I was inspired to write this today because of a few conversations I’ve had in the past week about routines.

Being in my placement year and working full time has given me a more structured schedule which both has its pros and cons.

  • Cons – lack of flexibility during the 9 – 5 period (especially when it’s a nice day, which is rare but still)
  • Pros – I get know what I’m doing 5 – 9, 9 – 5, 5 – 9 and being someone who loves being organised, this makes me happy. πŸ˜…

I think my placement year has really helped stabilise my routine and now I’ve gotten so used to it. I hope to follow a similar pattern next year when I return to my student life – except with more flexibility during the day.

Because sometimes all I really need is to do HIIT in the middle of the day. 

People are always shocked (and start feeling EXHAUSTED πŸ˜‚) when I tell them about what I do in the morning.

My morning can be broken up into 4 main habits, one being waking up because how else do you start a morning routine? 🀣

1) Waking up β˜€

Between 5 – 6 am, my mind and body are awake and ready to go. Recently this has been 4 am which has been a little annoying especially when I want to sleep in on a weekend.

Some sights you get when you wake up early. Although I don’t always wake up by the French Riveria, but you get what I mean, right?

I have to thank my Fitbit which has done an awesome job at being a very effective alarm. I think one of the things that helped me flow into this routine – especially initially – was the early morning game of trying to beat my Fitbit alarm by waking up before it goes off. It’s a fun game – I suggest you try it!

…Just don’t go back to sleep after you’ve won.

2) Working out πŸ’ͺ🏼

Once I beat my alarm, I usually get dressed in my workout gear (helloooo Gymshark) and then prepare my pre-workout drink which is either black coffee or BCAAs. Following this, it’s the Snapchat/Instagram emoji selfie (you should totally add me on both if you haven’t already) for accountability and is always a reminder for me to take progress shots – psst, August 2017 blog post with a collection of them is in the works already!

Then, of course, I workout. Currently, I’m doing FitnessBlender’s #FBbodyweight. If you’re familiar with FB’s workouts, they usually last 30 – 40 minutes which isn’t that long – that’s why I love them – efficient, effective and so dang intense.

3) Practising Mindfulness πŸ’­

After cooling down, I do my favourite thing in the world: meditate. I’ve talked about meditation extensively on my blog and social media platforms and to those who know me in real life: excitedly over coffee/lunch. I encourage you all to try and implement it into your day (preferably morning!) it’s such a great habit – it really helps me focus my constantly worried mind! Less anxiety, less overthinking, more mindfulness, more productivity. 🀘🏼

I use the app Calm because I enjoy the daily calm series (there are some gems on there right now for Mental Health Awareness month, I highly recommend!) and it helps keep meditation part of my routine. You can, of course, practice meditation without an app which I’ve been doing during the day a lot recently.

4) Practising Gratitude 🌸

As I mentioned in my March monthly round-up post, I’ve really enjoyed starting my day with gratitude using the five-minute journal. Training my mind to take a more positive approach to the day has allowed me to keep channelling my energy towards being mindful of:

  1. Things I’m grateful for
  2. Things that would make the day ahead great
  3. Daily positive affirmations. I am…

I also end my day writing in the journal, it’s definitely one of the answers to “why are you so happy all the time, Pauline?”

I love looking back and remembering what I did, how I felt and using it to express how grateful I am for all the support in my life in the present moment.

Again, you don’t need the five-minute journal or even a journal to practice gratitude.

This whole routine usually takes around an hour and is honestly my favourite hour of the day. The vital 60 minutes of spending time on myself to improve my physical and mental health are so important to me. Besides, you are your most important project.

Waking up early has so many great benefits. Others, like Debbie Wosskow, also swears by the early grind. I wrote about Debbie last week in my round-up of the Empowering Women with Tech conference. Be inspired by some amazing women, read more here!

I’d love to hear about your morning routine! Share them with me in the comments 😁

Also this is the first song on my morning playlist recently, quite fitting, I have to say πŸ˜‰

16 responses to “Mornin’”

  1. Pauline you are honestly a superstar. I really admire and envy how much time you can put aside in the mornings. For me, even on gym days when I’m out the door by 6:15, I still struggle to get to work because there is a 75-minute commute ahead of me 😞 I aspire to have a routine like yours once I move closer to my workplace!

    But as for people who get tired just by hearing about your routine, I laugh. It’s not impossible, and not everyone is a morning person, so someone with a free hour or two during the day can definitely make time for their health and wellbeing in this kind of way!

