The Key to a Great Morning, is a Great Nighttime Routine.
There is no shortage of posts on the internet about morning routines, I am actually in the process of writing one about my own routine that has done wonders for making my day less stressful. As I began writing that post it occurred to me that my morning routine is only as good as it is because of the routine I have the night before.
The last hour before you go to bed at night truly does set the stage for how your morning is going to go. I could start by saying that the most important thing about having a great morning is getting 8 hours of sleep, in reality, that’s complete crap. Thousands of extremely successful people have demonstrated its simply not true. The amount of sleep you need to based on you and you alone, more than that it is based on your attitude about how much sleep you are about to get. If you go to bed thinking you are not going to get enough sleep and you will be exhausted in the morning, even 10 hours of sleep isn’t going to be enough. Positive thinking equals positive outcomes.
My 60-minute Nighttime Routine
Review What Tomorrow Will Bring
Take five minutes and check out what is in store for you tomorrow, most importantly check what time the sun is coming up and what the weather is going to be like. This process will help in removing questions from your mind as you lay down to sleep, and allow you to be properly prepared for the day ahead. This is also a great time to prep your Bullet Journal for tomorrow, set out clothes for tomorrow, and prepare the items you need for your morning routine.
Kill The Technology
It is time for bed, facebook, twitter, emails, and even your text messages can all wait till tomorrow. Put your phone on do not disturb mode and call it a day. For me, my phone will automatically set itself to do not disturb mode at 2200 and stay that way till 1000 the next day. Simply put that means that unless you’re on my phones V.I.P. contact list and you try to contact me after 2200, I’m not going to see it. Those who are on my V.I.P. all generally know that the fastest way to get off that list is to contact me for something senseless after 2200. Check out this post from Sleep.org on “The Scary Ways Technology Effects Your Sleep“. This post from Apple, provides instructions on how to enabled scheduled Do Not Disturb periods on your iPhone.
Fix the Broken Windows
When I say broken windows, I am not talking about actual broken windows. I am referring to the little things in your life that cause you stress but you do nothing to resolve them. For me, these include things like:
- Desk / Morning Space is disorganized.
- Dishes in the sink or around the house.
- Piles of Laundry in odd places.
- Not knowing where things I need first thing in the morning are.
- No water in the coffee machine.
All of the above items are things that can be easily resolved by taking a few moments before you go to bed to fix your broken windows. Every night I take 30 minutes before I go to bed to resolve some broken windows, even if I can not repair them all. Remove the phrase I’ll just do it tomorrow from your vocabulary. You already have enough going on in the morning that having to wash the dishes to make breakfast will just become an excuse to not eat breakfast.
Make the Bed
This is really a broken window item that shouldn’t even need to be mentioned cause it should have happened long ago but sometimes it doesn’t. I like getting into a freshly bad bed at night, it makes me more comfortable. So while an unmade bed could easily be thrown in with other broken windows, for me it’s something that I make sure is complete every night.
Wash your face with a warm washcloth and brush your teeth. Even if you just took a shower a few hours before, wash your face. With time doing this nightly will start the process of training your body that this is one of the signals that it is almost time for sleep.
Meditation has countless benefits to the body but when it comes to ending your day it helps reduce your stress, from the day and allows you to bring your attention to the moment you are in. Check out the Live and Dare website for the post “Scientific Benefits of Meditation – 76 Things You Might Be Missing Out On“.
Even if only for a few minutes, picture up a book and read. Reading helps stimulate the mind and is yet another way of disconnecting from the stress’s you encountered during the day. Try to stay away from books that make you think too much, the purpose here is to relax and clear your head.
Evening Affirmations & Night Time Goal
Last but certainly not least take a minute to tell yourself tomorrow is going to be an amazing day, and that you are about to get a great night of sleep. Mentally decide what time you are going to wake up, and tell yourself you are going to get up at that time. I strive to have that time be about 15 minutes before the sun comes up.
Last but certainly not least, close your eyes and enjoy a good night sleep.
What about you??
All of us have different routines before we go bed, what is yours? Use the comments section to share what is in your nighttime routine.