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Morning Routines - How To Start Your Day Right

Mornings are difficult for many. But, handling them effectively is crucial to set the tone of your day. A morning routine can be your deal-breaker.

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Morning Routines - How To Start Your Day Right
By Tymber Aldaine
March 06, 2020

Mornings. Some walk out the door already feeling like they’ve accomplished half of the things they need to achieve that day.

While some stumble out the door barely awake, with no breakfast, and with only enough time to get to work on the dot.

If you’re one of the first, that’s great! But, if you’re more of the latter, it is also all right. It happens.

Besides, mornings are different for everybody. However, one thing that many people seem to agree on is mornings are essential.

In fact, the first minutes or hour of your morning can make or break your day. And that’s where morning routines come in.

Why Are Morning Routines Important?

Mornings are stressful for many people. But, handling them effectively is crucial to set the tone of your day. And a morning routine can be the deal breaker to your day.

It can help you be more productive and increase your achievements in the day.

person writing bucket list on book
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

But, of course, having a morning routine isn’t all about ticking off all the boxes.

It is more about starting your day right to have the motivation and the right state of mind.

This would allow you to handle your to-do list more efficiently. And it would help you face challenges without drowning yourself in stress.

Benefits of Having a Great Morning Routine

Physical Health

Stress can come from different aspects of your life. But, one thing that can help with that is routine. It offers your daily life structure and organization.

A morning routine especially enables you to deal with challenges that can lead to stress. For one, morning routines promote better sleep.

By knowing the rhythm of your body well and incorporating it into your morning routine, you get the best of your dozing hours.

woman in gray knit sweater mixing coffee during daytime
Photo by Alex Boyd on Unsplash

Morning routines also allow you to use your morning hours more efficiently.

Here, you have the opportunity to prioritize healthy breakfasts or a good workout.

Mental and Emotional Health

Most of the time, how you manage your day affects your mental and emotional wellbeing.

When you’re in a rush or when you’re drowned in an ocean of tasks, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. In addition to that, you might also feel frustrated, sad, and stressed.

stressed and desperate businesswoman

Over time, this can affect your overall outlook, motivation, and productivity. That’s why it’s crucial to have a point of stability in your daily life like a routine.

According to a study, creating a morning routine helps lower stress, anxiety, and depression levels. And it helps increase your life satisfaction levels.

Another study from the University of Toronto also found that morning people reported higher levels of happiness.

This stability will allow you to feel more motivated and be more resilient in times of stress.

Better Productivity

Morning routines can help you get a better grip on your schedule. And it can help you avoid being a slave to it.

With a morning routine, you can focus better on what needs to be done and how to use your time efficiently.

According to Harvard biologist Christopher Randler, mornings are when people are their most proactive and productive.

And in another study, researchers found that self-control is often most reliable at the beginning of the day. And it dwindles as the day progresses.

This means that you can anticipate problems early on and find efficient ways to minimize them immediately. It also means that you’ll have more motivation to face the day.

working business woman relaxing before office window

You can expect your needs, be confident about them, and be eager to tackle it.

Remember, productivity is not always about getting more done in a day. Sometimes, it is also about the quality and effort you put into the work.

Peace and Structure

Morning routines give you a piece of structure in your everyday life. And it gives you a direction from where to move forward every morning.

This gives you a free and productive draft of your day. But, it also doesn’t force you to do everything by schedule. It actually gives you leeway without you feeling guilty about it.

In addition to that, a morning routine also allows you to practice intentional mindfulness, meditation, and the like.

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This, combined with your increased productivity, can have you coming home more at peace and a little happier with the day’s achievements.

Plus, having a little more time in the morning to get the little things out of the way can do wonders for your overall peace at the end of the day.

The Key To Starting Your Morning Routine

A lot of successful people around the world can attest to the effects of a great morning routine.

People like the late Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, Michelle Obama, Barrack Obama, and Disney CEO Robert Iger all rise before 6 a.m.

However, as tempting as it is to copy their routines and wait for success, everybody is different. What works for them might not work for you.

