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HOW MY MORNING ROUTINE HAS TRANSFORMED MY WRITING

...and how it can transform yours, too. (Don't worry: No pressure to become a "morning person" here!)

TRUSTED BY
DrMichaela Michaela Bucchianeri health and wellness copywriting with heart morning routine succulents in glass terrarium

The morning routine.

In the health + wellness world, it’s achieved nearly mythical status, hasn’t it?

And with that status… comes a whole lotta judgement.

“Oh, you mean you don’t begin your day with organic lemon in quadrupely-filtered, precision-temperatured water…??”

“Wait, you actually start the day with {gasp} screen time?!”

“Um, no affirmations? If you don’t speak things into existence, how are they ever going to happen, you aimless sloth!?”

We’ll come back to this issue of judgement later, but for now please hear my goal in sharing this with you:

The specifics of my morning routine aren’t important. I want you to understand why it’s been so helpful to me.

Once you have a good grasp of why this morning routine has worked for me, then you can adapt it to fit your goals, your needs, your energy, your schedule, your space, and your co-inhabitants of that space.

So, let’s dispense with the judgment, and get to the goods. Shall we?

Read on for 4 ways my morning routine has transformed my writing:

1) It’s made me a more diligent planner 

A curious thing happens when you start getting serious about your morning routine:

You start getting serious about your bedtime routine, too.

I’m not talking about yoga in your jammies or a steaming mug of golden milk or a bedside diffuser of essential oils (although I’m a big fan of all those things…).

I’m talking about the focused planning-ahead it takes to actually follow through on your morning routine!

For me, this planning looks like:

  • An earlier bedtime. It’s just a fact: If I’m going to wake in time to spend the morning on my own, then I can’t be burning the midnight oil like I used to in my kRaZy college days.
  • A clear Top 3. As I’ve shared before, knowing what my must-accomplish tasks are for the next day helps me rest easy, safe from the overwhelm that comes with waking to a way-too-freaking-long To Do list.
  • A (relatively) prepared environment. What you require will depend on your specific morning routine. My own list’s pretty minimal: Coffee in the pot, ready to brew first thing. A charged phone. A comfy blanket, readily accessible. 

This kind of planning has not only helped me stay consistent with my morning routine. It’s also sharpened my skill in anticipating future needs and planning accordingly.

And with something that’s as easily shoved aside as writing is, this skill is priceless.

2) It’s helped me stay in my own lane

My morning routine has fluctuated quite a bit over the years.

I’ve gone through periods of exercising first thing. I’ve used the time to explore new creative outlets. To catch up on letters to loved ones.

And it’s (necessarily) shifted + evolved as I have.

One feature of my routine has remained constant, however.

I practice selective ignorance.

I first encountered this term in Tim Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Work Week, and it’s made a significant impact on the way I consume information.

It’s the idea of ” selectively ignoring distracting, irrelevant, or otherwise unnecessary information”… for as long as you need or want to.

This might mean waiting until after your morning routine to, say:

  • check the news
  • scroll through social media
  • open your email

In my case, it means all of the above.

Doing this has shaped my approach to writing in ways I can’t fully express here.

By practicing selective ignorance…

…I’m able to type out an Instagram caption without wondering how significantly it was influenced by the posts I just read in my feed.

…I’m able to outline a blog post, free from the lingering thoughts kicked up by the latest news headline.

…I’m able to journal, brainstorm, or even edit without the nagging sense that I should respond to that one “urgent” email.

Importantly, this practice is not about burying your head in the sand or denying reality.

It’s simply about timing + intention.

Trust me: The many, many information inputs vying for your attention will be there when you’re ready to let them in.

But, what if you made them wait a bit?

3) It’s taught me to work with my energy

Look, it’s no secret among my family and friends that I’m a “morning person”.

I was always the first one awake at sleepovers. Even before then. Some of my earliest memories are of sneaking downstairs in the dark to curl up on the couch and watch the 5am airing of Punky Brewster reruns.

(BTW, can we just take a moment to appreciate this little 80’s gem? I don’t know about you, but I just re-listened to the theme song and I say it holds up!)

(So good.)

Anyway, the point is, I’m a natural early-riser. And what’s more, I’m often at my most creative first thing in the morning. So, it only makes sense that I’d follow that natural inclination, and build a morning routine around it.

But what if you’re not a natural “morning person”? Well, I say you’ve got a couple of options:

  1. You can work at becoming a morning person by reading any of the multitude of articles advising on how to do this. (Most of the advice centers on growing the habit gradually, by setting your alarm 5 minutes earlier, then 10 minutes earlier, and so on.)
  2. You can work with your natural energy. Maybe you’re a night owl, through and through. Why fight it? Create an evening routine that plays to your strengths. Or schedule an uninterrupted “power hour” somewhere else in your day, and guard it with your life.

