Having a morning routine is a key building block to success. You might know you need a stable schedule to follow in the morning, but maybe you’re unsure where to start. Check out our list of nine actionable steps to help you form your own ultimate morning routine.
Benefits of a Solid Morning Routine
Are you sick of waking up at the last possible minute and making a mad dash for the door? Having a morning routine will give you more control over your day and you’ll consequently feel lower levels of stress.
Humans are creatures of habit, and we flourish with a set schedule. This removes the uncertainty from our lives and allows us to feel more in control.
The ultimate morning routine is as good for productivity as it is for our mental health. By reducing the number of stressors we encounter first thing in the morning, we are better able to focus on important work and reach our daily goals.
Morning Routine Ideas
Not everyone will benefit from the same schedule, so feel free to follow this advice in any order or combination that best suits your needs.
1. Have a Set Wake-Up Time
Waking up early gives you more time in the day to be productive. You’ll be able to prepare for your day and accomplish more goals. Some people consider themselves morning people, and are ready to start their day full speed ahead.
However, if you keep hitting snooze whenever you try to wake up at the crack of dawn, then there is no benefit in you waking up that early. Play to your strengths. Let yourself sleep a little later if it means you’ll still be able to wake up and still have some time to focus on a morning routine. Anytime spent being productive in the morning is better than wasting time in a protracted battle against your alarm clock.
Consistency is key. What’s equally important as how early you wake up is training yourself to get up at the same time each day. You’ll still want to give yourself time to get ready and make it to your obligations in a timely manner, but you’ll get used to your set schedule and waking up will become easier and easier.
Whether you choose to wake up before the sun is shining through your blinds or you give yourself an extra hour of slumber, it’s important to get out of bed as soon as you wake up. Don’t lay there reveling in your comfy cocoon, and definitely avoid the trap of scrolling through your phone. The sooner your body is physically up and moving, the faster you’ll shake any groggy feelings.
2. Make Your Bed and Tidy Up
Once you’re up, you’ll want to take a couple minutes to make your bed. It might seem redundant to fix your sheets and fluff your pillows when at the end of the day you’ll climb back in. As simple a task as it may seem, making your bed promotes important healthy sleeping habits.
After a long day of ebbs and flows, coming home to a bedroom that’s put together is rewarding. No matter what life may throw at you, if you make your bed every morning you can count on being able to crawl into bed at night with ease. Thanks to a couple minutes in the morning there’s no fumbling for covers or figuring out where the sheets ended up.
Making your bed is a quick and easy way to start accomplishing goals throughout the day. You might notice it’s easier to keep the rest of your room tidy after making your bed every morning. By making your bed you’re also promoting organization in other areas of your home and life.
3. Drink More Water
During the night we may spend roughly eight hours asleep. If you sleep soundly through those eight hours, that’s quite a stretch of time to go without drinking water. When you wake up and get out of bed your next move should be to drink a glass of water.
Most people reach for a cup of coffee or tea to start their day and that’s all fine and good, but your first choice should be water. You’re likely already parched from going so long without drinking anything, and coffee and tea are known to dehydrate further.
Water will not only help hydrate you, but it will also help jump start your metabolism and boost your mood. You’ll have move energy and you’ll be better able to concentrate throughout the day.
4. Eat Breakfast
Your morning routine should include breakfast at some point. Starting your day with breakfast will give you the energy that you need to focus and push through the day. When you skip breakfast, you run the risk of suffering from a negative mood and irritability.
Stick with lean protein and colorful fruits and vegetables. Sugary breads and cereals will give you a rush at first, but that rush will quickly fade and you’ll be left with an emptiness in your stomach.
Take time to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea with your breakfast. Don’t rush through the process, you already took steps to hydrate by drinking water. Sit down and relax while you enjoy your breakfast.
5. Stimulate Your Mind
Once you’re up getting ready for the day, you’ll want to keep your spirits high and your focus strong. A great way to lift your energy levels is to listen to music you enjoy. Make a morning playlist of positive songs to start your day to. You’ll want to avoid listening to melancholy music first thing, as it can bring your mood down and make it more difficult to remain optimistic. Stick with positive, upbeat genres.
Reading is another way to get a solid mental workout in before you leave the house. Just like with music though, you’ll want to stick with positive topics. Try to avoid negative news first thing in the morning. (It can be especially hard these days!) Luckily, we live in the digital age and we can sort positive from negative news through a few filters. Of course, there’s nothing that says you have to read news at all–grab a good book and knock out a few pages before you start your day. You’ll be able to travel through different worlds and back all before you start work.
Puzzles are also great choices for early morning mental workouts. Whether it’s crosswords or math puzzles like sudoku, taking the time to work on a brain teaser with strengthen your concentration and mood. Puzzles will also improve your memory, which can help you throughout the day when you’re trying to focus and maintain a sense of organization.
6. Get Moving
It’s difficult to get moving first thing in the morning, and working out may feel like the last thing you want to do. However, keeping your body moving is one of the main ways to kickstart your day.
Not everyone wakes up and wants to hit the gym. So, before you beat yourself up for being lazy, know you have other options, and you can always build towards a workout regimen later on.
For starters you’ll want to stretch. Maybe once you make your bed you do a few stretches in your room, or a couple yoga poses while you wait for your coffee to brew. Of course, intensive cardio, or weight training might be more up your alley. Whatever you choose is fine as long as it feels right for you. Exercise in any form will promote a positive mindset and help keep you awake.
7. Let Some Light In
If you wake up in the morning and feel exhaustion keeping a firm hold on you, open your blinds and turn on some lights! Don’t spend the morning in the dark. If you’re waking up before the sun is in the sky, make sure you turn the lights on as soon as you wake up. Sitting in the dark or even dim lighting will cause you to continue to feel tired. You won’t be channeling positive energy, and your morning routine will feel more difficult to follow.
8. Make To-Do Lists
Making a to-do list will help you stay on task each day. You can include the steps to your morning routine then add daily tasks as necessary.
You can ward off distractions by adhering to your morning to-do list. Crossing off or checking each task that you complete will provide a sense of accomplishment as well as determination. Planning your day out will also help reduce any unnecessary stress throughout the day.
Once you establish what you’ll need to accomplish each day, try to complete the most difficult tasks first thing. Seeing your least favorite responsibilities written alongside the rest of your day can seem daunting, but if you tackle the tasks you dislike first, the ones that remain will seem easy. Crossing those big tasks off your list is also a huge relief!
9. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Your morning routine will suffer if you fail to get a decent night’s sleep. In a way, it all starts the night before. Falling asleep at the same time each night will help you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go the next day.
In order to ensure you get the most out of your day, start practicing good sleep hygiene. Towards the end of the day, you should limit your consumption of caffeine and sugar, as they can both lead to restlessness.
Start winding down earlier and have some time away from electronic screens before bed. Studies have shown that blue light from screens interfere with your circadian rhythm and make you feel more alert. Instead of suffering as a result of harsh lighting you can always change your atmosphere with some new lighting or switch to “night mode” on your phone and computer.
When you’re just beginning to alter your sleep schedule and focus on your morning routine, you will have to deal with some initial exhaustion. You’ll have to force yourself to stay awake if you start to feel tired during the day. Napping can throw off your nightly schedule and end up making it feel impossible to wake up in the morning. So, get the most out of your day by taking back your nights.
The Ultimate Morning Routine
Developing the ultimate morning routine is a personal endeavor. Your schedule will ultimately consist of steps you will actually want to take time out of your day to do. So, pick a few and start working towards a more productive life.
Leave us a comment below and let us hear about your ultimate morning routine!