self care Jul 31, 2018

Let me start by saying that what I’m about to share with you has been years in the making. I didn’t wake up one day and decide to do all of this all at once. As with many other things in life, this routine evolved over time. Like I say in my “About” page, take what you need. If I share something below that resonates with you, great! If not, then I hope at the very least this post will inspire you to thoughtfully consider whether or not there are tweaks you can make to your own morning routine that will help you to start your day feeling empowered and on top of your game.

How to Create a Morning Routine for Kick-Ass Days

1.   I wake up early… like 5:00 or 5:30 early.

I’ve always been a morning person. It’s when I do my best thinking and am the most productive. On workout days, I’ll do circuit training, yoga, or go for a run. On the other days, I jumpstart my day with writing or planning this blog. I realize not everybody operates the way I do, but getting up early gives me quiet time with myself to collect and organize my thoughts. In order to get up so early I try to be in bed with the lights out no later than 9:00 or 9:30 on evenings where I have work the next day. I save the late nights for the weekends.

2.   I make my bed every morning.

Every day growing up my mom told me to make my bed, but somewhere along the way, I got out of the routine. That is until I saw this video:

Now that I’ve reengaged the habit, I can’t not make my bed. I’m surprised how rewarding this is! One of my favorite moments during the day is returning home after a long day at the office and walking into my bedroom to change into my “comfy pants” (a term coined by my 9-year-old stepson, Alex). Now I’m greeted by a room that feels put together (even if it’s really not) rather than a messy bed to deal with. We, assistants, need these small victories after spending our day taking care of someone else. Give yourself the gift of a made bed. Your future self will thank you!

3.   I help myself look how I want to feel

Every morning I get ready with the intention of crushin’ it. I want to embody an “I’ve got this” attitude, and one of the ways I do this is by investing a little bit of time to look the part. I’m your stereotypical girly-girl, so for me, this looks like putting on makeup, a spritz of perfume and doing my hair. Do what works for you in order to feel empowered and on top of your game. I discuss this in more detail in the chapter on personal branding in my free guide, Impressing Your Boss & Earning the Big Bucks.

4.   I make a green smoothie *most* mornings

I have been doing this since January 2013. I remember vividly because I purchased my first Kitchen Ninja blender with my 2012 Christmas money. As a testament to how nerdy I am, I upgraded my blender to a Blendtec with money my husband and I received from our wedding back in December.

Why green smoothies? I make them so I don’t have to eat vegetables, not because I like veggies so much! My current fave is to blend together almond milk, a frozen banana, protein and peanut butter powders, 2-3 handfuls of spinach, and a small avocado. Starting my day with a green smoothie sets my day off on the right foot and makes me feel less guilty about my sweet tooth and all the chocolate I’ll inevitably eat later. Win/win!

5.   I listen to podcasts or books on Audible most mornings on the way to work.

If you’re anything like me you have a long list of books you want to get to and topics you’d like to learn about, but you don’t actually have the time to read. Enter podcasts and Audible. I’ll play a podcast or audiobook on my commute which has the added benefit of lowering my frustration when stuck in traffic. It’s incredible how many hours a week I spend in the car. Now this time doesn’t feel wasted.

6.   I list my long-term pie-in-the-sky goals as if they’ve already happened.

While listening to a podcast (go #5!) on the way home from work one day, the host was interviewing Rachel Hollis, a lifestyle blogger who has built a multi-million dollar business. Rachel talked about writing her ginormous unattainable goals as if they’ve already happened stating, “The brain sees no obstacle when you write it as though it’s already happened.” For example, if one of your goals is to pay off your mortgage, you would write the goal, “I have paid off my mortgage.” I’m not going to lie, I’m on the front end of learning about mindset & manifestation work. I’ve been doing this for about a month now; I’ll keep you posted on my progress. If nothing else, this is a great way to stay focused on your long term goals.

7.   I give myself a “Fabulous Hour” before I start my workday.

I get to the office every morning between 7:00 and 7:30. I arrive early because I want to give myself a “Fabulous Hour” of writing and working on this blog before I start my workday. As assistants, our lives largely revolve around taking care of our executives. I give myself a whole “Fabulous Hour” first thing in my day as a symbol that my ambitions are just as important as my boss’s. Investing in myself in this way has a strangely energizing effect on the rest of my day, and I don’t have to worry about when I’ll find the time in my day to write.

Voila! That’s my morning routine. Now I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below or head on over to the Whole Assistant Facebook Group to share one or two things you do to set your day off on the right foot.

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