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I'm Danielle Aisling


Elopement photographer, biz coach, mom and coffee lover. 

My Morning Routine in 5 Easy Steps

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You’ve probably heard people talk about morning routines. You’ve also probably rolled your eyes at people who talk about their morning routines. But, I’m guessing you’re reading this because you also know deep down that they’re on to something. I’ve had a fairly consistent morning routine for years. And while yours doesn’t have to look exactly like this – or anyone else’s – it’s good inspo to read through someone else’s to find out what might work for you.

These are the 5 steps in my morning routine. It sometimes varies in length, but I always fit in these activities.

1. The key to morning routine success – Wake up early

I wake up anywhere between 5:00 am and 6:00 am. I know I just lost some of you. But hear me out for a sec.

You don’t have to get up at 5:00 am like I do. Try to wake up just a few minutes earlier than you normally do. Even if you can only manage 20 minutes before your normal last-snooze-alarm, you’ll have enough time to do everything.

If you have kids, wake up 20 minutes before your kids do. If you have a spouse or partner, wake up 20 minutes before them. Give yourself some alone time so you can do your morning routine in silence.

It should be noted here that I give my dog a belly rub every morning. If you have a pet, give them some lovin’ before you get started!

2. Get a hot drink – and drink it slowly

I start my day with a coffee or tea. I sit in my beanbag chair in my sunroom and drink it. That’s it. I don’t do anything else.

I don’t scroll through my phone, ponder my to-do list for the day, or talk to anyone. I don’t do anything other than slowly sip my drink for a few minutes.

I prep my drink the night before, so all I have to do in the morning is plug in the kettle or start the coffee pot. Then, while my drink is brewing, I take some deep breaths and stretch.

3. Meditate

Meditation can seem like one of those big, daunting things. But once you get into the practice of doing it regularly, you’ll feel more at ease.

This also doesn’t need to be an hour long meditation. I usually meditate for about 10-15 minutes (sometimes longer), but you can start out with just 3 minutes a day.

My absolute favourite meditation app is Headspace. I use it at least once a day, in the morning and at night. My daughter also uses it for the kids nighttime meditations! They have a free version, which you can use for the 10 meditation series over and over again. Or you can upgrade to get full access (it’s super affordable and well worth it!).

4. Journal

I know some people hate the idea of journaling. But even if you’ve never done it before (or actively avoided doing it before), it’s not hard to get started!

I sometimes free write – which is basically just letting your thoughts spill onto paper for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.

But if you’re pressed for time or don’t want to attempt pouring your soul into a notebook, then you can adopt this simple journaling exercise from Rachel Hollis.

This is my version of the Start Today journaling:

  1. First, I write the date. Then I list out 10 things I’m grateful for. These are all little things that have happened in the past 24 hours.
  2. I write out 10 “I made happen” dreams. These are things that the me 10 years in the future wants to have accomplished. I write them in present tense, as if they’ve already happened, every single day. When one of them does happen, I can stop writing it and replace it with something else.
  3. I write down the 1 thing that I’m currently focusing on from my list of 10 dreams. It’s impossible to direct your energy toward 10 big, crazy goals all at once. So, every single day I write down the same single goal that I’m focused on.
  4. I write down 3 things that I’m proud of myself for. These are again little things that happened in the past 24 hours. This, to me, is probably the most important step in the journaling process. It’s not every day that people tell you how proud they are of you – so take that extra second and do it for yourself.

5. Pick a card

We live in a great big abundant universe. There are signs around us all the time, pointing us in the right direction and leading us to a higher purpose. We’re usually just too caught up in our own shit to notice.

By pulling a card every morning, I feel reconnected to something bigger outside of myself. It helps ground me, calm me, and make me feel like the day itself isn’t make or break.

My goal over a year ago was to get all my coaching clients into pulling cards from tarot/affirmation decks. I don’t know if everyone is quite as hippy-ish as I am, but I love this part of my morning routine!

I use Gabby Bernstein’s affirmation cards. There are some days where it’s so bang on it’s spooky. lol! But more often than not it’s the extra little positive push that I need to start my day!

Here’s my morning routine from start to finish:

5:00 am – Wake up and give my dog a belly rub

5:05 am – Start coffee/tea, and stretch while I’m waiting

5:15 am – Sit in my beanbag and enjoy my drink for a few minutes

5:30 am – Start my meditation

5:45 am – Journal

6:00 am – Affirmation card

These 5 steps can be done in as little as 15 minutes! So even if you can’t commit to waking up super early, you can still complete your own version of this in under 20 minutes each morning.

I hope this helps! If you have anything else that you include in your morning routine, let me know in the comments below!

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy How to Save Time With Workflows or How to Be Productive Working from Home!

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