver.


 No matter what your scenario is in your day-to-day life, I can bet you one thing: that time during your day is often uncontrollable. Yes, you can have good intentions. You can also have good plans. You could also have really good grounding routines that help you with that mess of the uncontrollable.


But if you are like me, and if you are human, I bet you can agree that a lot of what happens throughout the day can be uncontrollable. This is why the bookends of our days, the mornings and the nights are so vital to us learning how to control what we can control so that we can better meet what is uncontrollable.


My biggest goal in helping you make over your mornings is to help you feel more like yourself. Things are going to happen. Shiz is going to hit the fan, whatever it is you want to say, no matter what things are going to happen, but I want you to feel empowered to be yourself as you face your days.


So what I'm going to do now is share with you my recipe to help you makeover your morning routine. Before I share this recipe, a word of caution. I want you to know that your morning routine is going to look way different from mine and mine is going to look way different from Oprah's. It is all relative.


The biggest mistake I see coming up with habit installation is getting pressured by the shoulds around it. "Well, I should be doing this. I should be doing that. I should feel this way. I should want that. . ."


And it messes things up. Instead, I'm going to give you a pass, a pass to make your morning, be about you.


Yes. About you, about what you want and what you need. Put on this lens, "What do I want, what do I need?" While you are listening to all my advice that follows, because there are plenty of prescriptions all around you on Pinterest and social media, we are not going to let someone else's morning routine become the standard of success or the standard of failure for your own.


So let's share the morning make-over recipe I have for you. The first is going to combat those shoulds right away. And it's this: get clear.


You need to get clear about what you want and what you need in your mornings. The easiest way. I know how to do that,to clear away the should, is to get clear on how you want to feel.


And this is hard for me as someone who doesn't really take stock of her feelings very often. That's what our habits and our routines do. They help us feel things or they make us feel things which can create the tone that we don't really want, or make us act in ways that are not really in alignment with who we really are.


Your feelings really matter, and your routines can be there to help support the feelings that you want to feel.


So, to help you clear away those shoulds and those expectations and the pressures around you, get clear on how you want your mornings to feel.


How do you want to feel in the morning?


Maybe you want to feel energized or maybe you want to feel inspired. Maybe you want to feel confident or strong or excited or calm. There are so many feelings, right? So if I could give you a little bit of advice, it's to just get clear on that. Take a minute, go for a walk if that helps you think better than sitting still, or sit still, if that helps you think and just get clear on how do I want to feel in the mornings.


If you're struggling with that, I have a quick tip for you. It's go to Oppositeville. I just made that up. You basically just think about, well, how am I feeling right now in ways that aren't working? How am I feeling? And what's opposite to that? Well, that's actually what I want to feel.


So for example right now, because my morning routine has been so out of whack right now, I am feeling some icky feelings.


I am feeling rushed, snappy, I'm feeling desperate and stressed. To me,the opposite of those feelings are to feel in control. I want to feel in control. I want to feel centered. I want to feel on track. Like ,purposeful intentional. I want to feel those things, getting clarity on how I want to feel gives me information that will help me with all the steps that follow.


So the first step again, was to get clear. How do you want your mornings to feel?


Once you have that, let's move on to step two of the morning make-over recipe. It's this: cast a vision. Stephen Covey says in his book, seven habits of highly successful people to start with the end in mind.


I loved to cast visions, whether it's of a project I'm working on or a habit I'm trying to install. You start at the beginning, knowing what you want your ideal ending to look like. This is where you take away all of that, "Oh, this can't happen to me." And all of the doubts and inadequacies that come in, or the ways that you dismiss yourself and you just dream, you cast a vision of what your ideal morning can look like.


But the key with this vision is that the vision still needs to involve activities or little habits that you do that will create the feelings you want to feel. So cast a vision. What are some things that you could do and a normal morning and ideal morning that will create the feelings that you want to.


Here's mine: if I want to feel in control and to feel centered and on track, I like to ideally wake up long before my kids get up. So about an hour before, and I do some strength training and a little bit of cardio. And while I'm doing that, I listened to some spiritual things.


Hopefully take just a few minutes to meditate. My ideal morning routine would also move on to helping my kids get ready for school and doing things as a family there. And then after dropping them off, going for a short walk than showering and getting ready. That's my ideal morning that probably takes about two, two and a half hours in total. That's the ideal.


So what's yours? What is your ideal morning? Cast a vision of what would be on your list, what possible activities or small habits could be all strung together to create an ideal morning routine that will create the feelings you want to feel. Some more ideas for. You can include things like yoga, journaling, sitting in bed and reading, listening to music, going for a run, taking some time to create or do some art in the.


