Several years ago I was going through a difficult time in my business and needed something to get past the problems I was experiencing. While I had always been someone that was interested in personal development, my normal practices weren’t enough. I started looking around at other things I could do to invest in myself to help me grow and take my business to the next level.
Up to that point, I was aware of morning routines because a lot of entrepreneurs make this a priority…but I had never tried it myself. Actually, I wasn’t a morning person…rather the kind of person that hit the snooze button several times and then jumped out of bed with very little time to spare.
So, I started wondering if adopting a morning routine could be that thing that gave me the edge needed. That’s when I picked up a copy of The Miracle Morning where Hal Elrod lays out his morning routine ideas. I think a lot of people start her because he has such a well-rounded routine in place.
I’m the kind of person that always like experimenting with things to see if something works better for me. Over time I started to break away from The Miracle Morning and came up with my own morning routine ideas.
Fast forward to today and I’ve created a solid morning routine for myself and turned it into a product called the Morning Upgrade cards. These cards feature the top things I feel are needed to help me have a productive day and have a good morning. However, what I do for my morning routine isn’t the only thing you can do.
That’s why in this blog post I want to give you 54 morning routine ideas to help you craft the perfect morning routine for you. I’ll cover the things I currently do to start the day and then other things I’ve done in the past as well as give you ideas from podcast guests I’ve had on The Morning Upgrade podcast.
1. Drink a Glass of Water
The first thing I do when I start my daily routine is to grab a glass of lemon water and hydrate myself. Drinking water will help you feel awake and get you started on the right foot. It’s a simple way of implementing self-care in your morning. This is the best morning beverage you can start the day off with…before coffee.
2. Take a Deep Breath
Take a few moments to breathe deeply. Taking deep breaths will help you reduce stress and feel energized. Breathing exercises can be done all throughout the day to improve your mental health, as well.
3. Write Down Your #1 Priority
I’m not suggesting you write down a long to do list…rather, write done the most important tasks for the day. Limit this to no more than three things. Writing down too many tasks will overwhelm you. The first thing you write down should be your most important task. This is the action that will make an impact on your goals.
4. Gratitude Practice
Practicing gratitude will rewire your brain to look at the world differently. The first few weeks you practice gratitude, it may be harder, but over time it will be easier to recognize the things you are grateful for.
5. Reflect On The Day Before
Write down your biggest win from the day before and take a moment to celebrate it. It’s important to recognize your wins because it builds self-confidence and keeps you motivated.
6. Recognize Someone Else
Part of personal development is getting to a place where you can invest in someone else. As part of my daily morning routine, I write down the name of someone I plan to reach out to later in the day. This may be a family member, client, friend, colleague, or acquaintance that has done something I want to recognize. Later in the day I’ll send them a text, email or give them a call.
Part of a good morning routine is to journal a few sentences right after you wake up. You don’t have to fill in a whole page. I like to write down a few bullet points or words on my Morning Routine cards to clear my mind. It’s a great way to acknowledge your emotions. Also, clearing your mind can help you stay focused on tasks later in the day.
Meditation is a key part of an ideal morning routine because it helps you set a positive tone for the day. Instead of letting other inputs cloud your mind, you stay in control of your mind and train yourself to stay calm. Starting the morning out with meditation can put you in a good mood as well as help you with stress management throughout the day. I like to add positive affirmations on to the last few minutes of my mediation.
A healthy morning routine includes at least a few minutes of exercising. I like to spend 5 minutes doing something to get my heart rate up. This isn’t the only time I exercise during the day, but it’s a perfect starting point.
10. Take a Cold Shower
Taking a cold shower is a personal development hack that I made a part of my routine. One of the reasons that this is recommended is that it trains you to take control of your mind. Eventually, it will become second nature to stand under the cold water…and you may find you enjoy it.
11. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
While I don’t usually eat until lunch, my podcast guest Alon Braun makes a healthy breakfast for himself and his kids as part of his morning routine. Spending time with his kids in the morning is part of his strategy for a healthy work life balance. If you are someone that wants to make this part of your morning routine, I encourage you to try a new breakfast recipe from time to time in order to switch things up. I’m always trying out new things to see what works best for me.
