I love my morning and bedtime routines. They are completely personalised, adaptable, and the most important thing: simple.
A few years ago I decided that I wanted to be more successful and have a better life, so I investigated and discovered the morning and nighttime routines. I have read a lot of articles and books (I mean A LOT) by entrepreneurs, influencers, coaches and psychologists becoming a total expert in this field. When I thought I knew everything I needed, I created my own super-duper routines, with a lot of complicated steps, inspirational moments and affirmations.
They did not work.
I did not understand why this was happening. If they were working for the most successful people, why not for me? Was I the problem?
No, I was just trying to go too fast and complicating things too much.
Reading everything I could about the 10 steps Korean skincare routine, I bought like 12 different products, created an infographic with all the steps and put it in the bathroom.
I followed the routine for like… 2 days maybe? Afterwards, I was too tired, had guests or something had happened which prevented me from following the routine. For years I was trying to do the same thing again. There was always something that stopped me.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
My brain takes time to wake up. Before my morning coffee, trying to read, write or meditate is totally useless. The first thing I need is something simple, that requires no brainpower. Therefore, instead of fighting against myself, forcing my body to do things it does not want to do, I start my morning with 0% thought. Preparing my clothes and smoothie the night before. This way I can just grab the smoothie, take the clothes and follow my routine, without thinking.
Seriously, I am not able to go to bed early. Even when I was working in an IT company and I woke up at 6 every weekday, I did not fall asleep until 2 or 3 a.m.
That means that for me it does not make sense to go to bed early and waste my time lying for hours waiting for sleep to visit. It makes more sense to be productive, do things until my body says stop, and sleep less for a few days until my body gets accustomed to the new schedule.
Our bodies are smart, after a few weeks of waking up early EVERY MORNING they are going to regulate themselves. It is important to do it every day, because if we wake up at a different time, our body is going to be tired and confused, not knowing how to regulate.
Trust me, your body is smarter than you. It is not your enemy. Do not treat it as an enemy.
Anyway, if I do not eat something in the morning I feel nauseous and sick, at the same time, I am not hungry when I wake up. After many painful mornings, my boyfriend found the solution: smoothies.
They are liquid, energetic and the nutrients enter the bloodstream faster than solid foods. Plus, they are super tasty 😋
Mornings disagree with me. As I said, I am a night-owl. Any excuse that allows me to justify breaking my routine and stay lying in bed warm and comfortable is more than welcome. Sometimes, there is nothing in this world capable of dragging me out of bed in the morning (except for my boyfriend, he does it literally once in a while).
Any triggers that can facilitate my mornings, especially by reducing choices, are necessary. That is because the clothes are getting folded and prepared the night before, the smoothie ready in a jar and the creams I use, ordered on a visible shelf.
When I am just a robot, unable to think, my best friend is the intelligent me from the past.
I know that there is a minimalist trend going on right now. If you want to be cool you have to reduce how much you buy and declutter a lot. However, I am not a minimalist person.
To be completely honest, I believed in it for a while. There was a sad period in my life where books like The magic of tidying made me think that decluttering was the solution to my sadness. I felt a little bit like Emily Gilmore when she discovered Marie Kondo (Gilmore girl: A year in the life, 2016). As Emily, I did not find happiness in decluttering, I found it in myself and my personal development.
Even if I do not want to get rid of my possessions, I believe in simplifying life. I try to reduce all my processes, the decisions I have to make, the routines, and anything else that can be simplified. If something can be done in 2 steps, there is no reason to do it in 3.
Think big. Start small. Simplify.