Are you trying to become a morning person? Looking for the perfect morning routine? We’ve got you covered.
In this article, we’ll offer tips and ideas on creating your own morning routine checklist that sets you up for success for the rest of the day.
Why have a morning routine checklist?
Starting your day with a great morning routine significantly impacts the day ahead.
Your morning routine is uniquely yours. When we have to work during the day, attend meetings, take care of family and meet friends, the mornings are one of the only times we can claim as our own.
A solid morning routine offers a range of benefits, including:
- Reduces stress
- Gives greater focus
- Increases motivation to take on the day
- Increases sense of groundedness and rejuvenation
- Allows you to structure your day and worry less
Taking control of your morning and organizing those early hours to feel rejuvenated and ready for the day instills deep confidence throughout the day.
When it comes time to take on work demands or deal with unexpected emotions, we can fall back on that confidence and motivate ourselves to keep going, knowing that we started the day with clarity.
Morning routine ideas
What is the best morning routine? How can you optimize your morning habits to give yourself the best start to the day?
The best morning routine is the one that suits you. Some people wake up at 5 am and go straight to the gym. Others like to start the day with tea and meditation.
Don’t feel bad if you’re not keen on getting up before sunrise – you don’t have to join the 5 am club to create a healthy morning routine.
Below we’ve included some helpful tips to help you create your ultimate morning routine checklist.
Preparation is key to a good morning
You may think a morning routine starts when you wake up, but the best morning routines start the day before with a great evening routine!
One surefire way to mess up your morning is to rush around trying to organize everything for the day ahead.
Mornings can be a calm, peaceful, and meditative part of the day when, instead of rushing, we organize ourselves the evening before.
When you organize your day the evening before, you can wake up knowing that you don’t have to rush. You can allow yourself to wake up naturally and slowly rather than rushing and pushing and worrying first thing.
How to prepare the evening before:
Below we have provided some tips and tricks to help you create a morning routine by preparing the night before.
Consider what you need to do that day, and set out your clothes accordingly.
Gym day? Get your gym clothes ready to go.
Got an important meeting? Set your dressy clothes aside and get ready for action.
Got dishes in the sink from that evening’s dinner? Get them washed the same evening, so you don’t wake up to a pile of dirty dishes! Clean dishes from the night before means that you can wake up and enjoy making breakfast without the frustration of having to clean the dishes first.
2. List the day’s tasks in a to-do list
The evening before or the first thing when you wake up, write a brief to-do list of the things you need to do that day.
Seeing the day’s essential tasks on paper in your notes clarifies the day’s objectives, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to do something.
Outlining tasks and objectives can also add a sense of purpose to your day, and achieving or completing those tasks creates momentum and instills confidence.
3. If you want to wake up early, go to bed early
Waking up early gives you extra time to enjoy the day and be as productive as you need, but it’s unwise to sacrifice high-quality sleep just to wake up early.
If you want to be an early riser, adapt your sleep schedule. Aim for 7 to 9 hours a night and try to sleep around the same time each night.
Adhering to a healthy sleep schedule will make your morning much easier, more productive, and more enjoyable.
Rather than waking up and trying your hardest to pull yourself out of bed, you’ll wake up feeling rested and ready for the day ahead.
4. Don’t hit snooze
Hitting the snooze button is the ultimate comfort behavior. The problem with hitting snooze is that those extra few minutes rarely feel like enough.
We wake to the second alarm feeling just as tired as when the first alarm rang, but now we’ve pushed our morning back and started the day with procrastination.
Instead of hitting the snooze button when the alarm goes off, try to get up the first time.
There’s no problem with sleeping in, as long as doing so doesn’t get in the way of your responsibilities.
Still, if you want extra sleep, it’s wiser to get it the night before. That way, you can get the extra hour or two you need and still feel accomplished for waking up at your desired time the following morning.
5. Ignore your phone
If you spend a lot of time on your phone, you may be tempted to pick it up first thing in the morning. Be mindful of this habit.
Waking up to social media feeds and news updates may seem harmless, but it primes the brain for distraction, and a quick dopamine hit.
We also react emotionally to online content, whether or not we notice those reactions. If we feed ourselves with negative, stressful content first thing, we bring ourselves right into a stress response first thing in the morning.
The brain needs time to move from the deep sleep state (delta brain waves) to theta waves (the calm day-dreamy state) to alpha waves (awake but relaxed), and finally into beta waves.
When we grab our phone first thing and stimulate our mind with news and other content, we don’t allow a healthy amount of time to be spent in each brain wave and instead dive straight into beta.
6. Drink water
The best thing you can do first thing in the morning is to drink a tall glass of water. Not coffee or tea, not orange juice, just clean, pure water.
Hydration is key to all aspects of health, so try to start your day by nourishing your cells with the water they need to function at their best.
7. Move your body (stretch)
One of the best morning habits to begin to set yourself up for a healthy, productive, and present-day is to move your body in the morning.
A simple stretching routine, either freestyle or based on a yoga sequence, boosts blood flow around the body, which in turn helps oxygenate all your cells.
This boosted circulation and oxygenation promotes physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being.
Embodying this state of wellness in the morning helps you sustain it throughout the day, which sets you up for more positive experiences.
8. Take time to pause and meditate
Some people think of a cross-legged yogi sitting on a mountaintop when they hear the word meditation, but that’s not an accurate representation of this highly beneficial and life-affirming practice.
Meditation is centering yourself in a quiet space and simply being.
Pay attention to your breath and allow thoughts to come and go without reacting. This settles the mind and body into a calm state where we become a witness to ourselves.
You can meditate for five minutes or twenty minutes, depending on your time and preferences, but no matter how much time you allocate to this practice, try to give it at least some.
Meditating in the morning helps you stay calmer and centered as you move through your day.
Journaling can help you gain clarity for the day ahead.
Some people like to write about the tasks they must do that day. Some enjoy gratitude journaling. Other people want to sit in front of a page and write about whatever comes to mind.
The latter is known as free-writing and can lead to profound insights and revelations that you may only have had if you had taken the time to journal.
However, you like to write, taking even five to ten minutes in the morning to put pen to paper and positively affect the rest of your day.
10. Enjoy a healthy breakfast
A good breakfast is key to an energized day and a healthy daily morning routine. If you need a lot of energy throughout work or hobbies, then a healthy, energy-packed is precisely what you need to keep you going.
Eggs, oatmeal, and fruit are all healthy breakfast options, but find what works best for you.
Some people like to fast in the morning, which can also offer a healthy start to the morning. You may even eat breakfast some mornings and fast on others.
Find what works best for you rather than following trends or others’ suggestions. Fasting works well for some but doesn’t bode well with others.
The best morning routine is the one that works best for you. Many people feel pressured into waking up extra early, exercising, working, and generally having a productive morning every morning, but this pressure can often lead to stress and guilt.
Stress and guilt are not the best way to start your morning, so do your best to let go of them.
Check in with your mind and body each morning and see how you feel.
Discipline is important to success and productivity, but you’re not a machine. Some mornings you may feel like sleeping in, and on other days, you may want to wake up before sunrise.
Instead of expecting each morning to be the same, try to have a few regular activities and checklist items to tick off and acknowledge yourself for doing them.