Do you have a morning routine? I don’t mean waking up, having coffee, and brushing your teeth. I am talking about doing a little mindfulness work every morning – reading, journaling, meditation, etc.
I am a huge fan of Hal Elrod’s book The Miracle Morning – where he extolls the virtues (yes, I said that 🤣) of getting up early and doing your mindset work.
But, in all honesty, I have had a hard time creating that type of routine and sticking with it.
So, this year, I decided to use these 3 guided mindfulness books to keep me on track.
3 Guided Mindfulness books
Obstacles to a Morning Mindfulness Routine
Here are some of the “obstacles” that got in the way:
- let’s face it – it is hard to get up early every day
- I don’t have a peaceful place in my home to do the work that is all my own
- this is a weird one – but my morning routine started to take up too much time in that I felt like I was using my morning routine as an excuse to procrastinate on doing my normal daily tasks.
Benefits of a Morning Mindfulness Routine
But when my morning mindfulness routine worked – I definitely felt the benefits:
- it was uplifting
- I had more focus
- and my motivation was through the roof.
Using Guided Mindfulness Books to Create a Routine That Sticks
Because I love the benefits, I really needed to overcome my obstacles and one way to do this was to use a guided approach.
This would give a me a specific topic to focus on each morning and also help me to manage the time that I dedicate to my morning routine.
Even if I woke up late, I would be able to complete some mindset work before my workday begins.
My philosophy is this – if your morning routine is not a huge commitment – if it is easy to do, then you are more likely to stick with it.
So, I found the following 3 guided mindfulness books that I really enjoy and want to share with you.
At first I wasn’t too sure about The Daily Stoic because I wasn’t familiar with the concept of Stoicism – and the word “stoicism” certainly doesn’t sound too uplifting, does it?
But what I learned is that rather than meaning “emotionless” as the name implies, Stoicism teaches that:
virtue (meaning, chiefly, the four cardinal virtues of self-control, courage, justice, and wisdom) is happiness, and it is our perceptions of things — rather than the things themselves — that cause most of our trouble.The Daily Stoic, page 3
So, while we can’t control external events we can control our opinions of them.
It’s a philosophy that is based on 3 disciplines:
- Action, and
Understanding these disciplines will bring us mental clarity, make us more effective, and help us to find the perspective to deal with whatever life throws at us.
All of this sounds great – because who doesn’t want a better way to deal with life’s little curve balls?
However, Stoicism is a huge field of study that draws on the teachings of philosophers like Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus – and that is certainly not something you can deep dive into using just a few minutes every morning.
This is where The Daily Stoic comes into play. This book breaks down the teachings into 366 bite sized nuggets. Each short chapter (literally one or two pages each) corresponds to one day. And you can read these very quickly and take a few minutes to reflect on what you learned.
This book does not contain the original teachings but rather quick summaries of major points that give you food for thought as you work through your day.
Personally, I love reading this book on my Kindle Scribe because I can take handwritten notes right within the book.
It has been a game changer to my morning routine and I think it will be really east to stick with – in fact I look forward to reading this every morning.
Much like The Daily Stoic, the Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much book is also arranged in quick, easy to read, one page chapters (one for each day).
I received this book a few years ago as a holiday gift from my son and I was really excited to start a morning mindfulness practice using it.
Unfortunately, we as women are really hard on ourselves. And sometimes we think that the emotions that we feel are unique to us.
When in reality we are not alone in that type of thinking.
Each day, the author – Anne Wilson Schaef, explores a feeling or situation that women typically experience.
These daily meditations give our feelings validity and offer little strategies that we can use to see the positive side of things or deal with these situations.
Although the book was revised in 2004, the passages still apply today. I think all people, not just women, can use these meditations as part of their mindfulness routine.
I do have to say that it took me a few stops and starts to make this book stick.
At first it didn’t capture my interest on it’s own and I stopped reading it after a month or two.
However, this year I combined it with my readings from The Daily Stoic – and the combination is really working.
I plan to read this one cover to cover this year.
I am a big fan of journaling and in fact, started using the DayOne App last year for my in depth journal entries and daily notes.
But writing a long journal entry is a time commitment that I don’t always have every morning. And, honestly, sometimes I don’t even have that much to write about every. single. day.
On the flip side, I do like to put pen to paper each morning and jot something down when I do my readings.
So, this year for the holidays that same son of mine – who gave me the Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much book (he really is after my heart! ❤️), gave me a three year guided journal called One Question a Day for Self-Care: A Three-Year Journal: Daily Check-Ins for Emotional Well-Being.
Each page has a question to answer and three sections (one for each year) beneath to write your reflection. The years are undated – so you can start this journal at any time and just drop in the year for which you are writing.
I love the idea of being able to look being able to look back at my entry from the years before as I go through the journal next year and the year after.
The questions are positive and focus on plans and self improvement.
Breaking Through My Obstacles
Using these three books has really helped me to break through my obstacles to a morning mindfulness routine.
I read one passage from The Daily Stoic and another from the Meditations for Women Who Do Much book – it generally takes me under 5 minutes and then I write a quick journal entry in my One Question a Day for Self Care Journal.
The routine doesn’t take a long time, so I can’t use the process to procrastinate on all the other things on my to do list.
And – bonus – I can still fit it into my mornings even if I wake up late.
Finally, I keep all three of my guided mindfulness books and my Kindle Scribe in a portable felt caddy that I can move from room to room, so even if I don’t have a dedicated space to do my mindfulness work, I can find a peaceful corner.
What Is Your Morning Mindfulness Routine?
My new morning mindfulness routine consists of using the following three books:
The process takes just a few minutes at a minimum – and if I want to do more, I can add to it by journaling in my DayOne App, or reading a few chapters from one of the many books on my Goodreads reading list.
What does your morning routine look like? Is it working for you? Tell me about it in the comments below.