If you find it hard to wake up early, then you need to read this post. According to research, creating good habits and sticking to a morning routine plays a huge role in your success.
If you are struggling to start a new habit then inputting this new habit into a part of your morning or evening routine will definitely help you in solidifying that habit.
Once something becomes a habit, you do it automatically without having to put in much thought. With a routine in place that tells you what to do and when your mornings will be so systematic that you won’t even think about procrastinating on that great new habit.
Chances are you already have some sort of morning routine. A typical morning routine may include waking up, brushing your teeth, getting ready, eating breakfast, and then rushing out the door. This routine does nothing for us though. We feel rushed, we had no time to reflect or plan our day, or rejuvenate our minds and body. Later in this post, I will show you the key components you need for a successful morning routine.
If you’re a night owl I still think it’s important to establish a good morning routine. I am a recovering night owl, but I still have a morning routine in place no matter what time I wake up. Mastering your mornings is important because, in order to have a successful, productive day, you have to start your day right. By starting your day the right way you then create the perfect momentum for the rest of your day.
Creating a morning routine and turning it into a habit may sound difficult at first. But if you keep at it every day for at least a month, you will start seeing noticeable differences in how you approach your entire day. A morning routine will help you feel more stable and you’ll be so much more in control of your day.
Reasons Why You Should Start a Morning Routine
It’s peaceful in the morning
Early mornings don’t have as much distraction as other times of the day. Your family and your friends will still be in bed, it will be peaceful and quiet, and your personal space will seem so much bigger.
With less distraction, you’ll be able to think clearly and you’ll have time to exercise, meditate, pray, update your journal, and plan your entire day.
A morning routine will help you feel more in control of your life and you won’t feel as disorganized as before simply because you will have time to think your day through and organize your activities.
Simply put, your morning routine will set the tone for your day.
Get work done early
Mornings are best for getting your most difficult tasks done. As Brian Tracy says, “Eat That Frog!” By doing your most important tasks (M.I.T.) done and out of the way first thing in the morning, you will be able to enjoy relatively stress-free afternoons knowing that you’ve already accomplished so much in your morning. And you’ll be much happier because you can get even more things done in the day.
Your productivity levels will increase and you can start working on the tasks that don’t need to be done until later.
When you get things done earlier and faster in the day, you can reward yourself for a job well done!
How To Start a Productive Morning Routine
The key things you should try to incorporate into your morning routine include:
- Hydrating yourself – drink some water right after waking up. Our bodies are dehydrated and by drinking water first thing you will wake up easier! Water can help with circulation to get you going!
- Praying/Meditating/Priming – a few moments to yourself will do wonders. You can relax, be present and enjoy this time before starting another day.
- Affirmations – Positive affirmation is a must among your daily routine, and you have to learn to be your greatest source of inspiration. This will help to block all the negative voices, which will tell you that you do not have the ability to achieve.
- Visualization – imagine your perfect day! Look at your planner and review your day. Review your goals and or plans for the day
- Move your body – Stretching/Yoga/Exercise – Go for a long walk or a run. By getting your body moving you will feel much more energized, fully rejuvenated, and ready to face the new day.
- Fuel your body – eat a healthy protein-packed breakfast to give yourself energy. I always eat the same thing to make it easier for myself – a fried egg on toast with avocado.
- Start on your most important task – Eat your frog! It’s best to get your hardest most important task out of the way first thing before you get distracted by other people or things that pop up. I love using the Pomodoro technique to help me get started.
Creating an Evening Routine to Prepare for Your Mornings
To make your mornings more successful, you absolutely must prepare for it in the evenings! Here are some evening routine habits that I highly recommend incorporating into your evening routine:
- Plan For Tomorrow Make plans for the next day. Prioritize your task. Make a list of those that are critical to least important. Write down your top 3 tasks that you have to do tomorrow. Check your schedule to see if you have any upcoming appointments or meetings that you will need to be prepared for.
- Prepare! – Set yourself up for success. Prepare everything you can think of to make your mornings run more smoothly. Set up your outfit for the day. Pack your lunch bags. Defrost your meat for your dinner tomorrow. Prepare the coffee for the morning. By setting it all up the night before you will be able to wake up without having to think about what to wear or do and will be much more productive.
- Journaling/Daily reflections – write down everything that happened today. List down everything that you had done and all the moments that you want to remember later on. Take in and appreciate the little things. Take your time and capture all your successes and moments into your journal. An easy way to start journaling is simply by answering some empowering questions. When you take the time to reflect on your day you can come up with constructive ideas to make tomorrow better. Some questions you can start with include:
- What was great about today?
- What did I learn today?
- What am I grateful for today?
- What was my biggest accomplishment for today?
- What would make today great?
- How can I make tomorrow better?
