This guest post helps solve a daily problem: the chaos of mornings! Latif offers simple, direct solutions to stress reduction and increased energy by developing a morning routine.
We love morning routine ideas because having a morning routine can set the tone and direction of the day. They help us accomplish specific goals or encourage relaxation and healing.
Establishing a morning routine is a transformative tool that can enhance every aspect of your life. Investing in your mornings creates a ripple effect, influencing your energy levels, mood, productivity, and interactions throughout the day. This guide aims to give you the ability to craft a morning routine tailored to your unique needs and preferences.
A morning routine is a collection of tasks one can do in the morning that are predetermined and intentional. Morning routine ideas are popular because they help people with their productivity and health, get out the door on time, and ensure everything they need to do gets done.
Having a morning routine that everyone in the house is part of contributes to healthy family dynamics and keeps everyone on the same page. Remember, each person and household can have different morning routines for each day of the week. Examples include a school day when all the kids get up, make their bed, get ready, and are fed by a specific time to catch the bus, ensuring you can arrive on time for work, relaxed, and hopefully nourished with breakfast or getting a workout in. Our favorite is a holiday routine; when it is beach time, there is no need for an alarm clock, only a beach towel and maybe a margarita.
The Science of Morning Routine Ideas
Let’s jump into the science of morning routines and understand why they are so effective and popular. The body comprises different systems and performs constantly; we wake up and usually immediately go to the bathroom.
Having a predetermined way allows the brain and the body to form a stronger connection; knowing what to expect or what to do beforehand also reduces anxiety but, more importantly, allows the body to be ready and wake up feeling refreshed.
An example we found very helpful is deciding what to wear – I would wake up and then decide what shirt to choose; sometimes, I would be unable to determine and burn extra time if I couldn’t find the specific item and become distracted and ultimately late. Eventually, I decided what to wear the evening before, and what a world of difference having one less thing to do made! I was excited to wear my new shirt, jeans, or blazer on those more significant days.
We recently watched the Netflix documentary on David Beckham, and we were surprised David Beckham does something similar; he ended up planning his whole week of clothes to wear!
Having a routine everyone in the household is part of creates a teamwork dynamic. Everyone contributes to a common goal. The science shows when a group of people accomplish a common goal, there is increased satisfaction, higher endorphins, less stress, and a more incredible feeling of belonging. All this leads to happiness.
Benefits of a Structured Morning Routine
Having a plan for the morning leads to an increased focus on productivity throughout the day.
Getting to work on time, relaxed, and fully prepared means you don’t spend any time worrying about what was forgotten or being late. You can make major dents in your goals when you show up with a full tank of energy and focus.
Setting a Positive Example
Leading by example for younger family members equips them with the skills to navigate diverse scenarios. It instills in them the ability to reason and link actions to their underlying motives. Such a foundational skill fosters independence and self-sufficiency.
Mental well-being can significantly benefit from incorporating specific techniques into your morning routine: taking time to reflect, journal, digest, and meditate. Taking dedicated time to look after yourself allows for healing, problem-solving, or future planning. I like to incorporate some of these techniques when thinking about my goals to set and objectives to meet or when I feel overwhelmed and need help to chill out. Meditation reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and even pain – so it is worthwhile to incorporate it into your routine if possible.
A structured morning routine carves the ideal space for physical activities like workouts, stretches, weight lifting, yoga, and more. Benefits include fewer distractions from work, the ability to beat the heat of the day if exercising outdoors, healthier food choices, increased focus, and more overall energy, to name a few.
While we all aspire to stay fit, finding the time can be challenging. I’ve made it a point to embed exercise into my morning routine, ensuring consistency. Planning the night before is critical, whether a quick 5-minute stretch or a 25-minute workout. I choose the next day’s exercise based on my needs as I decide on my outfit for the next day. Currently, yoga and stretching are my go-to, especially when my hips feel tight.
