With the New Year comes New Year's Resolutions. In the past, my goals and resolutions for the new year were focused on what I wanted to remove from my life - losing weight, eating less junk food, spending less time on my phone. This year, I have decided to focus on what I can add to my life, to promote a growth and abundance mindset. I am adding routines and habits to my everyday life to promote the feelings and life that I want to live; the life that my highest self lives.
The day begins in the morning, so I am starting with adding 10 simple stacked habits to my morning routine:
- Wake up before 6am.
Sleep hygiene is something that has been a challenge for me for as long as I can remember. In high school I could stay up until 2am and then be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for class by 8am, but those times are long gone. Throughout the last 3.5 years in University I have struggled with fatigue and a roller-coaster of a sleep schedule. I want to add consistency and prioritize my sleep by committing to a minimum of 7 hours per night, a goal of 8-10 hours per night, and a wake-up time goal of 5am (but the latest wakeup being 6am). The goal of 7-10 hours of sleep per night is my priority, but I also am more productive and tend to have higher quality sleep when I go to bed early and wake up early, thus a wake-up time between 5am and 6am requires me to be in bed before 10am. Planning and committing to my sleep schedule as a non-negotiable allows me to have a framework to structure my night routine, morning routine, and everyday around.
- Wash my face with cold water first thing.
Not only is getting out of bed in the morning a challenge for me, but so is staying out of bed. I tend to wake up, waddle to the washroom and then back to bed. By stacking the habit of rinsing my face with cool/cold water in the morning with my usual trip to the washroom when I wake up, I’m hoping to wake up my body and avoid returning to bed.
- Drink a glass of water.
I am a beverage gal. I am always drinking something, whether it be coffee, sparkling water, water, etc but somehow I still do not drink enough water throughout the day. I’m hoping that running the cold water to splash on my face helps to remind me to fill a glass of water and drink first thing in the morning. Especially since I will be getting 7-10 hours of sleep per night, that is a lot of time for my body to go without water, and so getting my first glass in the morning will set me on my way to drinking my goal of 3L of water per day.
- Move my body.
I’ve woken up, washed the sleep from my face, and hydrated, now I’m ready to move my body. Prioritizing movement in the morning will help me to wake up my body, stretch my stiff muscles that will have been at rest for 7-10 hours, and gets my workout out of the way. Especially since gyms and fitness studios are closed at the moment, getting a 30-45min workout in at home in the morning is perfect. I will be following youtube, instagram, and ebook workouts in the meantime, but when gyms re-open, I will likely get back on my gym grind!
- Practice flexibility through stretching and yoga.
I am a hot-yoga-fanatic, and I miss the hot room more than I ever thought I would. Over the summer and early fall when I was consistently going to yoga, I saw such speedy advances in my flexibility and improvements in my chronic headaches and general body aches and pains. I hope that stacking some stretching and yoga practice onto the end of my workout will remind me to stretch out my muscles after working them out, and to improve my flexibility to reap the many rewards that flexibility brings.
- Self-care shower & skincare.
Showering with dim mood lighting, a steamy shower, with products that you enjoy - that is my definition of self-care. Shower time is my me-time. I often spend the first few minutes of my shower focusing on my breathing and relaxation, then I will massage my own face and use a gua sha tool, and if it is a hair-wash day I will lather my scalp like I’m at the salon. Showering off my sweat and relaxing my sore muscles after a workout and stretching is the most luxurious reward. Additionally, taking the time to work through my skincare routine before I start the day ensures that I am sun-protected and moisturized to face whatever the day throws at me
- Make & drink green tea.
I love coffee, who doesn't? I also love tea, and the benefits of tea, particularly green tea in the morning are very enticing to me. I feel that the slow-release caffeine, the warmth and the health and digestion benefits of tea in the morning are the perfect continuation for my morning routine. Coming from a steamy shower to the chilly environment of my basement-suite can be a bit of a shock to the system, so I feel that a warm tea is the best way to keep myself relaxed and ready to move into my mindfulness practices.
- Meditate & breathe.
Meditation is something that I have wanted to do for a long time and that I have never committed to. So many individuals rave about the benefits of meditation, and as someone who has struggled with anxiety, I believe that slowing down and focusing on my breathing while being aware of where my mind goes will have amazing benefits for my mental health. Taking the time to breathe and be mindful before jumping into social media and giving my energy to others will allow me to be grounded and proactive throughout my day.
Holding things in does nothing but cause frustration and pain. I believe that journaling can get my thoughts and feelings out of my mind, allow me express gratitude for the things that I have and to share with the universe the things that I am welcoming into my life. Additionally, I think that having a daily journal that I can flip back through will allow me to keep a record of the goings-on and feelings that I experience, see possible trends, and track my growth on my journey to become my highest self.
After meditating on my thoughts and feelings, exhaling the things that are not serving me, and clearing myself through journaling, it sounds beneficial to then inhale some education. I have always been an avid reader and the positive influence that regular reading has on my mindfulness, my screen time, and my academic performance have always been apparent. In the evenings I love to read fiction to unwind and feel nostalgic, but in the morning I love to read self-development and educational topics to continue my growth mindset.