Whichever you choose, the goal is to create a routine that’s aligned with your peak creativity + engagement. You’ll know you’re on the right track when it feels less like an uphill battle and more like a comfy little groove.

4) It’s set me up for success all day long

Not all habits are created equal.

Some seem to have disproportionate power to shape our behavior, sparking “chain reactions that help other good habits take hold.”

These keystone habits carry enormous influence in shaping our daily life, contends Charles Duhigg in his bestseller, The Power of Habit.

“Family dinners” are one such habit. “Consistent physical activity” is another.

And guess what else is a keystone habit…

“Developing daily routines”. That’s right.

I’ve experienced the awesome power of a solid daily routine. When I begin my day with one, it tends to set off a sort of domino effect of good habits throughout the day. Whatever happens, I feel more grounded, purposeful, and engaged.

(Want to really super-charge your morning routine? Try meditating, planning your day, and making your bed. All keystone habits!)


A word about perfectionism…

If you fancy a trip down the morning routine rabbit hole, trust me: There’s plenty to choose from.

(Just search “healthy morning routine” on YouTube and you’ll see what I mean.)

And, again, it’s not about the specifics of your routine.

Don’t enjoy yoga? Then don’t begin the day with sun salutations!
Not a fan of lemon water? Then don’t try to choke it down!

Friend, whatever your routine looks like, I want to challenge you to stay focused on the why.

Why do you want to create a morning routine? What goal(s) will this routine support?

My own morning routine has evolved as my life has. And that’s the whole point! The last thing you need is one more rigid set of standards to meet, amiright?

These days, it looks something like this:

  • 5am(-ish): Get up, start the coffee, feed the pup + let her out to do her biz.
  • 5:10(-ish): Meditate. (Miracles happen, friend. I used to loathe the idea of meditation; now it’s a non-negotiable. I use Headspace via a paid annual subscription. Worth every penny.)
  • 5:20(-ish): Read. (I change this up based on my mood, but generally I use this time to read something that encourages, educates, and/or challenges me. Currently, I’m making my way through the Bible via YouVersion’s “Bible in a Year” plan. Otherwise, I choose something from my (growing) list of books to read. Just 15 pages a day works out to about 12 books a year. Not bad!)
  • 5:40(-ish): Review my day. I scan my schedule, and briefly visualize myself moving throughout the day. If I notice any unrest or twitchy energy, I remind myself what I’m capable of. If I’m seeing clients that day, I take a moment to feel gratitude for each one. If I’m working on copywriting projects, I take a moment to feel gratitude for the responsibility + trust I’ve been given.
  • 5:50(-ish): Pray. I prefer to leave this unstructured, but I do keep a list of people, events, and concerns (big and small) to concentrate on.
  • 6am(-ish): Begin writing. In the time that remains before the rest of the household is up, I get to work on some kind of writing. This changes by the day but, generally, it’s a blog post, paid copywriting project, or creative writing of some kind. About once a week, I pre-write the social media content for the coming week(s).

Now, you might be thinking:

Uhhh… what’s with all the “-ish” in your routine, Michaela…?

I’m glad you asked.

See, in my world (and I’m betting in yours, too), things don’t always go to plan.

The days when my routine’s pulled off without a hitch are few and far between. More often than not, there’s some kind of interruption.

Maybe it’s a bad night of sleep.

Or an extra-needy puppy.

Or a child materializing at your feet, an hour earlier than usual, to tell you about the “super-weird” dream he had.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[NOT PICTURED HERE: Paragraph of text erased by pup paw + book advising on the importance of personal space in blended families. LOL. 😉]

When an interruption like this happens, the challenge is to put it in its proper place. It’s not the end of the world.

And that’s really the beauty of any kind of routine, isn’t it?

You get to try again tomorrow. 


Let’s take action!

OK, here’s your action step for today:

  • Design your own morning routine + try it out this week! (Be sure to share yours in the comments, so we can encourage you to stick with it.)

Cheering you on!


TAKE THE QUIZ + FIND OUT!


HI!  I’M MICHAELA. 

I help health + wellness professionals connect with their dream clients through genuine, engaging communication. After spending over a decade studying, researching, and teaching psychology + communication principles, I started this business to empower health + wellness professionals like me to “preach what you practice”. I share practical guidance so you can get clear on your unique value, communicate it with heart, attract + serve the people you love working with most… and actually have fun along the way.

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