12. Stop Hitting Snooze On Your Alarm
The best morning routine starts out with you jumping out of bed and being excited to start the day. When you keep hitting snooze every morning, it will send signals to your brain that you are dreading the day. This bad habit of snoozing your alarm clock can actually make you have a less productive day. Flip the script and commit to cutting off your alarm clock one time and then getting up.
13. Implement a Skincare Regimen
My podcast guest Ebony McGee, is a web developer, but also a beauty consultant. As part of her perfect morning routine, she has a good skin care regimen. You might not think of taking care of your skin as an important way to start the day, but it helps your overall well-being to make self-care a priority.
14. Invest in Self-Education
One thing that is part of a great morning routine is to invest in your self-education. I usually spend time reading a few pages of a book. There are other things you can do like listening to a Ted Talk, podcast, youtube video, or some other form of educational resources. I would encourage you to stay away from the morning news…but if you do want to keep up with what’s going on, subscribe to a daily news roundup that gives you highlights to stay informed.
15. Make Your Bed
This is one task that is simple to do but can have an impact on your day. When you make your bed, you have an immediate win. Making it the first task you do can easily lead to the next task and the next task. I recommend you get out of bed and go ahead and make it before you do anything else.
16. Exercise Your Mind
I think that mindset is the little hinge that causes the big door to swing. Anything you can do to help your mind be stronger is worth the investment. Of course, I recommend that you meditate, but there are other ways to exercise your mind. You can do a crossword puzzle, play wordle, learn a few words in another language, or do anything that causes you to think. I have used an editing app that asked me to find mistakes in sentences and edit them. It’s just a small task I can do to sharpen my mind.
17. Avoid Digital Inputs
This is one of my most recent morning routine ideas…avoid digital inputs first thing in the morning. I have gone through the Optimize.me coaching program and Brian talks about having a pre-input win. Basically, this means doing something that will move the needle before your get on a device. This could be working on your side hustle, making breakfast, meditating, etc. You have the rest of the day to get on your phone or computer, but protecting the time first thing in the morning can help you have a successful day.
18. Wake Up Early
Even if you are not a morning person, you can learn to wake up earlier than you are right now. In order to wake up earlier, you will have to shut down at night. My podcast guest Dr. Cangiano talks about how he goes to bed by 10 pm so he can be up by 6 am and get his morning routine going.
19. Daily Goal Setting
Setting goals doesn’t have to be all long-term. You can get up each morning and write down a few goals for the day. Keep it simple and doable so that you will actually accomplish those things each day.
20. Create a Power List
My podcast guest Brianne Lombardo talks about creating a power list. These are your non-negotiables. For you could be to get up and drink protein coffee as she does…or green juice, protein shake (whatever your morning drink preferences are) take a walk in the fresh air, make your bed, etc. The goal behind a power list is that you have 3-4 things you make as a part of your daily morning routine. Once you nail down doing those things routinely, you can add a different set of tasks.
21. Write Morning Pages
Morning pages come from the book, The Artist’s Way by Julie Cameron. The concept here is that you write three pages in a journal or notebook from your stream of consciousness. It’s supposed to kickstart artists that are dealing with a lack of creativity. However, a lot of people use this practice as a way of healing and working through things they have put out of their minds.
22. Do A Short Devotional
If you are someone that is spiritual or wants to be more spiritual, do a devotional as part of your morning routine. My podcast guest Lance Golinghurst does a Bible each day when he first gets up.
23. Eat The Same Thing Each Morning
My podcast guest Dr. Jeremy Sharp says that an ideal morning routine is one where you make the decisions in advance of what you are going to do. He does this by making his morning beverage a shake that’s made with the same ingredients. This reduces the number of decisions he has to make and helps his overall health because he is making a good breakfast choice.
24. Invest In Your Side Hustle
Many people that do morning routines are entrepreneurs and have side hustles that they need to work on before they start their work day. Instead of waiting until the evening to try and invest in your side hustle, do it in the morning. You’ll feel like you had a productive day because you made progress on your business.
25. Take Supplements
In addition to a healthy breakfast, you can take supplements as part of a healthy morning routine. If you are like me and do intermittent fasting, just take your supplements when you eat. I like to take Total Human supplements. They have a morning and night pack.
