On the days I wake up at 7:30am and complete my daily morning routine, I am remarkably more productive than on the days I don't.
When I skip my routine, I aimlessly wander around in a bleary-eyed fog with just enough energy to sip my smoothie and scroll through my Facebook news feed. Or I'm frazzled trying to rush out the door for an appointment because I hit the snooze button one too many times!
I think it's safe to say that how you start your morning significantly affects how you approach the rest of your day.
From the moment you get out of bed, a morning routine provides a pre-planned roadmap so you don't have to think about how to create a purposeful and productive day.
What does the perfect morning routine look like?
Some people run first thing; others need to drink half of their morning cup of coffee before they can even have a conversation. This leads me to believe that it's not about what you do as much as that what you do supports your life goals and energizes you to be the best version of yourself.
In other words, there's no set list of action items you must check off to have a successful morning routine.
And that's good news for us perfectionists!
Instead, I want you to think about what's most important to you in your current life season.
- Do you need to practice self-care?
- Grow your faith?
- Start a fitness program?
- Read more intentionally?
- Build a side hustle?
- Or maybe you just want to stop feeling rushed and crave a slower start to the day?
These are the things you want to build your morning routine around.
Start Your Day Right
Here's what you're up against
If you're anything like me, you'll fight against the temptation to implement a dozen or more morning routine ideas.
I'll save you the trouble of trying this by sharing my results.
Because somehow, I thought I could exercise, study my Bible, journal, read an inspirational book, eat breakfast, check the news and weather, respond to Instagram comments, tackle a few emails, and then have enough time and energy to get ready (including hair and makeup) all within a 2 1/2 hour time slot.
Instead, I was so exhausted that by the second day of this routine, I hit the snooze button five times before getting out of bed!
That's why I recommend choosing only 1-2 ideas (besides getting ready and eating breakfast, course!) to incorporate into your morning routine so you can start the day refreshed instead of feeling like you didn't do enough.
Think of the following list as a smorgasbord of options from which you're building a personalized plate of your very favorites. Don't be afraid to switch it up either. My morning routine looks slightly different now than it did two years ago!
21 Morning Routine Ideas to Jumpstart Your Day
1. Drink a glass of water (bonus if it's lemon!).
You likely haven't hydrated all night, so it's important to start your day with your first full glass of water. Fill a Tervis Tumbler or Yeti with water the night before and pop it in the fridge to make reaching your H20 goals even easier.
Related: 5 Creative Ways to Drink More Water
2. Read your Bible (or an inspirational book).
Wake up your brain with the written word instead of reaching for your phone. Whether it's Scripture or a non-fiction book, both will inspire you to apply what you've learned to your daily life.
3. Journal or write Morning Pages.
Grab a cute notebook and jot down any thoughts that are stressing you out, or take the positive route and make a list of items you're thankful for. For a more structured approach, try Morning Pages, which are three pages of free writing to help empty your mind for the day ahead.
Don't have time to write a whole page? The One Line a Day Journal might be more your style.
4. Pray or meditate.
Spend some quiet time praying for the day ahead or use a guided meditation app, like Headspace, to focus your breathing and relieve anxious thoughts.
5. Plan your day with a to-do list.
If you haven't created a plan for the day (I really like to do this as part of my evening routine!), use this time to think through what you need to get done and jot down your three most important tasks.
6. Get moving!
Whether you're doing a full-blown aerobic workout or a simple stretching routine, both will wake up your body and give you those feel-good endorphins to jumpstart your day. Bonus points if you can get outside in the sun!
7. Work on your side hustle.
If you already have a full-time job outside the home (or one inside the home with littles running around!), you know how rare it is to find a moment of silence. Use the morning hours to work on your passion project—especially if your goal is to build it into a profitable business.
8. Do a 10-minute pick-up.
Unload the dishwasher, sweep the kitchen, and put away any clutter on the dining room table or living room coffee table—anything that can be done in 10 minutes is fair game! This quick tidy in the morning will limit distractions so you can concentrate on bigger tasks.