- Celebrate/Reward Yourself – What gets rewarded, gets repeated.When you celebrate what you’ve accomplished often, you’ll invite more amazing things into your life. And soon, you’ll develop powerful habits such as gratitude, consistency, tenacity, and self-discipline. Celebrate by patting yourself on the back, treat yourself to a nice meal, listen to music, meditate, buy yourself a small gift, anything that will give yourself pleasure.
Examples of Morning & Evening Routines
My Morning Routine starts at 6:00 am and takes me about 2.5 hours from start to finish. By then my kids will be getting up. Sometimes it doesn’t go as planned. It may take me longer if the kids wake up earlier or if I have to nurse the baby back to sleep, but no matter what I still follow this sequence of habits.
This is my current Morning Routine (2.5 hours):
- 6:00 am – Get up right away (no snoozing) and turn off the alarm (1 minute)
- Deep breathing for 40 breaths
- Open app for Affirmations
- Use the bathroom and wash hands
- Walk to the kitchen and drink a glass of water
- Take vitamins
- Walk back to room and brush teeth/wash up
- Turn on aromatherapy diffuser
- Open up Yoga app and do Yoga (20 minutes)
- Get dressed and ready for the day
- Eat healthy breakfast and drink coffee
- Turn on music
- Open planner, review goals and plans for the day
- Work on M.I.T. (1 hour)
- Make breakfast for kids
- Empty the dishwasher
- Start a load of laundry
- Pick up
& This is my Evening Routine (about 3 hours):
- 6:00 pm – wash dishes and clean up
- prep coffee
- pack lunches
- Do 7-minute workout
- Write down daily reflections in your journal
- Plan for Tomorrow – list top 3 tasks
- Check calendar and forecast
- Track expenses
- Give kids a bath
- Read books to kids
- Put kids to sleep
- Take a bath or shower – brush teeth and floss
- Get into pajamas
- Cuddle with Paul/watch tv
- Drink water
- Read a chapter of a book
- Go to the room and charge iPhone
- Turn on the alarm and go to sleep
Create Your Morning and Evening Routines Now!
Habit Stack – List out the tasks you already do every morning. Including getting ready, brushing your teeth etc. Now choose one or two habit goals you would like to add to your current schedule. These can be the things that will make your day more productive, set you up for success and make you feel happier. Also, try to write down how long each task will take. If you have to be out of the house at a certain time or a time you’d like to be ready by, you can also write down the time you will be doing those tasks.
- Print out this free printable to write down your morning and evening routines. Put in your planner, or hang it up. Just be sure to look at it as soon as you wake up!
- I included different planner sizes as well as a card version. Print the one that suits you best!
- You can print it as is and write it out yourself. If you do this and want to check it off daily then laminate it after writing your routine and use a wet erase marker to check it off daily.
- If you plan on using a new paper for every day, you can edit the printable before printing. (You will need adobe reader to edit it) This is perfect if you plan to insert this into your planner as a daily checklist without having to rewrite it every day.
Try to be as detailed as possible. If you see my example of my morning routine above, you can see it includes A LOT! But if you think about it some of those things take only seconds or minutes.
At first, when creating my morning routine I only had 5 things on it (I followed the Miracle Morning S.A.V.E.R.S. method by Hal Elrod) and I checked off those 5 things as I completed it.
But what I found to work better for me was being super detailed. I wrote down things like “walk to the kitchen and grab a glass of water”. Most habits rely on contextual cues which set us up to repeat the certain behaviors in particular patterns.
By being super detailed and following it, my morning routine just became much more automatic! I didn’t have to think about what to do because you know how you feel in the mornings – you can barely think straight! So by being super detailed, I felt like a robot following these simple commands.
Use Apps on your phone! Need a timer to help you go through all these tasks? Or maybe you want to create it digitally first before printing it out and sticking to one. There are tons of apps for morning routines. I personally use Habi and Morning Routines.
I like Habi because it includes a morning and evening stack. I can adjust the order and check it off as I go. I also like Morning routines because I just hit play and it runs through the whole routine for me. I just listen to it and I know what to do next.
I also like the Morning Routines app because it can also be used on my watch.
Review & Adjust as necessary. If you notice some things don’t feel right in that order, change it up. Add in a few different tasks/habits or take out some. Keep adjusting it until it’s your perfect routine! If you start by making small changes, you will see quick wins. Adjusting to a new schedule is difficult and will take time to perfect. Keep working at it and track your progress to see how far you’ve come.
Track your progress on your habits by using a calendar and marking a big red X on it every day. Also known as the Seinfeld method, this method is a great way to reinforce yourself to stick to your habits.
Don’t forget to download your free printable below to get you started on mastering your mornings!
This sounds awesome. I’m having a hard time starting because my 7 month old isn’t sleeping thru the night right now. We’re in the process of sleep training. I’d love to be able to start my day before she wakes up, but her wake up time hasn’t been predictable. Even more so with the time change.
Great article! Thank you for the ideas!