We all want to have a great day every day right? We want to achieve a lot, be the best versions of ourselves, productive, happy, motivated. But some days just don’t work out that way, and we can sometimes wonder where on earth the day even went. However, there is a little secret to having a great day… And it’s not about what you do during your day, it’s about what you do right at the start… with a Morning Routine.
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I used to snooze forever, and then leap out of bed and out of the house for work literally 15 minutes later. I challenged myself to see how quickly I could do it. Then, out of curiosity, I casually started asking people if they have a cup of coffee, tea or breakfast at home before they leave for work in the morning. Almost everyone said yes. I pondered on that. Even though I LOVE my coffee, I wasn’t even having any before leaving for work in the morning. I’d rather race to work and then relax at my desk with my first coffee, kind of like a reward.
At some stage, I realised this was not the best of habits. My boyfriend would get rather rattled at how I would wake up, suddenly running around like a mad woman, and flying out the door for work. If he was taking me into the office, sometimes I would wake him up 15 minutes before we had to go with ‘Come, we need to go’. There he was, deer in the headlights, given only 15min to get up and go. His reaction to this am rush made me ponder on this even more.
Learn from others.
I started wondering. Why did I choose such a rushed start? Why didn’t I give myself even just a little time to properly wake up and get ready for the day?
I realised I had formed a pretty bad habit. It was like a repeated pattern built on anxiety and stress. Waking up and immediately getting swept up in the busyness, the whirlwind. Without a second thought to centring myself and setting any kind of intention for the day. Boom, just fly right into it.
Needless to say, most days would spit me out after work. Drained, tired and often a little depressed. Something needed to change. And so I did more research online.
Then I came across Robin Sharma, a successful writer and speaker, and just an all-around awesome motivator. He has a 5 am Club – A tribe of people who realise that getting up earlier and having a morning routine that sets you up for your day is key for success. He also calls this a game-changing move. In his words:
…dialling in your morning routine is the one move that transforms every other move [and the rest of your day].
I then watched “The Morning Routine of Legendary People” video of his and got even more excited. This was a great habit to form. The whole idea just made so much sense. If you go and watch it, don’t forget to come back here after! 🙂Dialling in your morning routine is the one move that transforms every other move (and the rest of your day) - inspirational quote by @RobinSharma #morningroutine Click To Tweet
Start Well and Take Control of Your Day.
Days can sometimes have a way of sweeping us up and spitting us out at the end.
By actually taking the time to set yourself up for the day, you will transform the outcome. Taking a moment to actually wake up and ground yourself. Doing some exercise to get your blood flowing. Honing into your most important goals for the day.
Really taking the time to prepare yourself for the day, in a quiet space. Before the madness starts, and you have 100 other tasks flying begging for a place on your to-do list.
You don’t need to get up at 5 am.
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to get up at 5 am. If you can, go for it! But if you’re anything like me, who enjoys staying up quite late, 5 am would result in very little sleep. Over the years I am gradually changing my sleeping patterns, but 6:30 am – 7 am is a good start for me. Just look at what time you need to ‘get going’ and then work backwards from there. 30-60 minutes is a good start for a morning routine. The point here is to do it consistently, so start with something that feels manageable. I need to ‘get going’ at about 9 am, so my routine starts ideally at 7 am. My whole is maybe 60-90 minutes in total, but I like having the extra time to not feel rushed in any way.
It took me a long time to give myself any time in the morning for myself. I am still working on it because I naturally want to get up and race on with my list of other things to do straight away. But I know how positively a Morning Routine impacts my day, so I continue to work on it. In recent years I have even started adding my ‘AM Daily Routine’ as an item on my daily todo list. That is me working hard at making it a habit, something I naturally do every single day like brushing my teeth.
Something as simple as a Morning Routine can literally transform your day. Seriously. Focus in on this part of your day, and you’ll see a big difference.
A morning routine is basically a slice of time you take for yourself right at the start of the day. It’s usually made up of a series of important activities, one after another, that set you up in a good space mentally and physically, for the rest of the day.
This is the time of day that you can take for yourself, to really focus in on those important and yet often overlooked activities that can greatly impact how you approach your day.
A morning routine often includes activities like:
Morning Pages – Writing 3 pages in a journal of whatever is in your head. A great thing to do first thing, clearing out your mind of lingering thoughts. The act of writing down whatever is on your mind can also be a great way to start resolving some of those thoughts as you put them on paper. Morning Pages is a specific (and very powerful) exercise from Julia Cameron, from the book “The Artist’s Way”. You can simply call it journalling if you prefer a looser approach.