9. Make your bed.
This is the only task on this list of morning routine ideas that I insist you try! If you think making your bed has too little of an impact on your day to matter, I encourage you to watch this 6-minute video from a U.S. Navy Admiral. If making your bed is the only thing you do all day, you will have at least done something.
10. Get ready for the day (including hair and makeup!).
Every time I set out my clothes the night before, I'm reminded of the quote, “Dress for the day you want to have.” When you take time to dress nicely, style your hair, and put on just a touch of mascara, the confidence you portray on the outside seeps inward, and suddenly the day is a lot easier to tackle.
Don't let your visit to the dentist turn into a guilt trip. And it won't, once you make flossing a daily part of your morning routine! You already brush your teeth, so why not take it a step further?
12. Catch up on the news.
I know the news can be depressing 90% of the time, but it's good to stay informed on some of the big headlines (and for me, little ones like Duchesses Kate and Meghan!). 😉 I prefer the Google News app because it populates my news feed with topics I'm interested in. Another option is to sign up for The Skimm, which emails a quick synopsis of yesterday's events, told from a tongue-in-cheek, no-partisan view.
13. Listen to a podcast.
Put on an entertaining or informative podcast while you're getting ready in the morning, working out, or even on your commute. I usually do this when I'm straightening my thick, frizzy hair. It's not my favorite thing to do and takes FOREVER, so I make it more palatable by multi-tasking!
14. Turn on some music.
If you're more musically inclined, put on Pandora or a Spotify playlist to boost your mood in the morning. You don't have to concentrate on what people are saying…you can just enjoy the music!
15. Prep dinner.
Is there anything you can do during your morning routine to make dinnertime easier? Perhaps you can chop veggies, pull out meat from the freeze to thaw, or pop a meal into the crockpot for later.
16. Pack your lunch.
If you go to a job outside the home, packing a lunch is both healthier and more affordable than grabbing fast food on your lunch break. Here are some clever (aka not-boring) lunch ideas you'll love taking to work!
17. Take a multi-vitamin.
Make sure you're getting enough nutrients by taking a multi-vitamin (my favorite of all morning routine ideas). I really like the SmartyPants Women's Complete Multi-Vitamin because they are yummy tasting gummies without artificial flavors or colors. Psst… these vitamins are a few dollars cheaper on Amazon than in the store!
18. Review your budget.
Whether you use a budgeting system like YNAB (my fave!) or paper and pen, take a few minutes to look over your budget categories to see what you have left to spend in each. This is also a good time to enter in and categorize any purchases you made the previous day.
19. Check the weather.
Know exactly what to wear based on the weather forecast for that day. I use the WeatherBug app and find it's the most accurate in terms of rain.
20. Learn a new word.
If you're a wanna-be lexicographer or someone who just loves the written word, challenge yourself to learn a new term using Dictionary.com’s “Word of the Day.”
21. Eat a nutritious breakfast.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! If you disagree with me, I have a 10th grade persuasive speech I can give on all the benefits! Try to avoid anything too carb-heavy so you'll be more alert. I love this Chocolate Peanut Butter Avocado Smoothie which keeps me full all the way to lunch.
Notice what's not on this list
You may feel as if I left our an important part of your current morning routine!
But checking email or social media (or basically opening up any time-sucking app on your phone) before you're ready to face the day is a huge no-no according to most productivity experts!
Get this: 61% of people check their phone within 5 minutes of waking up, so you're not alone.
But here's the problem: Checking your notifications first thing starts your day on someone else's terms. Instead of approaching your day with intention, you allow others' thoughts and needs to hijack your own.
Instead, commit to starting each day on YOUR terms. Pick and choose the morning routine ideas that will fuel you for the day ahead so you can make every moment count.
The list above will help you get started!
What idea would you love to be a part of your morning routine?
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