26. Sit Outside And Watch The Sunrise
My podcast guest Greg Lewis likes to sit outside and get fresh air while he watches the sunrise. This is the perfect morning routine for someone that is outdoorsy and enjoys being in nature.
27. Say Positive Affirmations
Usually, I say positive affirmations in the last minute or two of my time of meditation. Other times, I use a section on the Morning Upgrade cards to write out one or two. Saying positive affirmations is one of the fastest ways to put yourself in a good mood. It will give you the boost you need to get the day started.
28. Watch An Inspirational Video
My podcast guest Alan Lazaro likes to start his morning by watching an inspirational video. This is a great routine to get into because it speaks positivity into your life. This is one of the best starting points for your morning.
29. Get A Few Tasks Completed
Some people find it very helpful to start off the day by getting a task completed or checking a few things off of their to do list. My guest Abby Ianniello does this each day. For her, being productive is the beginning of a great morning. If this is something you want to add to your morning routine, I recommend you stick with the most important tasks that will help you move the needle forward.
30. Take A Walk
A good morning routine can include taking a walk outside or on a treadmill. When you spend time focusing on your health, you will get a natural boost. That doesn’t mean your whole morning routine has to be focused on exercising, but you can add a few minutes to what you do. I only move for about 5 minutes each morning to get the day started.
31. Limit Your Decisions
One of the least talked about morning routine ideas is to limit your choices first thing in the morning. This could mean you pick out your clothes for the day the night before, eat the same thing every day, or skip breakfast altogether like I do. My podcast guest Terry Herring talks about limiting his choices first thing in the morning and how it helps him keep from hitting decision fatigue too early on in the day.
32. Don’t Check Your Phone
My guest Nik Kennett talks about how he likes to go for a run as part of his best morning routine, even when he is out traveling the world. He also likes meditation and reading his Bible first thing as well. As part of his mission for a healthy work life balance, he doesn’t check his phone before he completes his important tasks. It’s a good reminder to avoid inputs before you do your most important self care tasks in the morning.
33. Start Your Morning Routine The Night Before
Andrew Majewski, one of my podcast guests, talks about how he makes a to do list the night before so he can wake up knowing what he wants to do. It only makes sense that a good day starts out the night before. Getting things together in advance is even more important especially if you are not a morning person.
34. Stretch For a Few Minutes
Now that I have been taking Krav Maga for a few months, I’ve found that stretching is really important for my self care. My guest Jane Tornatore shares that stretching is one of the things she does for a few minutes each morning after she feeds her cats and it helps her feel refreshed.
35. Spend Time With Your Pets
If you are a person that has dogs, cats, or other pets, you will likely need to take care of them first thing in the morning anyway, so it makes sense to spend time with them. You can do this by taking them for a walk so you both get exercise, sitting with them while you rest after working out, or petting them. Spending time with your pets is a great way to reduce stress.
36. Drink Coffee
Many people would consider drinking coffee part of an ideal life and important to start their day. There are benefits to drinking coffee at the beginning of the day because it can give you a boost, especially if you are not a morning person. But, you do have to be careful because there is such thing as drinking too much coffee. It can cause you to struggle to sleep at night or make you jittery.
37. Watch Birds
My guest Greg Lewis likes to sit out on his porch in the morning while he reads his Bible. While he sits quietly, he has the opportunity to watch birds that are out gathering food and bedding. It’s a calming way to start the day.
Whether you are visualizing your future or having a successful day, visualization is a powerful mindset tool. Bryan McFarland shares how visualization is part of his morning routine. He talks about how he visualizes the work he has to do later on. For example, if he has a call with someone, he visualizes how that call will go and the outcome.
39. Get Dressed
I had my daughter, Nicolette, on the podcast to talk about her morning routine. One thing she does every single day is to get up and change out of her pajamas. Even if she doesn’t have anywhere to be later on, she makes it part of her routine to get ready for the day she wants to have. You can add this to your morning routine by picking out an outfit that you feel good in and prepared for the day.
40. Memorize a Verse or Affirmation
Simply repeating the same thing over and over can help you memorize it over time. However, you can make intentionally remember a verse or affirmation as part of your morning routine. Do this by repeating the phrase, journaling it out, or however you best memorize things.