Gratitude – Writing down 3 things that you are grateful for, to set yourself in a positive happy space.
Exercise – Doing some stretching or more intensive exercise gets the body moving and the blood flowing. Morning exercise is a great idea. You get this out the way before your day sweeps you away and you’re too tired to do it in the evening.
Goal Setting – Before your day actually begins, decide on what you want to achieve today. What 3 goals are a top priority today? What 3 things do you want to achieve today that will make you feel good at the end of the day? Be clear on your intentions for the day.
Learning – Taking the time to learn something new, via books or online.
A morning routine is about taking the time to set yourself up. Time for you to get ready for the day. It can be anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the time you have. No matter how long, it’s about actually committing to taking out that slice of time every morning to nourish yourself in important ways.
Your morning routine is completely personal to you and what you need.
Other morning routine activities can include: Walking your beloved dogs, daily writing on your blog, reading, gardening, going for a walk on the beach, enjoying a lovely breakfast, meditating, and lots more.
There are many benefits of a morning routine.
Morning Pages – When most of us wake up, we have a long list of things we need to do. And the list only gets longer as the day progresses. If you’re super busy at work, you may have even gone to sleep with thoughts racing through your mind, of everything you need to get done, and wondering how on earth you’re going to do it. In general, we often think too much and have residue thoughts taking up precious space in our minds. Morning pages are a way to clear your mind before you attack the new day.
Honestly, this habit is life-changing. I have found that when I am particularly busy and stressed out, AM Pages are a life saver. I just take 10 minutes out of the day, and sit down with a cup of tea and write whatever comes out of me. Sometimes I feel agitated and don’t know what to write, but I just keep going. It’s an amazing habit, and you find that it almost becomes like a therapy session with yourself. You start turning to your AM pages to unwind, offload and sort through things. You start clearing away excess thoughts, feeling more clear-headed afterwards.
A morning routine is a way to breathe life into your body and mind before the ‘actual day’ starts.
Lemon Water – Drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach has a few benefits. Mmmm it feels good too. After waking up, instead of a strong intense coffee or a tea, having a lemon water is a lot more refreshing. It cleanses and wakes up the body. I just love sipping on my lemon water in between yoga stretching.
Morning Exercise – Research shows that exercise first thing in the morning can promote healthy weight loss and boost energy levels. Especially on an empty stomach. There are many benefits of early morning exercise, but personally, it’s the mental benefits I find the most rewarding. Exercising regularly has always been a challenge for me. By including exercise in my morning routine, even just a short 15 minutes, is a serious game-changer for me. When I complete a little exercise in the morning, I am so proud of myself. I feel so uplifted and motivated that I took the time to move my body before the day has even started, that I am so much more motivated to take on anything else the day throws at me. Morning exercise can make you feel stronger, mentally and physically. Now that’s a good way to start the day, feeling like a superhero!
Happiness abounds! 😃 Today I started my Week 2 of Daily AM Exercise, and I am so proud of myself! 👉 On 1st of June I decided to stop messing around, and face up to my big goals and commit wholeheartedly to what is important to me. ⭐️ Getting as fit & flexible as possible was one of them. And to do that I knew I needed to make exercise part of my daily am routine. And “exercise” doesn’t mean hardcore workouts, it’s a mix of what my body needs that day. Lots of different @doyouyoga yoga, some knee-friendly HIIT and plenty of other cool videos I find online. It’s been fun playing around with different routines, from just 20min some days to 60min on others, with the goal to simply roll out my mat and move my body for more than 15min every morning – feels great physically and mentally and sets the tone for the rest of my day. ☀️ However, this is only a quarter of the way through this #30daychallenge of mine, and only the start of a lifelong habit I want to instill in my DNA – Wish me luck so I stay on the wagon this time, as there has been lots of falling off over the years 😂 Yay for habit changing – one small change, done regularly, will propel to bigger things! 💪 👉What is one of your big goals? What’s holding you back from working on it now, starting today? If you are procrastinating, do yourself a favour and check out @melrobbinslive book “The 5 Second Rule” and 🚀 rocket launch yourself into your next goal! And… go! ❤️
A morning routine is a way to get the important foundational things done, that you may otherwise put aside.
Breakfast – “Eat Breakfast Like a King, Lunch Like a Prince, and Dinner Like a Pauper” – We all know this saying all too well! Having a nutritious breakfast is an important part of the start of your day. In the past I have struggled to always eat breakfast, sometimes skipping it all together and opting for coffee instead. By actually including it in my morning routine has helped me make it part of my everyday.
