Your morning routine can help you start the day in the best way possible. It can boost your productivity, wellness, and happiness. The following article suggests activities you can include in your morning routine and offers some sample morning routines suggested by experts in the field of productivity and wellness.
Our free morning routine maker can create the perfect morning routine for you according to the time you want to spend and the goals you want to achieve.
I personally love the mornings. I get to enjoy some quiet time by myself and I try to make the best of this time.
How to Create a Morning Routine
A good morning routine will include activities that serve your specific needs and achieve your goals. For example, if you want to emphasize mindfulness, then you might include meditation in your morning routine. If productivity is important to you, then you will use the time to plan your day and decide what to focus on.
Firstly, you need to decide how much time you will devote to your morning routine. I personally devote one hour to mine. If you have less time, then you can create a shorter routine. If you are luckier to have more time, then you can have a slow, relaxing, and calm morning, which is even better.
Once you have decided how long you will devote to your morning routine, you need to think about the things you want to do in the mornings. If you love reading and don’t get a chance to read during the day, you might spend your entire morning reading. If you follow the 5 am club method, then you will spend 20 minutes reading, 20 minutes exercising, and 20 minutes reflecting.
Even once you have created the perfect morning routine for your needs, there will be mornings when you don’t stick to your routine. There could be forces beyond your control or a day where you feel your body needs to sleep in. The important thing is to be prepared for days where things don’t go as planned and not to let them ruin your entire day. Try to stick to your morning routine as often as possible, but be prepared for days when things don’t go as planned.
Possible Activities to Include in Morning Routines
Here are some optional activities to include in your morning schedule. You can spend your entire morning routine doing one of these activities or spend 10 to 15 minutes doing 4 to 6 different activities. Or, use the 5 am club method and do three activities for 20 minutes each. You can see some sample morning routines below.
If you create a morning schedule and you don’t enjoy one or more of the activities, then change your schedule. Keep changing it until you find a morning routine that you enjoy so much you actually want to wake up in the morning to get started. Have you noticed how when you get up to face a boring day you turn off your alarm or haul yourself out of bed and when you get up to go on vacation, you jump out of bed? One way to ensure you start the day excited to begin is to include an activity you look forward to or really care about. Try to include this important or fun activity in your morning routine.
Important for those who want to relax and focus.
Meditation helps you be more mindful of your surroundings and present in the moment. Starting your day with a meditation session clears your mind and calms your body. This clarity helps you focus throughout the day. You can spend between 5 to 60 minutes of your morning routine on meditation each day.
Morning Stretch Routine
Mobility is really important particularly as you get older. There are many free morning stretch routines on YouTube that you can follow. I personally like this one. It’s only 5 minutes!
When you exercise first thing in the morning, it is good for both your mind and your body. It can make you feel good for hours after the workout. You don’t need to do the same workout every day. Decide how much of your morning routine you will devote to exercise and alternate exercises. You might want to run some days and lift weights on other days. You can also do pilates, yoga, or whatever exercise you enjoy. There are hundreds of options and you can find a workout routine that works for you. You don’t need to work out for an hour a day to get the benefits. Start small and gradually increase the time and intensity of your workout. If you only want to spend a few minutes exercising, you can try jumping rope, jumping jacks, or doing a plank for one minute a day. Consult a fitness expert to create a routine for you if you don’t know how to start.
Eat the Frog
Important for those who tend to procrastinate.
The idea here is to do your worst task, that you have no motivation to do, first thing in the morning. It is based on the Eat That Frog book.
Mark Twain said that if you have to eat a live frog, then do it first thing in the morning. That way, you get it done and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day. This has developed into a popular prioritization and productivity method. The idea is that you identify the most difficult task you need to do that day (the frog) and then complete it first thing in the morning (you eat the frog) before you do anything else. Define your “frog” the night before. When you start tackling this task, you should know what it is before and shouldn’t need to waste time choosing the activity or task. If you have two frogs one day, then eat the biggest one first.
Set your priorities for the day
Important for those who want to be productive the rest of the day.
A productive way to start the day is to create a to-do list for the day. Divide these tasks into those you have to get done and those you want to get done. Set realistic goals for the day.
Important for those who don’t have any me time throughout the day and need to focus more on self-care.
The mornings are a great opportunity to focus on “me time” particularly if you are taking care of others all day. Do things you enjoy and make you feel good. It could be drinking coffee in bed and listening to your favorite song, a bubble bath, or anything that you enjoy doing and don’t have time to do during the day.
A healthy morning routine could include exercise, self-care, yoga or meditation, and a nutritious breakfast.
Journaling has many benefits, particularly when done in the morning. See our morning journal prompts with a journal template for each journal prompt to help you think of things to journal about in the mornings.
Important for those who want to boost their creativity.
The concept of Morning Pages was developed by Julia Cameron. Morning pages are 3 pages of longhand morning writing that you write first thing in the morning every day. The idea is to write these three pages off the top of your head. The idea is not to write brilliant ideas but to get all our mundane and negative thoughts on the page to clear our minds so that we can face our day when we are more centered and spiritually relaxed. Julia Cameron refers to morning pages as a form of meditation. We offer a free Morning Pages journal.