Getting ready before your family is up. There's no wrong answer here. Yours does not have to be a two hour thing. Yours can be five minutes. That can be your ideal morning routine, or it can be a whole three hour time block you get to decide. But what is the ideal morning routine for you? Cast a vision.


Step three of our recipe is to get real. Now that we've cast a vision, that's great. We have the end in mind, but we can't start with that ending. We have to instead get real about what our current circumstances are, so we know where to start. So step three is to get real, consider your current circumstances objectively take stock of what is going on and your current mornings, where are they already?


When do you get up? What tasks have to happen each morning that you have to do? How big of a time block do you want your morning routine to be just a few minutes, just a few hours. Take an objective, look and get real about what is already happening in your life. That's step number three, which is vital because the final step step four of this recipe is to start small.


I do not want that New Years Effect to happen to you. That is when we do all the things all at once, and then we crash and burn. Yes, you should have good intentions by casting a vision, but after you've gotten real about your circumstances, this is when you can learn and decide on how to start small. So of your ideal list, what is one of those things you can do?


That can create the feeling that you want. And that's a good place to start. Is it three minutes of stretching? Is it writing one line in your journal? Is it listening to one song on your way to work or dropping your kids off at school? What is one thing you can do from your ideal that can create the feelings that you want to feel?


And my favorite way to help you start small with this is to take that one thing and create a "When-Then Pairing" with. This is my sticky habit formula. And it's something you'll learn in an upcoming free classes I'm doing. So stay tuned for that. But you're "When-Then Pairing" means that you, you take something that already exists--when, and you attach a new, small habit to it--then.


So when I brush my teeth, then I'll say a prayer. When I drive my kids to school, then I'll blast a song I love. When I wake up, then I'll do a sun salutation. That's what you need to install. So my final step for you was to start small. Remember "The Process" that we have in this community, believe in the process. The Process is: small wins build over time.


I know it's really tempting to start with your full, ideal vision that you had in mind, but don't. Believe me. Believe that the small wins that you are going to create will build over time, which means I need you to start small, start with one simple one, then pairing that can create the feeling


I want to review the recipe I had for you before we go into some scenarios here, the first is to get clear about how you want to feel then is to cast a vision of what your possible ideal morning routine could look like. The third step was to get real about your circumstances that are going on in your life right now. And the fourth was to start small with the "When-Then Pairing."


I think it's always helpful to talk about specific scenarios that are coming up in our lives because we are not robots. And even with that recipe, I just gave you, you might be struggling to install your morning routine, even if you're starting small.


So here are a few of the scenarios that I have seen literally come up within the members of my Strive Hive community.


The first is about phone use. I've had women say something like, "I have really good intentions in the morning, but I get up with the alarm on my phone and immediately get sucked in what should I do?"


Memorize this tip: lower the hurdles.


Let's acknowledge that your phone is not evil, it's a powerful tool and it can be used for a lot of good. So it's not like we need to throw it in the ocean, but at the same time, it is still a hurdle to you starting your day, right? For you setting the tone for how you want to feel and who you want to be as you move through, what often can be uncontrollable days.


So we want you to lower the hurdles to your morning routine so that you can experience those feelings and your phone is that hurdle. So instead of just doing all or nothing and saying, "I'm never going to use my phone, I'm never going to get it." Are there some ways that we can just make it easier for you to have a better morning by making it harder to access your phone?


Maybe you can charge it across the room instead of right next to you on your nightstand. Maybe you can get an alarm clock. Maybe you can charge your phone and your bathroom, which makes you get up and move out of your room to go turn it off. There are some simple tweaks that you can use to make it harder to get on your phone. That will also lower the hurdle to creating the morning that you want.


So what I would actually encourage you to do is to start the night before. And come up with a good "When-Then Pairing" on where you are going to charge your phone at night. So when I brush my teeth, then I will plug my phone in, on my dresser, across the room or in the bathroom next to my toothbrush or in the kitchen, whatever it may be.


And when you are ready to turn off that alarm or to reach for your phone, may I also suggest using that deep breath that we talked about a couple of weeks ago with the response gap, take a deep breath. Whenever you get on your phone and ask yourself, why am I on here? And that can help you slow down the reactivity.


Okay. Second scenario is about children, children, or family members that are getting in the way. And I've heard this describe, "I can't do what I want to do in the mornings because my kids need me to do X, Y, Z."


Maybe you are in a super needy phase right now, whether you have teens or really young kids or somewhat something in between. Maybe you're a caretaker for an elderly member in your family. Or there's another obstacle going on, like a roommate or a spouse who's making it hard for you to have a successful morning routine.


This is what I want to say to you: you can honor your season and you can still also honor your needs. This is why the first step of the recipe I gave you was to think about the way that you want to feel. We are going for feelings more than the checklist, because there are certain seasons where a checklist will not be ideal.