It is acceptable to get some key points from their routines. But, your morning routine can only be effective if it is exclusively tailor-made for you and your intentions.

Here are some tips for conjuring up the right morning routine for you.

Tips For An Awesome And Effective Morning Routine

1. Set Your Intentions

Habits need purpose. To have a morning routine that would stick, it would make sense for you to know your intentions for it. Know your “whys.”

This would help you figure out your goals for setting a routine. And it would also help you customize the parts of your routine to your needs.

planned events on calendar date circled illustration

Some of the things you can consider planning out here are what time you want to wake up and what time you want to leave the house.

You could also think about how to line up your activities for the morning.

2. Figure Out Your To-Dos and Not-To-Dos

Adding new habits is difficult. But, sometimes, getting rid of the old bad ones is more laborious. That’s why not-to-do lists can also help you a lot in creating your morning routine.

girl in striped t-shirt figuring bad habits

Aside from tracking the right habits, it is also wise to keep track of the practices you shouldn’t be doing. For example, you might want to stop checking social media first thing in the morning.

You might also want to stop spending an hour on the television each morning. Stuff like that that you think aren’t beneficial to your mornings could fall on this not-to-do list.

To truly make sure this works, set up barriers and obstacles for you to avoid falling back into these habits. Then, replace them with your healthier to-dos.

3. Plan When To Start Your New Routine

Not everybody’s schedule is the same. Some have a stable schedule, while some have shifting schedules.

So, plan when to jump into your new routine. Ease into further adjustments. And if possible, make a small backup routine plan just in case you fall behind a little in your adjustment period.

If you’re one of those people with a shifting schedule, you have more freedom to do your routine at your convenience. You can only focus on the actions of your routine.

4. Ease Into Your Routine

A great and productive morning routine takes work. And the key to building that is to take things one at a time.

tattooed girl drinking coffee in bed at morning

Rather than just jumping into your plan, try adding your new morning habits one by one. Then, gradually work your way up. Don’t rush. This would help the habits stick better.

According to a study, it takes an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. And it ranges from 18 to 254 days to form a new habit.

That’s why it’s important to pace yourself. This way, you’ll also avoid overwhelming and discouraging yourself.

5. Listen To Your Body

When planning out your morning routine, give yourself enough time to ease into wakefulness. Find a way to stop hitting that snooze button repeatedly.

Because according to sleep medicine physician W. Christopher Winter, snoozing can leave you feeling more tired. One way you can avoid this is to wake up at your time.

This doesn’t mean waking up when you want to. It’s more about being in tune with your body clock. According to, your body knows when it should do something, and when it shouldn’t.

That’s why night owls and people who start their day later can still be as productive as those who start it in the crack of dawn. So, if you can’t be part of the 5 a.m. club, don’t force yourself.

young man and dog are sleeping together behind small clock

Be in tune with your body, get enough sleep, and wake up when your body is ready.

If your body clock isn’t in line with your goals, though, make adjustments. Change your behaviors little by little to adjust it.

Being in tune with your body like this is more beneficial rather than forcing yourself to wake up before your mind is even ready. It will result in a more productive day.

6. Plan at Night

Sometimes, the beginning of a productive morning routine starts from the night before.

If there are things that you can do to make your mornings a lot smoother, do it before bed. These can include choosing your clothes for the next day and deciding what’s for breakfast.

Advanced planning like this not only helps your mornings, but it also helps the entire day run smoother.

Everyone only has a limited amount of willpower and decision-making ability a day. And it is usually the highest in the morning.

So, instead of exhausting it and draining your brain right at the start of your day, do these small decision-making tasks the night before.

This way, you can use the height of your willpower to do more critical tasks and have a more productive day.

7. Be Flexible

different alarms set for weekdays

A genuinely effective morning routine is one that is flexible. This allows you to adjust and adapt as needed. And it helps you find what works and let go of what doesn’t.

Remember, morning routines aren’t about perfection. It’s about developing habits that will help you live happier and more productively.

