The Morning Routines of a Real One

I used to be really good and strict with morning routines—and seasonal, at that, because I would change them as I needed. But now that I’m in love, it’s really been hard to maintain a daily routine.

After a summer of staying clear away from routines, I stepped into September with a desire to be organized. Here’s where I started. On the first day of school, I told myself, “I’m going to wake up early, meditate for 15 minutes, hit the gym for 15 minutes, read, write, and then go to school.” That would be my morning routine.

But it was hard to do all of them every morning and still be on time for work. Yesterday, I did do all of them, but today, I can only do one of them, which is create—I have to go write some lesson plans. This reminded me that just last week I had the idea to do one of them each day: running Monday mornings, art on Tuesday mornings, writing on Wednesday mornings, read on Fridays, sleep in on the weekends if I am not traveling. But today, I thought I could do all of them—because I did all of them yesterday, but I cannot. I did not wake up earlier enough, so I don’t have enough time. 

So I’m thinking, listen: we’re not robots. We’re not supposed to be good at doing the same thing every single day in the same exact order. At least, I’m not. What I need to strengthen and commit to is just feeling good every morning, no matter what it takes. You don’t need a strict diet for anything. All you have to do is be aware of what you’re doing, when you’re doing it. In the words of my editor, “Feeling good is the compass you should use to determine what to do” every day.

This morning, I felt really good. I got a whole bunch of new clothes from the thrift store for Dah and me last night. I took mine out, tried all my stuff on, and it was just nice to try on clothes in the morning. Like, who wakes up and tries on new clothes? I was playing dress up. And it was so fun! And I did do my breathing, and I did some stretching (I didn’t go to the gym, but I did move my body and got a little active). And then I had a nice five minutes of fun as I was getting ready for the day, and now I am ready to get in the classroom and create. 

Give yourself at least 30 minutes—I would push for an hour, because then you get that whole hour to play—to do all the things on your checklist, but you don’t have to do all of them if you don’t want to. It’s like your optional morning. It’s your free time, before you go to work. And if you don’t love your job, this might spice up your mood and spruce up your creativity. You’ll walk away from this practice with a whole new love for mornings.