    I applaud you and I love hearing about your goals, and since I’m looking to get into meditation as well, I will definitely be calling on you to help. πŸ˜†

    As for my morning routine it often involves getting up at 6am but on Fridays I generally like to sleep in until 7 – unless I make the occasional decision to gym that day too. Because I use my weekends to go to the gym and because of how far I live from work, most of my mornings I wake up the same time but use the time in the morning to get to work a little earlier.

    I did try going to the gym during the middle of the day but with a pretty busy job and balancing my own social life, I don’t often get that opportunity.

  2. I have no morning routine other than snoozing until the very last minute and then scrambling around by doing my net stuff, washing up, getting dressed, and running out of the house. Unlike a good chunk of people around me, my natural sleeping schedule happens to be from 1:00am to 10:00am. This means, on work days I sleep around 12:00-1:00am and force myself to wake up by 5:30-6:00am . . . I’ve tried to change my sleep schedule, but nope T_T The only time I can sleep before midnight is if I go like 2-3 days of only getting 4-5 hours of sleep, then my body is tired to the point I can sleep early. *sighs*

    But you have a good routine going on, and I am so happy that it works for you πŸ™‚ You’re right in that you’re health is important, and self-care is definitely a priority for all of us. You’re rocking at this, and I am happy for you!

  3. Your discipline in amazing! I don’t know how you manage to get up so early every day to workout etc. I do tend to wake up early, but find it hard to get myself out of bed haha. Although on the days I do get up and workout I do feel like it’s a great start to the day (all those endorphins ;)).

    I typically just roll out of bed around 6.40 ish and try and get ready in time to make it into work from 7.30-7.45am, where I’ll spend at least another 12 hours haha. I used to do at home workouts in the evening but I’ve tried to shift those recently to the mornings until work. And then on Sat/Sun I actually manage to get myself in the gym!

  4. I love how diligent you are with your morning routines. You’re so #goals, Pauline! I’m sure you’ll continue the routine even after your placement. I can see a lot of benefits on going to the gym in the AM’s because you basically get it out of the way and energize yourself for the rest of the day. It’s awesome to see the progress you’ve been making over the months! Good on you!

    It’s great that you’re practicing mindfulness! I can see why you’re pretty much in zen 100% of the time XD. There is a lot in life to be grateful for. All of us needs to take the time and reflect on our blessings. We often take things for granted :/. Thanks for the reminder, Pauline :)!

    My morning routine practically consists of waking up at 6, taking an hour to get ready, then taking another hour for my commute to work. If I end up staying at home, I usually wake up at 7:30 am XD. The extra 1.5 hours of sleep help (though it could’ve been better utilized for some yoga).

  5. I’ve got a lot of admiration for you getting up at 5am! I’m not a morning person at all, and I’m always my most productive in the evenings, so I get up as late as possible (7am on weekdays) and go to bed pretty late (about 11pm…that’s probably too late!).

    I’d love to be able to work out in the mornings as I often can’t be bothered after a day of work. I always think that if I were to go self-employed, and I didn’t have to commute, I would be able to work out in the mornings before work.

    I had the Five-Minute Journal app on my phone but I never got on with it. Probably because it was my phone and I’m much more excited to write in an actual book (like my One Line A Day journal). But I love the idea of practicing gratitude. I need to make a habit of it!

  6. It’s HARD to wake up early, but with sights like that, it makes it all worth it in the end. Sometimes, I’m just going to bed then. When you have insomnia, sometimes it’s hard to control your body clock. :/

  7. This routine is so structured and you’re getting so many things done in just one hour. You are simply amazing, Pauline! First off, I can never wake up as early as you do! For me morning starts at a two-digit hour: 10 AM! Lol!

    I do need to wake up early twice a week for morning classes though, and I get up at 7:30 AM (after a long fight with the snooze button). I prefer getting up as late as possible so I don’t really have a routine like yours where I can still work out and do lots of stuff. I tried to do that once but it didn’t work for me; I’ve found that the best time for my workouts is in the afternoon. So in the morning I just prepare for school, walk downhill, and grab breakfast at the nearest breakfast store. If there’s one constant about my mornings, it’s that I never start my day without breakfast. For me, it’s the most important meal of the day.

  8. I WANT YOUR 9 – 5. I feel like I’d resemble a human being more if I had this structure in my life. Shift work is the bane of my existence.