You might find a morning routine that works now but won’t work in the future. You might also find a part of your routine that doesn’t bring you joy anymore. So, always be open to change.

8. Be Consistent

An essential part of creating a routine is consistency. It will be difficult at first, especially if you’re new to it all. But you have to persevere. It will become more natural over time.

yawning woman waking up portrait

And as you start feeling and seeing its positive impacts, you’ll be more motivated. Soon enough, you might end up enjoying it much.

If you experience a slip-up, don’t worry. Don’t beat yourself up over it. And simply jump back into it the next day. Like all good things, building a great routine needs work.

Some Habits You Can Add To Your Morning Routine

If you’re looking for where to start on creating your new morning routine, here are some habits that can help you start your day right.


close-up of woman holding glass of water

An excellent way to start the day is to drink a glass of water. This replenishes your body, and it helps wake you up.

Many people also tend to forget to drink water until later in the day. So, better to get an early start.

Get Moving

Any body movement in the morning is better than an hour in bed on social media.

Even a simple stretch in bed is excellent. This helps wake up both your muscles and your mind. And it also eases you into the activities of the day.

Wake Up Your Mind

In addition to moving around, you can also wake your mind by getting some sun.

Sunlight signals your body that it’s time to wake up. And it’ll leave you feeling a little more refreshed.

It also helps to take big breaths in the morning. This gets more oxygen in your blood and other organs, which then awakens you further.

Give Yourself At Least 15 to 20 Minutes of No Screen Time

Starting your day off with facing your phone might not be the best way to do it.

Screen lights are harsh for your eyes in your waking moments. So, it’s recommended that you start off with natural light.

Then, wait a little bit before going to your phone. This also helps you avoid being enslaved to technology all day long.

person holding blue ceramic mug and white magazine
Photo by THE 5TH on Unsplash

Fuel Your Body

Your mind and body need the right nutrients to function well. So, try to get a healthy breakfast every day.

This will help you maintain consistent energy levels and help you be more alert and focused.

References and Citations

  1. Clarke, J. (2019, March 15). Benefits of a Morning Routine. Retrieved February 1, 2020, from Very Well Mind:
  2. Edwards, V. V. (n.d.). Perfect Your Morning Routine With 10 Research Backed Steps. Retrieved February 1, 2020, from Science of People:
  3. Frothingham, S. (2014, October 24). How Long Does It Take for a New Behavior to Become Automatic? Retrieved February 1, 2020, from Healthline:
  4. Garnett, L. (2018, October 18). The Scientific Reason Why Being A Morning Person Will Make You More Successful. Retrieved February 1, 2020, from Inc. :
  5. Gutierrez, J. (n.d.). How to Craft Your Very Own Daily Morning Routine. Retrieved February 1, 2020, from The Monk Life:
  6. Health Benefits of Having a Routine. (n.d.). Retrieved February 1, 2020, from Northwestern Medicine:
  7. Hendricks, D. (2014, October 14). 6 Small Changes to Your Morning Routine Will Transform Your Entire Day. Retrieved February 1, 2020, from Inc. :
  8. How to Keep Your Body Clock on Track. (n.d.). Retrieved February 1, 2020, from
  9. Joiner, B. (2018, February 6). The 5 Productive Morning Routines Of Highly Effective People. Retrieved February 1, 2020, from Trello:
  10. Moesgaard, S. (2014, February 8). Your Self-Control Decreases Throughout the Day, Study Shows. Retrieved February 1, 2020, from reflectd:
  11. Randler, C. (2010). Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm. Retrieved February 1, 2020, from Harvard Business Review:
  12. Renee K. Biss, L. H. (2012, June 12). Happy as a Lark: Morning-Type Younger and Older Adults Are Higher in Positive Affect. Retrieved February 1, 2020, from National Center for Biotechnology Information:
  13. Winfield, C. (n.d.). How to Create a ‘Success-Based’ Morning Routine (The Ultimate Guide). Retrieved February 1, 2020, from Chris Wifield: