A morning routine is a set of actions or habits that you perform each morning. For some, a successful morning routine includes a minute-by-minute plan of activities and foods, while for others, it may be simply the order of tasks they need to accomplish or just a few crucial activities that need prioritising. Remember, not everyones routine will be the same, some of us may accomplish less in the morning but get more done in the afternoon, and also what may feel right for me may not feel right for you so always be guided by what makes YOU feel good and what brings YOU joy.
For me, my morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day. What I eat for breakfast, who I speak to and what I think about changes my mood and gives me the physical and mental energy that I need for work. If you are planning on starting a morning routine or looking for ways to improve your current routine, it's important to consider your priorities and options.
Below I’ve listed 15 tips for making a successful morning routine that has helped me achieve my goals and can help you achieve your goals too!
1. Consider your priorities
Start building a morning routine by deciding what your professional and personal priorities are. By incorporating actions on those priorities, you can make your morning routine feel purposeful and start to work towards personal goals. I personally choose to prioritise what makes me feel good such as quiet time, meditating and a nourishing breakfast.
2. Make your morning routine manageable
It's also important that your morning routine is achievable so that you can keep it up over the long term and use it each day. Consider how much time you have in the morning and how early you're able to wake up. If you have trouble adding an entire morning routine all at once, you can gradually embrace your routine by starting with just one item on the agenda for a week and adding additional items as you get used to them - similar to the way you would introduce retinol to your routine, slow and steady.
3. Prepare beforehand
Preparation is key for a morning routine. I find making breakfast the night before (overnight oats or a chia pot are two of my favourites) - even planing what to wear and having it hung up ready.
To help yourself start work immediately when you arrive at the office, track deadlines and tasks regularly and tick off as you complete them. Writing a to-do list the afternoon before can help you jump into your first task as soon as you start work in the morning. Getting a full night of sleep can also help you wake up more easily and feel more energised.
4. Keep it consistent
Try to maintain your routine each day. As you build morning habits, you might find that each aspect of your routine, from waking up early to making breakfast, can become easier.
While a daily routine may be the goal, remember to give yourself grace if you miss a day, especially if you're starting out. A consistent routine also doesn't have to be exactly the same each day. Some people prefer the same breakfast each morning, while others may enjoy the excitement of a new podcast, new breakfast item or different kind of exercise.
5. Customise your morning routine
Take some time to recall what you do on mornings when you feel well prepared for the day ahead. If you're a social person, you might include breakfast with your family, partner or a friend. If you're more introverted, you might make time to do something alone that you enjoy before starting work.
You can also customise your routine for the qualities that are important for your job. If you have a social position with meetings throughout the day, you might include exercise or caffeine (matcha is my go to!) in your morning routine so that you are social and enthusiastic at the beginning of your day.
If you have a more solitary job or you begin your day by responding to emails, you might look for ways to get yourself ready to read and write by doing some recreational reading or personal correspondence before work.
6. Give yourself enough time
Waking up earlier can give you more time for activities that help energise you and reduce any morning rush so that you start your day with less stress. You might try going to sleep a little earlier as you set your alarm earlier to make sure that you're still getting enough sleep.
7. Focus on your breath when doing your skincare
When it comes to your skincare routine take a few seconds to check in with yourself and how you’re feeling in that moment. I like place my right hand on my heart and left hand on my stomach, take a deep breath in and slowly exhale to the count of 7, repeat a few times. When doing each step of my routine I continue doing this breath work, by the time I’m finished I feel revived, fresh and ready to start the day!
8. Eat breakfast and drink water
It's important to give your body fuel to prepare for a successful morning. You might hydrate with cold water, warm water, purified water or lemon water to wake yourself up. When you're thinking about how to fit breakfast into your routine, consider preparation, nutrition and enjoyment.
Easy breakfasts can be great if you have trouble waking up in the morning, or you might enjoy waking up during the ritual of preparing food. A nutritional breakfast can help you stay full longer, and breakfast foods that taste good can help you look forward to the meal and remember to eat it.
9. Plan or meditate
Take time in the morning to remember your goals and think about how you will reach them. You might consider meditation to think about these goals without distraction, or you might find that a journaling process makes it easier for you to concentrate and track your progress - I love a good notepad and recently I purchased this aesthetically pleasing one - see notepad here
By thinking about your goals each day, you can understand how your daily tasks help you reach those goals, or how you can change your habits so that you work towards them.
10. Exercise or stretch
Including exercise in your morning routine can help you feel more alert and be productive as soon as you start work. A heavy cardio exercise or group workout class might also qualify as your workout for the day. More gentle exercises like yoga or simple stretches can also help you feel better as you go about your first tasks. I absolutely love following Adriannes yoga classes on YouTube, I also go to reformer pilates 4 days a week.
11. Include things you enjoy
Make sure to add something enjoyable to your morning. If you have time, you might listen to some of your favourite music or a new podcast, read a book or work on a hobby. Including a breakfast food you love, or making a smoothie full of colourful fruits and vegetables. This can help you start the workday in a good mood and may even make it easier to wake up.
12. Remind yourself of positive things
Starting your day by being grateful can help improve your mood. Remembering past successes can motivate you to continue good habits and continue making progress towards your goals. You might think about positive things in your mind before you get out of bed, or you might write down what you're grateful for. I love sticking post-it notes around the home to remind me that ‘I’ve got this’ and that there is so many things to be grateful for.
13. Finish urgent tasks before work
Make sure you complete any morning to-do’s before you begin work so that you can devote all your concentration to your work tasks. This may include taking care of your pet, taking out the bin or even scheduling urgent appointments or the post office run.
14. Avoid your smartphone
Using technology when you first wake up might distract you from your morning routine. The notifications or emails on your phone can also set the tone for your day before you even get out of bed. To take control of your morning, consider avoiding your phone and other technology until you have woken up and completed a few other tasks. I often leave my phone in another room which means I have to get up to switch my alarm off but then I avoid looking at it for the first 30 minutes - I find looking at my phone first thing spikes my cortisol!
15. Get challenging tasks out of the way
Finishing the most arduous tasks at work first can help the rest of your day go more smoothly. Experiencing early success can also make it seem easier to do the other tasks on your agenda with ease.