Updated: Feb 28
If you're like most people, then you probably have at least some sort of morning routine. It may go something like this: Alarm clock goes off, smash the snooze button a few times, roll out of bed, rush through some sort of habit of getting dressed, scarf down whatever you can get your hands on, and get out the door.
More often than not, especially as small business owners, that routine likely sounds familiar.
And while it's nice to have that routine, sometimes it's nice to mix things up and make it more exciting. Small business owners already struggle with monotony with our days so it is all the more important to spice things up. Plus, that energy or change can help set the tone for success throughout the day!
Here are a couple of ideas to make sure you're getting the most out of your mornings and start the day off on the right foot!
1. Start Off Right the Evening Before
That's right, good mornings start with a great night! I like to end my busy days by reflecting on everything I did, what I'm thankful for, and setting my intentions for tomorrow.
I use a journal from Habit Nest called the Morning Sidekick Journal and a notebook for any extra lists, to-do items, or appointments I need to keep in the front of my mind. It's important to keep your lists short and easy to do, especially when forming habits, so start by writing one thing your thankful for or keeping your intention-setting limited to a handful of easy tasks that you can complete without much effort (like drinking a glass of water or eating breakfast).
If Journals are not your thing or if you're the type of person thats a real kid at heart, I really love the idea of shower notes. We all know how showers go in the evening for small business owners... we spend at least some time staring at the wall thinking about our business. I highly recommend trying some shower crayons. It sounds silly, but honestly its been an amazing help and stress reliever.
If that is a bit to childish or you prefer something more "intellectual", give something like AquaNotes a try. Their whole bit is that you can document your thoughts or ideas before they get washed down the drain. Seriously, give either of these options a try!
It's also important to get a good night's sleep in order to wake up, ready to conquer the day! I use an app called Sleep Cycle on my phone. It monitors your sleep patterns and shows you what impacts your sleep. It also doubles as an AMAZING alarm clock, designed to wake you up when your body is most ready.
If you have an Apple Watch, you can also use their built in sleep functions. One of the most helpful might be setting your sleep timers. This helps you regulate your sleep patterns and avoid getting sucked in to working at home or other distractions.
Either way, make sure that you both express your mind through journaling of some or at the very least creating a solid sleep habit.
Starting off your morning starts with a great evening!
2. Get Moving
Prepare yourself and your body, by moving it right when you wake up, even if it's just some light stretching.
Personally, I like to start with a yoga podcast or a quick run depending on my mood that day. Oh, and Pro-tip: I always prep my coffee before I get started so by the time I'm done, it's brewed and ready for me to down!
When you wake up with movement, it not only jump starts your day, but your metabolism as well. You'll engage muscles and create blood-flow that will energize you for the day. Endorphins get released, which also create both focus and a sense of calm. Things we all know can greatly benefit any small business owner!
It is a bit of an expense, but one thing we absolutely love for this purpose is the Hydrow Rower. You could also spring for a peloton and get a similar result, but rowing not only works more muscles, but the workouts are far more manageable in terms of time. You can get in a solid workout in roughly 15-20 minutes!
Starting your day off with a little movement will help your mood and your mindset. As an added bonus, you get to gloat about what you got done while everyone else is still sleeping!
3. Do Something That Excites You
Read, learn, practice - just do something that excites you and gets you pumped and primed to tackle the rest of your day! The idea is that you do something that's not work related, but still engages and activates your brain. Think something like how runners stretch before a race, same idea!
Some things I like to do? I like reading for a bit each day, practicing learning Norwegian using Duolingo, or improving my coding skills using Codecademy. These are the things that are unique and different from my day that helps me activate my mind.
Let's explore some other ideas in order to help you come up with some that work for you!
Our CEO, Ryan, has begun to take private pilot lessons as part of his new routine. For him, it was something he always wanted to do, but it absolutely activates awareness and prepares him for his day. Plus, flying in the morning is one heck of a view!
One of our Coaches, Thomas, teaches Taekwondo! He also happens to be a Taekwondo champion! For you, think about things similar to this. He also is writing a book as part of his morning routine.
Lastly, a client of ours has taken to doing crafting using the Cricut machine. She is using it for her business to send personalized notes to customers. But, she readily admits that it has become a point of fun for her.
4. Dress to Impress - Yourself
We tend to feel good when we look good. So, put in the effort and you'll feel the confidence start oozing! However, make sure that you're doing it for you, and only you. You don't need to feel good for anyone else but yourself!
I always have a better day when I take the time in the morning to look and feel my best. Having that extra bit of confidence or even just comfort can help set your day up for the better.
One topic that often comes up when we are coaching our small business clients is dress code. We are big proponents of being professional while also being casual. This same thing applies to your morning. Make sure that you wear what you think is appropriate, but also try to find items that bring you joy.
Remember that this step in your morning is all about feeling good. Feeling good about yourself, feeling comfortable with your attire and body, feeling proud to start your day off right!
Plus, with all this working from home the past few years, this step has a far greater impact. Starting you morning off right is an even better reason to put some real pants on!
5. Eat Like a Queen
Yes, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It's not coincidence that on the mornings when I whip something up nutritious and delicious I tend to have a much better day!
Grabbing something cheap and easy will bring you just about the same results for your morning. Make sure that you take your time to select something healthy or fulfilling for your day. Eating like a Queen in your morning is not only better for your health, but it sets the tone for the rest of your day.
If you're having trouble, make sure you start off small. Try to focus on having at least one fruit each morning for a month. Then you can expand it to another item such as a healthy oatmeal or peanut butter toast. Work to build a habit of eating something satisfying and that prepares you for the tough day ahead.
If you're still struggling, we strongly recommend that you loop back up to number one in our list and built breakfast into your evening routine. Take 5 minutes to lay out your breakfast for the next day. You'll be in a better mindset and less hungry (which leads to bad choices).
So fuel your body right and choose healthy foods to get you geared up for the rest of your day!
Overall, the best mornings are those that are slow and easy, do what feels right to you and figure out a way to get the most out of those early hours!
We know it will not be easy to slow down when you're in the rush to get to work, but we can assure you that doing right by you and getting the most out of your mornings will more than pay off for your small business!
If you find yourself struggling with your mornings or your small business, consider getting in touch with a small business coach to help guide your to better success. It can all start with a free consultation!