If you’re interested in self-improvement, you’re familiar with the idea of having a morning routine. Those who have a morning routine understand how helpful they are. It’s a way for you to center yourself and start your day on the right foot. Maintaining a consistent morning routine can keep you focused and boost your productivity throughout the day.
There are also a ton of misconceptions about what a morning routine has to look like. The dozens of articles on websites across the internet can trick you into believing that your day is useless unless you’re up before the sun. You might think you have to cram as many activities into your routine as a wellness retreat would.
These unrealistic ideas of a morning routine are what keep many from setting out and starting one. There are no hard and fast rules for what your morning should look like. It shouldn’t be a source of stress and you don’t have to accomplish everything that the blogs would have you believe.
If you want to build a morning routine but haven’t been able to yet, or you used to have one but it tapered off, you’re in the right place. You can create the perfect way to start your day, one that works for you and sets you up for success.
What is a morning routine?
A morning routine is a set of actions and activities that you perform in the morning after waking up. They usually take place before moving into the primary activity of your day, usually going to work or school.
Since much of your day is occupied by completing tasks for others, your morning routine is strictly for you. It’s a practice you can use to get right with yourself before you have to interact with anyone around you.
Morning routines can be as short and simple or as in-depth and intricate as you like. Some people take a few moments to breathe and center themselves before getting out of bed, have a glass of water, and move into their day. Others benefit from a longer routine that includes activities such as working out, journaling, or learning a skill.
The most important thing to remember is there is no right or wrong way to set up your morning routine. Especially when it comes to the time your alarm goes off at. Starting the day at 4:45 AM doesn’t work for everyone and waking up at 7:00 AM doesn’t make your routine any less effective.
It completely defeats the purpose if you force yourself to wake up early to adhere to some arbitrary idea of what your routine should look like, but then spend the entire day exhausted. It doesn’t matter what anyone else’s morning routine looks like. Yours only needs to be one that works for you.
Why is it important to have one?
Every day is full of countless possible distractions. Distractions can create a crack in your day as soon as you pick your phone after waking up. There are lunches to make, kids to get to school, traffic to battle through, work emails to respond to. Nonstop notifications pull your attention in dozens of directions throughout the day.
Your morning routine places a buffer between your waking moments and your active day. It gives you a chance to set your mind on a positive path before letting the day’s distractions take over. You might notice it’s easier to spin out or feel more reactive when you don’t take the time to set yourself up for success before starting your day.
Your morning routine is a time for you to incorporate a few activities that feed your wellbeing. Doing positive things that make you feel good from the moment you wake up releases dopamine in your brain. This early-morning dopamine dump sets you on the right path to take on your day, whatever it might include.
How do you set up a morning routine?
There’s no wrong way to set up a morning routine. You can’t make a mistake with the schedule you create. The only opinion about your routine that matters is your own. Make sure you start your day at a time that allows for a good night’s sleep every night. This might mean your weekday routines look a bit different than your weekend routine. Again, there are no rules to this. So how do you set up a morning routine?
Select a few things that are important to you
Pick some activities that are important to you and feel like “wins” when you complete them. Starting your day out by completing tasks that are wins in your world sets the pace for the remainder of it. Making your bed the moment you get up is a great way to start your routine; it’s an easy win and your first positive choice for the day. Try including some of the following:
- Write in a journal
- Read a few pages in a book
- Brew a pot of coffee
- Go for a walk or run
- Lift weights
- Practice yoga
- Play an instrument
- Take a shower
Set up your morning routine and make adjustments as you go
Consistency is the most important thing when it comes to your routine. Choose things you’ll want to do each morning. This might mean starting small while you get used to the practice. Try it out every day for a week or two and see how you feel each day. Make any adjustments you need as you go along. Start earlier or later or add in or take away activities as needed.
Give yourself room to make mistakes
While there’s no real way to make a mistake when it comes to your morning routine, give yourself some room to “mess up.” If you wake up late one day that doesn’t mean your routine is completely thrown off. Sometimes an activity might carry over and leave less time for another. Adjust your schedule or timing or activities if you need to. All that matters is you keep going until you find something that works for you!