page title icon A Morning Routine For People Who Don’t Have Time For a Morning Routine

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The biggest objection I hear about morning routines is, “I don’t have time to do it.” My response to you is, if you don’t have an extra 15-20 minutes in your morning to do a routine, then you REALLY need one. But, what I think people are actually saying when they tell me they don’t have time for a morning routine is that they don’t know how to establish healthy habits. 

Why I’m So Passionate About Morning Routines

A big part of my mission here at Morning Upgrade is to raise awareness of how morning routines can change your life. I’m a big believer in this because of my personal experience with them. I use my routine as a catalyst for other things I do during the day for personal development including mindset and fitness. When I skip it, I know how much it affects the decisions I make regarding my actions and goals for the rest of the day. 

That’s why I’ve been developing a dead-simple routine that checks all of the boxes. It takes no more than 20 minutes and is meant for people who don’t have time or who don’t know what to do. 

My thinking behind developing a morning routine for people who don’t have time is that if I can convince as many people as possible to do this…and raise awareness of personal development in the process…it will have an awesome ripple effect. Meaning, if you put this in place in your own life, you’ll eventually tell your friends and family members.

My career has been in marketing for almost two decades at Ballantine. Of course, I’ve been able to have some personal impact there because we help people grow their businesses. But Morning Upgrade’s mission is to help the individual person show up differently in their lives…and it just snowballs from there! It’s the whole reason behind what I’m trying to do with the blog and podcast. 

What Keeps People From Developing a Morning Routine

A common reason I hear for why someone isn’t doing a morning routine is that they don’t have the time. They see the value, but haven’t figured out what to do, or how to put something in place. It seems that the underlying issue here is that they believe a routine will be a lot of work. 

Besides the procrastination of just doing it or not being a morning person, they don’t know what to do or how to do it. They say they want to do it but have a lot of questions, and there’s complexity involved in putting something together…so they get three months down the road and haven’t done anything. That’s three months worth of compounding effects and stress management they could have benefitted from, but they haven’t even started. 

Some of my podcast guests talk about how they have a two hour routine. That’s overwhelming to most people. But you have to keep in mind that for most of them, it didn’t start out that way. It started as something lighter, like 15 minutes, and then morphed into what it now is. 

A Morning Routine for People Who Don’t Have Time

What I want to propose is a slimmed-down, 15-20 minute version of a morning routine that you can reasonably do.

(Side note, I have a product coming out in the very near future that will make this easier.)

With this routine, all you have to do is wake up 20 minutes earlier than usual. If you can’t do that, you need to adjust your priorities, or accept that you don’t actually want this.

But, if you are someone who just needs an abbreviated morning routine with simple prompts, then this is the routine that is right for you. 

Here is what I want you to do: 

  1. Grab a glass of water, a notebook, and a pen. 
  2. Write down your #1 priority for the day. This is the one task that you want to work on and finish. (Make sure you do it.)
  3. Think about one person you want to reach out to today and write down their name and how you’ll get in touch with them. This can be anyone you want to recognize or say hello to. 
  4. Write down one thing you are grateful for, no matter how big or small. 
  5. Think about yesterday and write down your biggest win. Take a few moments to reflect on it. 
  6. Spend a minute and jot down what’s on your mind. It could be things you’re happy about, concerned about, goals, affirmations, etc. Just let it flow. The way you treat this brain dump can vary each day. 
  7. Meditate for five minutes. There are some fantastic guided meditations that are free on the insight timer. There is one I like on gratitude practice that is five minutes long. You can find it on the app here or on YouTube here.
  8. Do a 5 minute exercise session. You can do anything that makes sense for your health and available space as long as you’re moving the entire time. For me, this looks like shadow boxing with egg weights, combined with burpees.

That’s the routine I’ve been following for the past few weeks and I love it. Give yourself 30 days to decide if it is right for you. I hope you’ll feel differently about yourself, and that it will open you up to other aspects of personal development. 

I hope I’ve convinced you that you can’t use the excuse that you don’t have time for a morning routine, or that you don’t know what to do. You’ve got this! 🙂

Key Takeaways

  • Understand that a morning routine can be used as a catalyst for other aspects of personal development.
  • Don’t think a morning routine has to be two hours long. 
  • Implement the 15-20 minute routine outlined in this post. 
  • Tell your friends and family about what you do to start your day (ripple effect).

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