Important for those who thrive when they have a creative outlet.
If you don’t get to do anything creative during the day, you might want to spend some time doing something creative in the mornings. You could spend 10 to 15 minutes doing an arts and crafts project, sewing, drawing, painting, or whatever you enjoy. Try to find an activity that will inspire you.
Activity that Requires Focus
If you have to do something that requires focus and concentration, then the morning might be the best time to tackle this activity.
The morning is when you are at your peak in terms of speed, performance, and accuracy, according to a study. Your speed and accuracy decrease fairly linearly over the day.
Gratitude is one of those things that can instantly boost your mood and improve your mindset. If you incorporate gratitude into your daily routine, you increase your happiness during the day. Try our free daily gratitude journal. We have also included a gratitude section in the morning journal prompts and the 5 am club worksheets.
Setting an Intention
Important for those who want to set the tone for the rest of the day.
If you don’t have much free time in the morning but you do want to use your morning to set the tone for the day, then this is the morning routine for you. Spend 1 to 5 minutes setting an intention for the day. See our free printable intention journal that will help you set an intention every day and stay accountable. You can also incorporate intention-setting into your morning schedule together with other activities.
Breakfast with Your Family or Partner
Important for those who don’t have time to be with their family or partner later on in the day.
If you don’t have time to nurture your relationships throughout the day, then eating breakfast with your family or partner is a great way to start the day.
Best Morning Routine
To create the best morning routine for you, choose one to six of the activities above or adopt one of the following morning routine ideas.
Divide the time you spend on each activity according to the time you have available and your priorities.
Morning Routine Ideas
Here are some sample morning routines. Each morning routine has a different purpose depending on where your priorities lie.
The Miracle Morning Routine
The Miracle Morning Savers are:
- S – silence
- A – affirmations
- V – visualization
- E – exercise
- R – reading
- S – scribing or writing
We provide free printables for each of these morning steps.
If you want to be more creative, then this is the morning routine for you. See morning pages.
The High 5 Habit
In “The High 5 Habit”, Mel Robbins offers a simple morning routine to work on your self-limiting attitudes and improve your self-confidence. The routine is based on scientific research and can potentially be life-transforming despite the simplicity of this morning routine. All you need to do is high-five your reflection in the mirror every morning to create positive change in your life.
You can make the High Five Habit even more powerful by adding deliberate efforts to transform your existing mindset. Train your mind to highlight the positives in life, act like the person you want to become, and start thanking people instead of apologizing to them.
This is a great addition to your morning routine if you want to improve your self-esteem and self-confidence.
You can also create free positive affirmation cards and place them in places you visit in the morning.
The 5AM Club
The 5am club gets you to wake up at 5 am and use that distraction-free time to focus on three things: exercise (20 minutes), meditation and journaling (20 minutes), and learning or reading (20 minutes). During this time, you fuel your mind, body, and soul. The author claims that the solitude and enhanced brain state that you’ll experience at 5:00 a.m. will increase your performance and help you reach new heights. People who have adopted the method described in the 5 AM club increased their creativity, energy, focus, happiness, and productivity. See our free 5 am club worksheets and journal.
How to Wake Up Early
After you establish a morning routine, you need to ensure you wake up on time and don’t sleep through your morning routine. You might need tips on how to wake up earlier than you do now. The best way to do this is to start your morning routine the night before.
- Go to sleep early and stop using screens at least an hour before you go to sleep. If you can do this even earlier, then you will benefit even more. Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial in making your morning schedule more enjoyable and effective. If there are activities that stress you, such as reading emails or watching the news, then don’t do them at night.
- Try creating an unwinding routine before you go to sleep. This can include disconnecting from screens, drinking soothing herbal tea, lighting a relaxing candle, dimming the lights, taking a relaxing bath, turning off all electronic devices, light yoga or meditation, and journaling.
- Don’t use the snooze button on your alarm.
- If you can’t wake up in the morning, then put your alarm clock as far as possible from your bed.
- Use an alarm clock and not your phone so that you are not tempted to be distracted. Before I bought an alarm clock, I used to check my emails or WhatsApp after I turned off my alarm clock and I landed up missing my morning routine because I didn’t realize how much time had passed.
- Don’t check your emails until you complete your planned morning routine. When you check your emails, then other people dictate your morning routine. You want to prioritize your needs and schedule during this special time you gift yourself with in the mornings.
- Put your clothes and anything you will need for your morning routine out the night before. If you plan to run the next morning, then make sure your running gear is ready. If you plan to do yoga, then put your yoga mat out. This will save time in the morning and make it more difficult to “forget” about your morning plans.
- When you put your clothes out the night before, you won’t waste time deciding what to wear. This time can be better spent doing things you enjoy.
- If you find it too difficult to wake up early then try to wake up 10 minutes earlier each week until you get used to it.