    I always look forward to your morning selfies- youse are so hot, man. Depending on what time I’ve starting I always wake up with just enough time to get ready and roll work. It takes me an hour and 15 to get to work as well, so it doesn’t leave me alot of time in the morning T_T

    I admire your discipline SO MUCH! You are honestly my inspiration <3

  9. Wow, you get up so early! It looks like every morning you get off to a super positive start, which is awesome πŸ™‚ I like the idea of starting the day with some meditation and writing in your journal. I tend to work out after work, so I can just clear my mind after a long day. It helps a lot on frustrating days!

    I’m more of a night person, so I work out in the evening and wind down the day with hobbies. In the morning, I try to wake up as late as possible before having to go to work! My morning routine is basically breakfast, surfing the internet on my phone, and then getting ready.

  10. Your morning routine sounds amazing. I don’t have anything that elaborate as I tend to snooze until I have to get up to go to work. I only take like 10 min to get ready for work. Nowadays I have a dog, so I walk her in the morning before starting work. You could say having a dog has been a benefit, as before, I did not go on walks in the morning, and just drove to work. I used to also skip breakfast, but now I try to eat something, especially since I’m working from home.

  11. Thank you so much for your amazing comment. It means a lot for me.

    I am trying my best to discover new ways to improve my health and also find what fits for me. I read your blogpost about the morning routine and I am trying to figure out how to organize my time and do something similar. I also read older blogs of yours and got some ideas from there. I downloaded the two apps you recommended for meditation (unfortunately I haven’t started doing it yet πŸ™ ) and also, watched Mimi’s vlog which was so emotional and I could relate so much to her. I started doing her five minutes diary and talked to my therapist about an alternative to that, that she thinks would work better for me. I will go on with both of them and see which one suits me best.

    My plan for now is to continue with journaling, therapy, going to the gym and doing some exercises my therapist recommended me to embrace my body and learn how to love myself. For now I think it’s enough. After I figure out a plan for these, then I will move on to other things.

    Thank you for sharing all these amazing things on your blog. You are an inspiration for us all and I really hope that someday I will get better and be able to share my stories and inspire people just like you do.

  12. That’s good that you have such an organized routine and that you love it so much! I really need to start working out in the morning because I think both my mind and body will benefit.

    Anyway, I’ve just come home for the summer so I haven’t settled into a definite routine, especially since I’m getting ready to start a new job and my schedule will be irregular. My morning routine at school consists of waking up no later than 45 minutes before my first class (which is a set time on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and different time for Tuesdays and Thursdays), eating a quick breakfast in the living while look over the morning news on my phone. Then I take care of all my hygienic needs before being out the door and off to class 15 minutes before it starts.

    Despite the instability of work schedule for the summer, I’ll hopefully find a way to get into a good morning routine. You’ve really inspired me to try and do so.

  13. Oh Pauline, your morning is my ideal morning goal. I really need to switch my workouts to be in the morning rather than in the evening after work, which keeps me up later at night since my body isn’t ready to cool down and sleep yet, which leads to me sleeping in until the last minute before I have to rush to work… ^^;; Goal is to get that morning workout in!!

    I also love your idea of taking your daily workout picture in the morning right before you go workout. Getting into your workout clothes and taking a picture has such a low barrier for action, but then once you get that picture posted, then you might as well go work out since nobody wants to be a liar. XD

    I’ve been using the Calm app, but more for the adverse effect of getting it to put me to sleep, whether it be in bed at night or on a plane. Her voice is just so darn calming! It lulls me to gentle sleep. :3

  14. Wow, you are morning routine #goals. (I would share my morning routine, but it is so abhorrent that I’m really embarrassed to Talk About It.) This is such a good reminder that I need to be more diligent with meditation, and you have no idea how much I’d love to be an early riser.

  15. I love this post so much, Pauline! I’ve been struggling to get into exercise because of lack of time, but this has definitely made me consider getting up earlier. I currently wake up at 6:45 (and get the bus at 7:10 lawl) so there’s lots of room to change this, without getting up too early. I think it’s easy to convince yourself that you don’t have time for things, when really you do.

    I’m so downloading this app. Since moving to a new building for work, I’m now left with very short bus journeys to fill, and I think the five minute journal would be a great use of that time. It’s so important to take care of yourself and your own happiness. Keep being amazing, Pauline!

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