41. Go To The Gym
While I prefer working out at home, there are a lot of people that go to the gym as part of their morning routine. This can be very beneficial for those that have limited home space or just want that extra motivation to exercise. Surrounding yourself with other people that are working out can be very motivating.
42. Take Deep Breaths
You wouldn’t necessarily think of taking deep breaths as part of self care, but it can be highly beneficial to your well being. Deep breathing will help you feel awake, reduce anxiety, improve your mood, and more.
43. Get In The Shower
Some people need to get under the water to feel awake in the morning. It makes sense to add this as part of your routine if you need it to help you wake up. One thing I recommend is that you make the last few minutes of your shower a cold shower. I always like to find ways to habit stack so I am optimizing the routines I already have.
44. Review Your Calendar
The best morning routine is the one where you are not distracted. Maybe you need to review your calendar like my guest Jasmine Rice. Before she gets the day going, she looks over her calendar to remind herself what she needs to be prepared to do. Another thing she does is make sure drinking water is part of her routine so she can stay hydrated.
45. Sit Still And Be Quiet
Not too dissimilar to meditation, but sitting still and being quiet is a good habit to get into. The difference here is that you are not necessarily trying to clear your mind. Instead, sitting still and being quiet can allow you to think through things your mind needs to work through. You may find that you come up with solutions to problems you’ve been having or have a new idea you want to work on.
46. Use The SOAR System
My guest Karl Staib shares how he ends his day by using the SOAR system. You could just as easily make this part of your morning routine. He spends 15 minutes going through each of the letters of the acronym (simplify, observer, appreciate, reflect).
47. Reflect On The Day Before
One thing I added to my night routine, but you could easily do in the morning, is to reflect on the previous day. Write down what went well and what could have gone better. This will give you an idea of what you need to change moving forward…or what can stay the same. Reflection is important because it makes you aware of how your decisions have affected you both positively and negatively.
48. Spend Time With Your Family
Many of my show guests talk about spending time with their kids or significant other as part of their morning routine. Spending time with your family can be a good way to end a time of self care, but I wouldn’t put it in place of doing things on your own. Rather…it would be a good way to end your routine.
49. Listen To Music
Incorporating music that inspires you, excites you, or motivates you is a good way to help yourself feel energized and wake up. Play music while you workout, meditate, or get ready for the day. You could also sing in the shower or dance around your room to get in extra movement.
50. Listen To A Podcast
I mentioned earlier on that you can listen to educational videos, podcast, or other things to invest in your own self education. However, there are other types of podcasts you may want to consider adding to your morning routine. Get outside of your comfort zone on the podcasts you listen to and find ones that expose you to things you wouldn’t normally consume.
51. Clean Up Around Your House
Taking action tends to lead to more action…so cleaning up a little bit around your house can help you feel motivated to tackle your projects. Set a time for 5-10 minutes and pick up as much as you can in that time. You’ll feel a small sense of accomplishment that can have a lasting effect all day.
52. Massage Yourself
You can use a foam roller, electric massage, or your hand to wake up your muscles through massage. This will improve your blood flow and mobility. Consider doing this after you workout as a way of recovery and then allow yourself to rest for a little while before moving forward with the rest of your day.
53. Write A Love Note To Your Significant Other
If you have a significant other, consider writing a love note to them each morning. It doesn’t have to be long, but can help you feel connected to them. You can do the same thing for your kids and put it in their lunch or write a sticky note for someone at work.
54. Do Creative Work
One thing I’ve learned in the optimize.me program is that doing creative work as part of your morning routine can help you feel like you’ve won the day before it’s really gotten started. What is something that you are passionate about that you can do first thing in the day that will help you feel like you’ve really accomplished something? Figure out what that is and then make it part of your routine.
I hope that these routine ideas will help you put together your own process that will help you start your day off right. There’s no right way or one way of doing this….which is why I gave you a long list of morning routine ideas you can use for inspiration.
If you aren’t currently doing a morning routine, my recommendation is that you start off small. Do this by committing to spending 5 minutes doing something that is important to you. This could be exercise, meditation, pray, or any of the things listed in this blog post.