It’s no secret that how you start your day sets the tone for the rest of it. A positive and productive morning routine can make all the difference in your daily life.
But let’s be honest, creating a good morning routine is easier said than done. Many of us struggle to stick with our routines and end up feeling defeated before we even get started. I wish I had known the methods I share in this article back when I was in high school and later in university!
When creating a good morning routine, it’s important to use a combination of existing and new habits. By stacking new habits onto existing habits, it makes them easier to stick to. Habits in your morning routine should also be attractive, obvious and easy. By setting goals for your morning routine and planning your morning habits, you can automate your mornings.
In this post, I break down these methods so you can create your own morning routine.
What Do I Know About Morning Routines And Habits?
When I was in high school, in university and even in my first few years as a teacher, I struggled with creating good habits. I would set awesome goals (hello, new years resolutions!), be super motivated and after a few weeks, give up. It was a vicious, frustrating cycle.
As someone who has struggled with consistency in the past, I know firsthand how frustrating it can be.
However, after reading a whole lot of excellent books, personal research, and experimentation, I’ve finally found what works for me – and I want to help you find what works for you too!
Does this mean that my morning routine is perfect? Absolutely not!
There are days when I still struggle to get out of bed. There are days when I don’t feel like exercising. I’m not always motivated. But knowing that this too is normal helps a lot. It lets me keep trying again, accepting that I am not perfect and striving to do my best.
Defining Your Goals For Your Morning Routine
When it comes to creating a good morning routine that sticks, the first step is defining your goals. What do you want to accomplish with your morning habits?
Start by setting positive goals for yourself, ones that will leave you feeling energized and motivated throughout the day. Maybe you’re looking to improve your physical health and fitness levels, or perhaps you want to focus more on mindfulness and self-care.
Regardless of what your goals may be, having a clear understanding of them will help guide your planning process as you begin to establish new routines. Take some time to reflect on what matters most to you in life.
Consider how incorporating healthy habits into your mornings can help support those values. By doing so, you’ll start each day with purpose and intentionality – setting the stage for success right from the get-go!
When setting your goals, think about the kind of person you are as well as the kind of person you want to be.
And just a note – don’t choose morning routine goals just because you’ve seen other people choose them! Just because your colleague has great success with meditation doesn’t mean that it’s for you. Just because your brother wakes up at 5am every morning to jog doesn’t mean that you need to do that!
You want to create a morning routine that works for YOU! That means you need to love it. Focus on goals that are truly important to achieving the life you want to live.
Planning Your Morning Routine
Now that you have defined your goals for your morning routine, it’s time to plan out the steps to achieve them. Planning is crucial in creating a good morning routine that sticks because it helps you establish a rhythm and make intentional choices about how you spend your time.
One way to plan out your morning routine is by using a planner or diary.
First, write down the tasks you want to accomplish each day before starting work or school. Be sure to include time for exercise, breakfast, meditation, or any other activities that help start your day on the right foot. Make a list of all these tasks.
Next to each task, write down how long each task takes or how long you want to spend on it. If you aren’t sure, try to time yourself on a few mornings (for each task) so that you can create a realistic routine for yourself.
Second, use two highlighter colours to categorise the tasks into habits you already do (like brushing your teeth, for example) and habits you want to add to your routine.
Third, link new habits to existing ones with arrows. For example, if you want to start a new habit of taking a multivitamin every morning, link it to making coffee.
Fourth, write down all the tasks you want to do in the morning in order, from waking up until leaving the house or starting work. Try to create a logical flow of tasks and remember to group new and existing habits together.
(Make sure to read the next section as well, so you don’t try to change everything at once. Rather start with a few small habits).
Try to include a few non-negotiable morning rituals. A morning ritual can be as simple as drinking a glass of water when you wake up or taking five minutes to stretch. Rituals provide structure and consistency which will help create lasting habits over time.
Once you’ve written down your morning routine, place it into a plastic sleeve and stick it onto your fridge along with a board marker.
(Alternatively, you can schedule the tasks directly into your planner or diary).
Over the next few weeks, cross out all the tasks you manage to complete each morning.
This will let you check your routine for the following:
- Is the routine realistic according to your time available?
- Which tasks are you struggling to complete?
- Do you need to switch tasks around to make your morning flow better?
Over time, you can adjust the routine so that it feels good and works for you. Once the routine is established, you no longer need to cross off tasks each morning. You’ll complete the tasks automatically.
Remember, building a good morning routine takes patience and dedication but with consistent effort, it becomes easier to stick with over time.
By planning ahead and incorporating rituals into your mornings, you’ll set yourself up for success throughout the rest of the day. Stick with it even when it feels challenging at first; soon enough these actions become second nature!
Establishing Positive Habits In Your Morning Routine
When it comes to creating a good morning routine, one of the most important things you can do is establish positive habits. By doing so, you’ll be setting yourself up for success and making it easier to stick with your routine over time.
As explained in the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, for a habit to form, it should be easy, attractive, obvious and satisfying.
This means that you shouldn’t completely change your entire morning in one go.
If you’re currently waking up at 7am and need to be out of the house by 7:20am, you won’t suddenly manage to wake up at 5am, exercise for an hour, meditate, read your Bible and work on a novel just because you decided to.
It is better to build up your morning routine one good habit at a time. And that habit shouldn’t be too “big.” Start small and work yourself up.
For example, if you want to start exercising in the morning, make this habit as easy, obvious, attractive and satisfying as you can. You could do this by starting only with your favourite stretch (an attractive habit). You could start with walking around your house three times (an easy habit). Place your running shoes in front of the toilet (an obvious place). You could walk down the stairs instead of taking the lift. You could let yourself watch an episode of your favourite series immediately after working out (a satisfying habit).