It's not possible for us to even meditate for five minutes before the day starts. And if that's a season you are in, for whatever reason, you can still honor your season and honor your needs at the same time. Focus more on the feelings you want to create, instead of the exact steps you need to execute every single day. And that will give you a little flexibility.


Maybe that means there are some things you can do alongside those little kids or the roommate or the spouse, and having them in the room that you can still do some of those things with them around. And create the feelings that you want, or maybe it is something that you can do day to day.


Like, you know, that you can drive your kids to school, but you can still blast a song that you love along the way. And that can give you the feeling that you want, maybe honoring your season, and also honoring your needs means that you don't wake up early, but you do put on a show for your little kids so that you can shower. Maybe honoring your needs means that you sleep in and you cuddle with your kids and that's honoring both your season and your needs.


Your morning routine does not need to look like another list of productivity. Again, it's about what you need and want and how you want to feel in this season. So honor your season and honor your needs and focus on creating the feelings more than the checklist.


The final scenario I have for you is about that productivity trap. Again, this is best described by, "Monica. I have things to do. I have to get things done." That is okay. I totally get it. It's okay to know that your mornings just need to be very productive. So, your morning routine can be productive and all about tasks, but I still want you to consider how that rush is creating a tone that might not be what you want.


The habits that you have are not meant to only be productive. They're actually meant to be supportive. So, how can you bring in some supportive habits, even just one supportive habit that will enable you to be productive in the way that you need to. How can you create a habit that supports you rather than pushes you?


So, yes, we want you to be able to get things done. We want you to feel in charge. We want you to be productive, but we want you to do it without getting exhausted or feeling resentful or to getting burnt out.


So I have to get things done. Yes, of course you do. But in order to do that, you also have to prioritize supportive habits that help you get things done.


I personally feel if we start every day with the go go, go rush, rush, rush, to do, to do, to do that we will have the exhaustion, resentment, and burnout that we do not want in the long run. So think of one small way that you can just work on supporting yourself before your to-dos are done. Does that involve just taking a deep breath and doing a sun salutation the second, your feet hit the floor, then that is good enough.


Does that involve taking one minute to read a poem next to your nightstand? When you wake up, does it involve eating a meal, actually eating breakfast? Maybe that's the support of habit you need that will help you be more productive.


This is why I can't give you prescriptions. Prescriptions are dumb. They don't work for everybody.


I did not tell you in this episode exactly what you need to do, but what I am hoping to give you is the empowerment that you need to make choices to create habits, and to establish routines, that support you and what you want and what you need so that you can get things done.


I hope this episode gave you the hut. Kick in the pants that you need to grow. Let's review the progress pointers from this episode. And this is where I share like the cliff notes of this episode. So you don't have to take the notes and if you want them in a graphic form, everyone on my Go Getter Newsletter gets us every Tuesday.


1)      Mornings are the first bookend of our days. They set the tone and help us be who we want to be as we move through what often seems uncontrollable.


2)      Morning Makeover Recipe: 1) Get clear, 2) Cast a vision, 3) Get real,


3) Start small


4) When you face obstacles to your morning routine: Lower the hurdles; Honor your season AND your needs; Create habits that SUPPORT you, rather than push you.


Your # dosomethingchallenge this week is to report into me on one. When-Then Pairing you are going to install that will help create the feeling you want.


When I wake up then I'll . . . Just like that. When I eat breakfast, then I'll; when I'll brush my teeth, then I'll. . . That will help you feel the feelings you want to feel in the day.


When you share the #dosomethingchallenge you can do that on social media, use the hashtag #dosomethingchallenge and make sure you tag me @aboutprogress. And that way I can spotlight you as our Progressor Spotlight.


Speaking of which this week, I want to spotlight Jill Freestone. Last week, we had a life-changing episode with Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife and Dr. Julie Hanks. And we had so many incredible comments come in on this and the difference that partnership has made within their own marriage and Jill shared something that I thought we could all benefit from.


She said, "It's actually fascinating how our love and our marriage has been stronger. The more we collaborate and work as a team, we are more attractive to each other. When we see each other this way, it's really unifying to let go of resentment and be totally open and vulnerable to collaborate."


If you didn't get a chance to listen to that episode, I highly recommend it. But Jill, you were living this out and I'm so grateful to you.


Before we go. I want to remind you to call in. We want your voice on the show. So go to and ask me your question. Share an obstacle you're facing ask a question about a routine you're trying to install or a mindset shift you're struggling with, or it's very specific scenario that is coming up for you over and over and over that you need some help with.


And I'm going to answer your questions live on the show as much as possible, but I need those questions to come in. So that's about


I want to thank you so much for listening, and I hope this helps you make over your mornings now go and do something with what you learned today.


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