Goal planning – Before you fly off into the wild wild world, get your goals down. This isn’t about writing down the longest todo list on the planet. This is about goals. What do you want to achieve today? What are the most important priorities to focus on today? List your Top 3 goals for the day. By going into the day with your priorities in order, you’re more likely to stay on track. Add your 3 Important Daily Goals (I use 3, but sometimes just having 2 is actually better) to your todo list. Have them there on your list, ready to look at when you veer off track during the day.
Learning – Learning something new every day is so important to grow as a person. I am still working on this one. It is as if I feel like taking out this extra bit of time to learn about something I am interested in, is giving myself too much. As if I don’t deserve to simply sit back with a cup of tea and watch a video on ‘digestion’ (a big interest of mine :-)). Instead, I feel that I need to get to my to-do list, emails, work, social media. But, it is important to learn something new and wonderful every day. Whether you watch a video, read an article, or see what a virtual mentor is up to. This is what feeds our minds, inspires ideas, and reminds us that the world is big and exciting. And it can take as little as 5-10 minutes.
What’s important to you?
So, whatever you decide to do in your Morning Routine, think about how to can nourish yourself holistically – physically, mentally and spiritually. What do you need to go into your day as your best self?
I have many online mentors who I follow and get inspired by. People like Robin Sharma, Mel Robbins and Richard Branson. I call them my online mentors because they inspire me all the time, and motivate me to keep pushing on with my dreams.
Robin Sharma and The Holy Hour.
Of course, you already know Robin Sharma.
He is a big advocate of the Morning Routine. The 5 am club is inspirational, and one day I may reach there. However, either way, he has inspired me to make my mornings a priority. It’s an important habit to work on.
Here is an excerpt from an interview with Robin Sharma on his Daily Morning Routine, aka ‘The Holy Hour’:
The Holy Hour, as you know, is simply 60 minutes at the beginning of your day that you devote to self-mastery and personal development. If your outer life is really a reflection of the quality of your inner life, then it’s a brilliant move to spend at least an hour a day working on yourself. This simple idea alone has helped so many of our clients from around the world get to world-class in business and in life.
During my Holy Hour, I journal, I read inspirational books, I review my goals and plans and I simply make the time to think. Because clarity precedes mastery and the more clear you can get on what you want to create in life, the more focused you will be in your daily behaviors. Every day can be a platform to get you closer to your mountaintop. And yet, too many people live life by accident.
Richard Branson and Finding Focus.
The fun-times Richard Branson, such an inspiration!
Starting his day from about 5 am, Richard Branson has his own morning routine. His list of activities that set him up just right includes exercise, breakfast, lots of tea, family time, clearing through work emails and ending with a social media sweep. All done before the real day has even begun. Sounds like a good start to the day!
This is why he finds it important:
While I’m known for being predictably unpredictable – I’m always up for an adventure and love a calculated risk – I do, however, have a morning and nightly routine. I find structure to start and finish the day helps me to focus, and achieve the things I need to.
Mel Robbins and Getting Dreams Done.
My newest fav, Mel Robbins! The Yes woman!
Journaling every single morning with a fresh cup of coffee is how Mel Robbins likes to start her day. If you don’t know her, look her up. I discovered her after listening to her book, The 5 Second Rule on audible, and never looked back. This is what helps her set herself up for success every day:
Well, I journal every morning but I do it a certain way. First, I don’t sleep at all when I turn off the alarm on my phone. I flip it face-side down and then I go to my kitchen and I pour a cup
of coffee. Then I sit down to journal for the first 30 minutes of the day. Because I am maniacal about not letting the world in until I put myself first, because if you don’t actually use the first couple minutes of the morning when your brain is ready to roll for you, you will not find the time to get your dreams done. So journalling is super important.
Tim Ferris and Winning the Day.
This is another author, entrepreneur and public speaker that inspires me to no end. Tim Ferris.
He is famous for his book, The 4-Hour Work Week, filled with awesome productivity hacks to make the most out of your precious time on earth. He has interviewed hundreds of top-performing people over the years, finding out what routines and habits they use. Then, he tries them himself and shares the ones he finds the most effective. Tim’s morning routine includes: Making his bed, Meditating, Light Exercise, Tea and Journalling. From his awesome book “Tools for Titans” he says:
If you win the morning, you win the day.
So you’ll see that many famous and successful people have a morning routine that primes them for their productive days. Check them out for some inspiration. You will see that each has their own unique set of morning rituals that create a routine that works for them. The activities different from person to person. But, these people all have in common is recognising that a Morning Routine is essential to a quality day.If you win the morning, you win the day - inspirational quote by @tferriss #morningroutine Click To Tweet
Many successful people take the start of their day seriously. It’s the quiet before the storm, where you can prepare for battle. Haha, perhaps this is sounding dramatic. But seriously, every day is a chance to do something great, some small step that will get you further on your quest.
