How to create the best morning routine for success

by Beth Graham
coffee pot as I create my morning routine

I took advantage of this quarantine to create a morning routine and I’ve been pretty good about sticking with it three years later. I read how top CEOs, busy executives, and just really cool people like Shonda Rhimes and Oprah both have healthy morning habits. And since I too often find myself, cup of coffee in hand, sucked into the social media blackhole arguing with nitwits on Facebook while my poor dog stands next to my bed squeezing her legs together, I decided that I really needed to realize the importance of a morning routine to start my day off properly.

I had already made that leap of barring myself from checking email first thing in the morning. I read something about not starting your day in a bad mood by an email you open (and I can attest to this as my husband grabs his phone before he pees and gets frustrated over some delegated task). NOT the way to start the day. So I’m proud to say I made this a habit about a couple of years ago. Sadly, social media in today’s world is a trigger for me so I’m trying to break this habit.

What the experts say about having a morning routine

Having a morning routine has lots of benefits according to the experts:

1. Enhanced productivity and focus: A structured start and prioritization can boost your productivity.

2. Improved mental health: Reduce stress and anxiety, and try mindfulness practices like meditation or journaling.

3. Physical health benefits: Exercise and healthy eating can improve your overall physical health.

4. Better sleep patterns: Waking up at the same time every day and getting exposure to natural light can improve sleep quality.

5. Increased resilience and adaptability: A morning routine can provide a sense of control and stability, while still allowing for flexibility to manage unexpected events effectively.

So about my morning routine ideas. It’s a really simple morning routine and even morning-haters can do it. I start by creating a list of things I want to accomplish and things I know I need to tackle first thing in the morning. I have about 124 minutes of creative time in my brain ONLY in the morning before household chores (squirrel!) or other pesky responsibilities (clients, children, dogs, paying bills) distract me. So for me, having my morning coffee while I catch up on the news is first on my list while I get awake. I also use this time to organize the rest of my day. I try to create a daily schedule the evening before but I review it in the morning and shift things as my mood dictates.

I’m also trying to seriously develop a habit of meditation so that’s next on my list. I really want to increase that 124 minutes of creativity and I’m relying on meditation to do it. I like the Calm app. It has different “themed” meditations for things like focus, anxiety, distractions, confidence, gratitude and so much more. I’m seriously addicted to it. I find it’s the best morning routine app.

All in all, I give myself about 90 minutes to accomplish everything on my list. Yes, I have an actual written list. Otherwise I’d forget to do something and then my entire day would be a train wreck and I’d have guilt that I skipped washing my face or something.

Why you need to have a morning routine! Here’s mine: 

  1. Wake (duh) 
  2. Enjoy coffee in bed while I catch up on the morning news
  3. Journal (I have been replacing my scrolling habit with this healthy habit)
  4. Take my morning vitamins – I had to add this to my list because this is one of those things I always seem to forget to do. I take Vitamin B and C and since they are water-soluble vitamins, they should be taken before a meal.
  5. Meditate for a few minutes
  6. Feed/walk the dogs
  7. Pull a mindfulness card (my friend gave me these for Christmas and I love them! I keep the card out on my kitchen counter each day to remind me of its message.)
  8. Morning anti-aging skincare routine
  9. At the moment, I’ve added an extra hour to my morning routine to work on this blog. I’ve neglected it for years and since I only have creative time in the morning, I try to spend one hour a day on it as I attempt to revive it. (Sharing my posts with others would be MUCH appreciated so I can rebuild my readership!)
  10. Workout

The amount of time it takes me to get through my list each morning varies but the important thing is that I get through it. If you’d like to create a morning routine or already have one, I’d love to hear about it! What is your morning routine? Has anyone created a morning routine for kids or a morning routine for school?

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