One great habit to incorporate into your morning routine is getting up early. While this may seem difficult at first, waking up earlier allows you more time in the day to accomplish what you need to get done. Plus, starting your day off on a productive note will set the tone for the rest of the day.
Instead of trying to wake up 2 hours earlier than you currently do, make the habit easy – wake up five minutes earlier every morning (or even every week).
Another key habit that’s essential for any successful morning routine is hydration. Drinking water as soon as you wake up helps kickstart your metabolism and gets your body ready for the day ahead. In addition, staying hydrated throughout the day has numerous health benefits and can help keep you feeling energized and focused.
You can stack this habit to an existing habit. For example, if you make coffee every morning, leave a full glass or water or a water bottle next to the coffee machine (close to the switch). You can pick up the water and drink it as soon as you’ve switched on the coffee machine.
Once this habit is established, you can add taking your vitamins (I love probiotics as well!) every morning. Simply place them next to the glass of water every evening.
By establishing positive habits – such as getting up early and prioritizing hydration – you’re well on your way to creating a morning routine that truly sticks. Over time, these small changes become second nature, making it easier than ever before to start each day off on the right foot and adding more healthy habits to your morning routine.
Eliminating Obstacles In Your Morning Routine
Now that you have established a good morning routine, it’s time to identify the obstacles that prevent you from sticking to it.
One of the most common reasons why people fail at creating a consistent habit is because they make things too complicated for themselves.
The trick here is to simplify your routine as much as possible by breaking down each step into smaller tasks.
Making habits easy means reducing the friction between yourself and your desired outcome.
For instance, if you find yourself skipping breakfast every day because you don’t have enough time in the morning, consider prepping your meals ahead of time. This way, all you need to do in the morning is grab your food and go!
Similarly, if working out is part of your morning ritual but getting dressed takes up too much time, lay out your gym clothes before going to bed.
Using a planner can also be an effective tool in eliminating obstacles in your morning routine.
By writing down what needs to be done and when, you’re less likely to forget or get sidetracked by other distractions.
Also, do not underestimate the satisfaction granted by ticking something off your list in a planner. By linking this habit to another habit you want to achieve, your brain gets a hit of dopamine when completing the tasks, making you want to repeat it in the future.
Plus, seeing everything laid out visually can help motivate you to stick with your plan.
If you know that there are circumstances in which you struggle more to stick to a routine, try to predict them and go against them early on.
For example, if you know that you struggle to wake up early in winter because it is cold and dark, place a warm gown right next to your bed. You can even invest in an automated light bulb that goes on slowly at a specific time so that it is light when your alarm goes off.
It is just as important to make bad habits difficult as it is to make good habits easy.
For example, if you have a habit of scrolling on social media in the morning, which makes you late, put your phone into the kitchen and wake up with a traditional alarm clock.
What Should I Do If I Miss A Day Of My Morning Routine?
Eliminating obstacles in your morning routine can be a great way to ensure that you stick to your good morning routine. But let’s face it, life happens and there may be days when you miss out on some of your morning habits.
Don’t worry! Missing a day doesn’t mean all is lost. Instead, use this as an opportunity to re-evaluate your approach. When making habits easy, motivation plays a huge role in keeping you committed.
So if you missed a day, don’t beat yourself up about it. Use the experience to motivate yourself for the next day by reminding yourself why these habits are important to you. Think about how much better you feel when you complete your morning routine and visualize how productive and energized you’ll feel once again after completing it.
Missing one day is a mistake. Missing more than one day becomes a habit. So get back into the good habit as quickly as you can!
One trick that could help make missing days less likely is creating a reward system for sticking with your good morning routine over several consecutive days. It could be something small like treating yourself to coffee from your favorite café or even buying new workout gear when reaching milestones such as 30 straight days of sticking to your routine.
Use a habit tracker to track your progress. Seeing the marks on a tracker serve as great motivation!
Remember, creating lasting positive changes takes time so celebrate every little win along the way!
How Can I Make Sure I Have Enough Time For My Morning Routine?
Now that you’ve established a good morning routine, it’s important to make sure you have enough time for it. We all know how easy it is to hit snooze and lose valuable minutes of our day. But fear not, there are ways to ensure you wake up early enough to fit in your positive habits.
Firstly, try setting an alarm for the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body clock and makes waking up early easier over time. To make things even simpler, place your phone or alarm clock across the room from your bed so you’re forced to physically get out of bed to turn it off.
Secondly, eliminate any unnecessary tasks from your morning routine. If possible, prepare breakfast or lunch the night before or choose quick and easy meals for those busy mornings where time is tight. Making habits easy means they become more sustainable in the long run.
Lastly, give yourself some buffer time between waking up and starting your morning routine. Use this extra time to stretch, meditate or simply enjoy a cup of coffee while easing into the day ahead.
Remember, creating a good morning routine isn’t about adding stress but rather making small changes that bring positivity into our lives.
By implementing these tips into your daily life, you’ll be well on your way towards ensuring you have enough time for your good morning routine. As with any habit formation process, consistency is key. So keep at it and remember why you started – because taking care of ourselves should always come first!
Creating a good morning routine is not easy, but it’s worth the effort. By defining your goals for your morning routine and planning accordingly, you can set yourself up for success.
Establishing positive habits and eliminating obstacles along the way will help keep you on track.
It’s important to remember that creating a morning routine takes time and patience. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day or two – just get back into the swing of things as soon as possible.
And don’t forget to make sure you have enough time in the morning to complete all of your desired activities.
With determination and perseverance, you can create a morning routine that sticks and sets you up for a successful day ahead.