How freaky is it to look forward to a morning routine every day?

Assuming a good - or at least decent - night’s sleep, this morning routine is a glorious thing. The best part is that it doesn’t even feel like a massive string of excellent habits all strung together. Always a plus when you can trick yourself (er, understand human psychology) and do all the things you know are good for you.

It feels a little weird writing this one because:

  1. This morning routine is ROUTINE. Like, putting it into words shows how boring it is. There’s nothing all that impressive. Nothing eyebrow-raisingly badass. Certainly nothing epic. But maybe that’s part of its charm.
  2. You might read this and be like, “Oh man, this is the morning routine I’ve been looking for my whole life!” Cool. But you’re pretty much on your own as far as figuring out how to implement it. I’m no life coach!

But if your morning routine could use a little shake-up, this might help.

morning routine midlife

Wake Up in the Morning Feeling Like P-Did…

(Okay, I won’t embarrass my kids after all. But you and I both know that when you reach midlife, songs get stuck in our heads more than ever before. Doesn’t matter that these songs are now playing over the speakers at the grocery store.)

I don’t use an alarm. Well, unless I’ve got an early flight or appointment. That hardly ever happens. What’s freaky is that I’ll go long streaks of mornings waking up at the same time, to the minute. 6:17 is the current streak. 

Before my feet hit the floor, I spend some time in gratitude for the avalanche of blessings that fill my life. I pray for my kids (the two I raised, and the three my hubby raised) and their partners, my tribe (family and family by choice), and the seven families I know who’ve lost a young adult child, including one in my extended family. I ask for wisdom, grace, and creativity - and a heart full of love, joy, and peace.

Morning routine - coffee on the porch

Coffee on the Porch with Hubs

We make our coffee, then distract the dogs long enough to sneak out the front door before they stampede.

On the porch, there’s this glider loveseat in the shade. I bought a cushy cushion so it would be comfortable enough to sit on for a while. Out there, we watch birds, squirrels, and bunnies. 

Sometimes our neighbor gives us a show. Not that kind.

He raises racing pigeons. They fly laps around the block many mornings. There also seem to be some volunteers - wild doves that want to earn a spot on the team so badly that they try out day after day.

yard tools

FREE CrossFit! (Minus the Gym Whistle... If That's a Thing)

Thanks to having a huge oak tree fall at the corner of the house (not on!), then getting mulched to oblivion, I have a year or so of workouts. Each morning, I’m shoveling, pushing a wheelbarrow, dumping the load of mulch or dirt, and spreading it. Listening to a little Trance mix puts extra pep in my step. (I have been listening to mixes by @DavidOlam for about a decade.

Of course, that’s after I do a stint as a chicken tender. We have 21 hens currently. They love cracked corn. In fact, they love it so much they will congregate on our back deck asking for it. They get some (it’s like candy for them). They also get fed and watered. I collect eggs then, too. Usually, we give about 3-4 dozen eggs away each week during summer and fall. Those slackers go way down in production during the winter.

Also, I love growing flowers and veggies. So, when stuff’s growing, I check in on it all. I use those watering globes to make sure everything gets the water it needs… where were these all my life?

Stretttttttttttch That Body

After dripping sweat from mulching, nothing feels better than lying flat on my back on the floor. My muscles stretch, and sometimes my back cracks a little (gently). A little floorwork, then it’s time to stretch. I’ve always been about as flexible as a pretzel rod. But with daily stretching, there’s some progress. 

My goal is to build strength and endurance and increase my flexibility and balance. Days I need to miss this routine, I feel like a slug. A stiff slug.

hubby

I Scrub His Back, He Scrubs Mine (My Favorite Part of the Morning Routine Around Here)

Anyone else out there shower with your partner on the regular? We do so every morning that we’re both home. In fact, if one of us is traveling, we joke about not remembering how to even clean ourselves anymore. It’s lovely. 

He’s been so good-natured about the ever-changing lineup of products. Doesn’t even freak out when there’s one conditioner for every day except Monday and Thursday, on which there’s a different one. Also, he takes some ribbing from the guys in his VW restoration shop for being "late" to work. But he melts my heart when he says, "Are you kidding? For a chance to wash my girl's hair? You bet I'm late."

It’s more time to just connect (hehe - okay, yeah). We share what’s on the agenda for each of us. That works well because I'm the Content Director at Capitalism.com, a very busy startup - plus we both own businesses. It can be a challenge to keep our schedule in sync, but we’re getting pretty good at it.

Mike's Naturals

Fix and Fuel

Having a pretty simple routine for hair and makeup on the days I do them is beautiful. (Here’s what I’ve found to make my hair routine work...ish.)

I listen to podcasts (at 2x speed). Current favorites are, Capitalism.com (of course!), Garrett Gunderson’s Wealth Labs, and Brooke Castillo’s The Life Coach School.

Floss (it sucks, but sucks way less than having to have dental work done). Makeup - I get most of mine from BeautyPie. I’ll do a review one of these days. If you want to check it out, here’s my referral link, which will give you your first month’s access free.

While I dry my hair, I catch up on newsletters like Morning Brew. On Mondays, I read a bit of Mark Manson's goodness. Maybe check email and FB (NOTE: this is about 90 minutes after I wake up! NOT first thing! Not even second thing.) 

As a creature of habit, I thrive on routine. This shows up big-time at breakfast. I’ve probably had steel-cut oats for breakfast 99% of the time for the past six months or so. A little bit of fresh fruit in the bowl first, a spoonful of Mike’s Natural nut butter (I'm a taste tester and my team is writing product descriptions - I'll write more about that when they launch), and a splash of milk. Or, just nut butter on an apple, if we're out of oats.

And then… ready to make my long commute to our home office (and my lovely ergonomic desk chair).

What Parts of Your Morning Routine Do YOU Love?

I didn’t build this routine overnight. It grew gradually by stacking one practice on top of another. Within a few months, it got to feel like second nature. With a few more months, it felt like something was “off” if I skipped part of it. 

What I love most is that this natural rhythm of starting the day helps me prioritize my relationships, attention, health, and the expansion of my mind. By focusing on these core vitals every morning, it seems like the rest of the day just works better.

How about you? I’d love to hear your #1 favorite part of your morning routine in the comments.

 

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