Components of Morning Routine Ideas
Here, we will discuss the different aspects to consider when creating your morning routines. You don’t have to have all of them, but if you think these will be useful, try them!
Decide on a wake-up time the night before and aim for consistency daily, even on weekends. Americans, on average, currently sleep only 6.8 hours per night, down more than an hour from 1942. Your body thrives on routine, and you’ll feel more rejuvenated with a steady 7-8 hours of sleep each night. This regularity aids in aligning with the body’s natural circadian rhythm.
Setting a regular bedtime and wake-up time prompts consistent rest, improving sleep quality.
Hydration and Nutrition
Our bodies consist mainly of water; overnight, we tend to lose some of that hydration. It’s essential to start the day with a glass of water as a proactive way to rejuvenate the body. I like to drink 500ml of filtered water from my Brita and squeeze in lime or lemon. I want to consume 1 L first thing in the morning to get a head start on my day.
Morning food choices vary from person to person, influenced by dietary preferences like intermittent fasting, keto, or even personal eating habits. Regardless of your inclination, keeping an array of breakfast options that work best for you is beneficial.
We have a few options pre-organized, and then we take what we like. These include a protein smoothie, oatmeal, eggs, toast with turkey slices, or some fresh fruit.
After sleeping for 5-10 hours, our bodies naturally want movement. Setting aside some time for physical activity invigorates our muscles and boosts our energy levels. Depending on your living arrangement and preferences, you might enjoy a solitary workout or turn it into a family affair.
Does exercise have to be 45 minutes? Even a brief 5-minute routine filled with jumps and stretches can do you wonders. Establish a habit and become accustomed to the rhythm, then you can extend the time. I began with a modest 10-minute routine and have now expanded it to 25 minutes. On busy days, I revert to the 10-minute practice – minimum!
Exercise Options to Consider:
- Yoga for flexibility and mindfulness
- Active stretching to loosen muscles and joints
- Outdoor activities like running or walking for a breath of fresh air
- Hitting the gym for a structured strength workout
- Swimming for a low-impact, full-body workout
- Online cardio fitness classes for convenience and variety
Taking time each morning to look after your peace of mind is essential, including morning prayers, gratitude practice, journaling, breathing, meditation, visualization, and positive affirmations.
These practices help create the mindset for a positive and intentional day. These techniques are fundamental in times of high stress.
Take some time to read, think, learn and plan. Meditation is often recommended first thing in the morning to minimize distractions. A past study highlighted those who consistently meditated usually did so in the morning.
Every individual has activities or moments that lift their spirit and fill them with joy and energy. These personal energizers are as crucial as any structured routine because they offer emotional, mental, and sometimes even physical rejuvenation.
Whether reading a few pages of a beautiful book, listening to a favorite podcast, indulging in a short hobby session, or even just sitting in silence with a cup of coffee, it is imperative to incorporate these moments into your morning. Setting aside time for what is genuinely energizing starts the day with positivity and affirms self-worth. Passions and pleasures are valid and essential!
Based on the article “How to Create a Morning Routine that Benefits the Whole Family” by Justin Coulson, parents should help their children feel they can handle their morning tasks in a way that is appropriate for their age and development. Fostering a sense of autonomy for children is critical for their well-being and motivation.
The article describes practical strategies to support the family getting out the door. These include:
- Prepare the night before – decide on breakfast and lunch and organize clothes for the next day.
- Use a checklist – a visual guide helps children stay on track.
- Wake them up early – give your kids a few extra minutes to get them up and moving.
- Incorporate music
- Connect rather than correct – get the opportunity to connect with your children rather than do everything.
Crafting Your Morning Routine
Firstly, start by considering what type of routine you want to try. Options include weekdays for work, weekends, holidays, and routines for the kids.
Secondly, list the different sections from above, and under each heading, write down 1-3 tasks that you like.
Next, jot down a time estimate for each task to see how much time you need and compare it against how much time you have. If you must be out the door at 8:30 a.m. and wake up at 7:30 a.m., you have 50 minutes (with a 10-minute buffer).