So make your day count, and set it up strong with a Magic Morning Routine.
Your routine is personal to your wants and needs. You need to make it work for you. Be kind to yourself and really think about what you need to start the day well.
Step 1: Commit to it.
Decide you want to have a morning routine, and commit to it. Then decide on an amount of time that you can manage, consistently, every morning. Even if you start with as little as 15 minutes of writing, the key is consistency. Once you become comfortable with taking this time out in the morning, you can always expand your routine to include more activities and take more time.
Step 2: Think about what you need, physically and mentally, to set you up for success.
What do you need, in terms of your health and happiness?
For example, morning writing clears my mind and helps me find clarity when I am overwhelmed. Daily Exercise motivates me and drives me to face bigger challenges in the rest of my life.
Each activity has a role to play.
So what do you need? Are you constantly stressed out from work? Well, then including a 20-minute yoga video in your routine would be amazing, as you can stretch some of those knots out and start your day feeling more relaxed. Goal Setting would be great afterwards, as you can define what’s important to you and go into your stressful day with more focus and intention.
I have a couple routines I have been jumping between over the years. I know that to form habits you really need to do the same thing over and over. But I am in an experimental stage of my life, and still testing to see what works best.
I used to do a peaceful morning routine, only consisting of Tea or Lemon Water and Morning Pages. I would sit outside on the balcony in the quiet morning with the birds. Sip on my warm tea. And write 3 pages of free conscious writing. During this time, it helps me calm my mind and stress levels. By putting all my swirling thoughts onto paper, it helped me start resolving some of my worries, and left me feeling less overwhelmed.
Recently I changed up to an exercise focused morning routine. I called it the “You Can Do This” morning routine. I recently quit my 9-5 job in pursuit of a life on my own terms. While it has been liberating, it can be pretty stressful in the beginning. So I created my current routine to give my day some structure and kick my ass into gear. I made it exercise focused because that makes it more challenging, and thus gives me a stronger ‘I can do this’ mindset for the rest of the day.
My “You Can Do This” Morning Routine goes like this:
Wake up and make a warm lemon water (half a fresh lemon squeezed into a mug of warm water) // Roll out the mat and exercise. The time on the mat depends on what challenge I am doing at the time. I love doing different fitness challenges online, back to back. I just finished a 14-Day Butt Challenge, and now have started a 30-Day Yoga Challenge alongside a Blogilates Butt Challenge. So sessions on the mat can range from 20 minutes to 90 minutes. // Shower and get dressed // Breakfast (incorporating more protein, like eggs, oat flakes and chia seeds) // Coffee and 60 minutes of blog writing. // Write down 3 Goals for the Day. // Morning Routine is done. Rest of day starts.
So you need to start off by thinking about what you really need, to set yourself up mentally and physically for the rest of your day.
Step 3: Create your morning routine.
Make yourself a cuppa, and sit down with a piece of paper and pen. A fun little brainstorm session with yourself, without your phone. Relax and think about what ‘your perfect morning’ looks like.
Depending on how much time you are setting aside for this routine, start planning it out.
List a series of important activities that feed your body and mind, ordering them in a way that makes sense. You can keep it super short and have only 1 or 2 items on the list to start. Or you can plan out a full 60 minutes with 3-5 activities listed. It’s completely up to you.
Something like warm lemon water, exercise, breakfast, coffee and daily goals.
Or something like green tea and journalling, a walk on the beach, breakfast, coffee while watching a short video on a topic that really interests you, and daily goals.
Your routine is for you and your personal growth. This is a special slice of time just for you, before the madness, to nourish yourself from top to bottom, and step into the rest of the day as your best self.
I hope this post has inspired you to start your very own morning routine. And if you already have one, perhaps it’s inspired you to edit it slightly or do it more regularly.
Either way, I hope you give yourself the gift of a wonderful Morning Routine and start your day as your best self. Let me know about your personal morning routines and what works best for you in setting up your day for success, I’d love to know!
If you found this article useful, please share it – It’d be great to inspire others to start a morning routine so that they can set themselves up for better, more fulfilling days, every day! 🙂
Other posts you may find useful:
- 5 Ways to Get Moving and Live a More Active Lifestyle
- 9 Breathtaking Yoga Instagram Accounts
- Workout Music: Groovy Tracks to add to your Mix