10 Realistic Morning Routines When You're A Mum in Business
What’s the big deal about morning routines anyway?
It’s not long into building a business or being self-employed that you hear everyone banging on about morning routines.
They say top performers have powerful routines and it’s no secret that being highly successful is about being highly disciplined.
So what is all the hype about?
Powerful mindset - starting your day with intention sets the tone for the whole day. As the expression goes, ‘win the morning, win the day’.
Avoid mental fatigue - you will spend your day making decisions. Taking the decision-making out of your morning will save energy for the tasks that count. Think of it as your boot up sequence.
Alignment with values - starting your day with the things that are important to you will contribute to your happiness and overall fulfilment. As a mum, we so often overlook our own self-care - this is an opportunity to do something just for you.
Still not convinced?
The thing is, you probably already have a morning routine. You will likely do pretty much the same thing every morning. You just haven’t constructed it intentionally.
Picture these two scenarios:
You wake up feeling drained. You were up twice in the night with the baby and feel exhausted. You lie in bed checking social media before sitting in front of the tv with a coffee for half an hour in your pjs.
You wake up feeling drained. You were up twice in the night with the baby and feel exhausted. You take a cold shower and do 10 minutes stretching. You drink a glass of water, and then complete a gratitude journal, listing all the little things you’re grateful for.
Which one sounds more powerful? It’s obvious right?
But don’t worry - I wasn’t bought in at the beginning either…
To begin with, it just pissed me off
This said more about me than the people with the powerful morning routines. I remember reading my coach’s blog post on his morning routine - it involved two hours of very lovely activities from dog walking, to meditation to reading. The list goes on.
There I am thinking that sometimes I pretend I need the toilet just to have 5 minutes alone.
And I can’t even do that with the toddler - where I go, he goes. There is no such thing as alone time as a mother, particularly not when you’re working full-time, running a business and raising a small person.
I was open to the idea, but I couldn’t see how it was realistic.
What is realistic as a mum?
I started and failed to implement a morning routine for a few months. I wasn’t being realistic about the time I had, and I wasn’t committed to prioritising my morning routine over getting stuck straight into work.
My morning routine began to stick when I aligned it with my values and goals. One of my values is spending quality time with my son - technology-free. This is now part of my morning routine. Insanely, this was important to me before but I just wasn’t doing it consistently, as I didn’t set the intention.
It was also important to me that I had a healthy body, as I know this affects my mindset. I introduced a workout to my morning routine.
Finally, I wanted to ensure I kept learning. I introduced reading a business book or doing a course for half an hour each morning.
And the difference my morning routine has made? I now go into each day feeling grounded and intentional. I have the right mindset to be successful.
Start by looking at the time you have available.
Then look to your values and goals - what’s important to you?
Craft your morning routine around this.
If you don’t have any alone time, that’s OK. Look to create a morning routine you can involve your kids in (keeping reading for ideas).
If you are in the grips of lack of sleep, don’t try to implement a high-intensity workout first thing.
If you’re the type of person that starts the working day straight away, consider taking 10 minutes out of this time to trial some different morning routines.
You get the picture: be intentional, but also be kind to yourself. Self-care is one of the first things to go as a mum.
Starting an intentional morning routine
My advice is to start small. Add one intentional action to your morning routine and once you’ve embedded that habit, consider adding more.
There are three pillars I try to hit in my morning routine: physical, mental and emotional.
Here’s some examples for each pillar:
Walk outside (walking the kids to nursery/school is ideal for this!)
Exercise (I use 7 minute workout app)
Time with loved ones
And here’s some quick wins for your morning routine:
Make the bed
Drink a glass of water
Do 60 squats as you brush your teeth
If I hit two out of three pillars of my morning routine, I’m happy. I don’t obsess over what I didn’t do.
As a mum and business owner you are juggling so many balls. Don’t let your morning routine become something else to beat yourself up over.
It’s about you and no one else. If it’s not working for you, change it up. Let it be a source of power - a commitment to the right mindset. A commitment to the importance of making time for you.
what my morning routine looks like
Coffee for me/milk for the toddler in bed (no phones or screens for either of us)
15 minutes play with toddler (loving @fiveminutemum on instagram for quick games to play)
Walk toddler to nursery
7 minute workout
Breakfast and read for 30 minutes (or do online course)
2 minute journal (I use Neil Pasricha’s ‘Two Minute Mornings’
Look at calendar and begin most important task (MIT)
The most challenging part of sticking to my morning routine is avoiding my phone and avoiding sticking the tv on for the toddler.
I don’t always succeed and that’s OK.
I know I begin my day with intention and that makes me feel powerful.
What’s one thing you could do tomorrow to set the tone of your day?