Pro tip: I develop 7-10 items for my morning routine, but success for me is to do 80% of them. I may skip some based on time or feel differently than that day, which gives me some choice if I want flexibility, which is vital to make these routines successful and to stick long term.
Start slow and build up over time; for example, in the first week, have two items, and then add one a week as you get used to it and see the value.
If you want to make a routine where the whole family can participate, include them in the planning and get the buy-in, including your spouse or partner and kids. They can also be a huge help when preparing or eating breakfast.
The best part of a routine is when you complete a cycle and look back and say, that feels good, and I am winning the day. When you have this type of moment, take a beat and celebrate the victory. This great skill and organizational technique will open your day to more possibilities and happiness.
To inspire, here are some well-known people who are huge proponents of morning routine ideas and how they have seen significant success.
- Benjamin Franklin has a famous quote, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
- Oprah Winfrey has talked about her morning meditation and exercise routines, which help her start the day with energy and a positive mindset.
- During his presidency, Barack Obama was well known for beginning mornings with exercise and reflection before tackling the day ahead.
- Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, began his mornings by looking in the mirror and asking himself, “If today was the last day of my life, would I be happy with what I’m about to do?” This reflection helped him prioritize and focus his energy on what mattered most.
- The Huffington Post’s founder, Arianna Huffington, advocates for getting the right amount of sleep and starting the morning unplugged from digital devices. She believes our relationship with technology should not dominate our mornings. Instead, personal rituals like meditation, gratitude practices, and staying present set the tone for a productive day.
Expert Insight on Morning Routines
Some seasoned experts have researched and written extensively on morning routines. Their insights can offer valuable guidance as you create your practice to fit your lifestyle. Some notable examples include:
- Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning: He outlines six practices known as the Life S.A.V.E.R.S to transform morning: Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing.
- Robin Sharma, author of The 5 a.m. Club: Sharma describes the power of waking up at 5 a.m. and spending the first hour of the day as a “Victory Hour” focused on personal development.
- Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek and Tools of Titans: Ferriss focuses on high-performing individuals’ daily habits and routines and frequently asks about morning rituals on his podcast.
- Mel Robbins, creator of The 5 Second Rule: Robbins introduces us to a simple tool to prompt action, which applies to getting up in the morning without hitting the snooze button!
- Tony Robbins, creator of the morning priming routine: Tony is known for his morning “priming” routine, which includes gratitude practices, breathing exercises, and visualization.
- Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way: Cameron’s book describes the concept of “Morning Pages,” a practice of writing three pages of stream-of-consciousness thoughts every morning to clear the mind and boost creativity.
Many people have morning routines; ask your friends, family, and coworkers what they do if you want to get some ideas.
The best routine works for you and gets you energized and in the right mindset to win the day ahead. Experiment and try different techniques and remove the pieces that don’t work for you. Whether you identify as an early riser or a night owl, the objective is to find consistency, intentionality, and joy in your mornings.
If you feel groggy upon waking, look at your sleep patterns and environment. Remember, the goal isn’t to emulate someone else’s routine but to discover what makes you feel alive, focused, and ready to seize the day.
Get started today: write out your morning routine for the next week and share it with a friend or family member!
Win the morning, and you win the day!
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.
Latif Jamani is the owner of Simply Healthy Family and an entrepreneur based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He has traveled to over 35 countries. Quite simply, Latif loves food, traveling, and seeking out new experiences. A secret that no one knows is that Latif used to (occasionally) skip class at university to stay home and watch the “food network.” This exposed Latif to many different techniques and types of food. His favorite hosts are Jamie Oliver, Giada, Barefoot Contessa, Gordon Ramsey, just to name a few.Latif loves to cook and break bread with family and friends in his spare time.Latif has an MBA from INSEAD and is exploring the vast and tasty world of vegetarian cuisines and writes for MSN.