Over 90% of successful people have an established morning routine. If you’re not one of them, you might want to consider joining the party.
Morning routines offer mental and emotional health benefits throughout the day.
Check out this list of morning routine ideas and examples for the boost you need to start the day.
Why should you have a morning routine?
Setting up the perfect morning routine has notable benefits. Here are just a few of them:
1. It sets the tone for the day
If you start your day rushed, you may find that the rest of your day feels rushed, too. However, if you rise on time and follow a routine you enjoy, the rest of the day flows more easily.
2. It improves your outlook
Following a routine gives you a sense of control to get you off on the right foot. As a result, you’ll be better prepared to navigate any unexpected changes later.
3. It increases productivity
People with a morning routine focus on their priorities, boosting their productivity in the long run.
What should you include in your morning routine?
Establishing a meaningful morning routine involves more than simple preparation.
It includes looking at how your mornings are going and what seems to be lacking.
Consider what you want to achieve and how a routine can help you. Are you looking to feel energized? Or are you seeking a sense of calm before the start of yet another hectic day?
The best morning routine is customized to help you reach your goals. Then, as you narrow down what you want, consider adding movement, reflection, and planning activities.
Adding movement to your mornings has notable health benefits. For instance, research shows a positive correlation between exercise and its effects on physical and mental well-being.
Endorphins have been shown to boost your mood, outlook, and mental health, too.
Note: It is essential to consult a medical professional if you have
any questions or concerns before starting a new exercise program.
With that said, are you ready to get moving?
1. Take a walk
Lace up your sneakers and head outside. Depending on your time frame, walk around the block, head to a nearby park, or put in a few miles. You’ll reap the added benefits of being in nature, which include cognitive and mental health improvements.
If you can’t get outside due to the weather or your current location, hit the treadmill. You can gain those extra steps while watching a favorite show, listening to music, or playing a podcast.
2. Fit in some yoga
Another great way to start your day is by doing yoga, as it can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Physical benefits include improved flexibility, strength, and muscle tone.
Learn some simple poses you can complete independently through an app or YouTube video.
If you’re new to the practice, sign up for a class. Not only will you have advice from a professional, but you will also have increased accountability.
3. Stretch it out
Some simple stretches are all you need to get your body going in the morning.
Stretching offers benefits similar to yoga. Regular muscle stretching helps build strength and improve balance. Muscles tighten over time, and stretching them out regularly increases your flexibility, too.
David Nolan, a physical therapist interviewed by Harvard Health, suggests focusing on a few areas, such as your legs, lower back, or shoulders. He also recommends finding a physical therapist to help you develop a stretching program based on your goals.
4. Go hard
Countless studies have shown the positive effects of a vigorous workout on your physical and mental health. A recent study also indicates a positive association between morning exercise specifically and increased weight loss.
So, why not hit the ground running?
Incorporate a demanding workout into your morning routine to boost your mood, improve your cardiovascular health, and maintain a healthy weight.
- Join a gym to utilize the different equipment and vary your workout.
- Take a Pilates, circuit, or spinning class for support and camaraderie.
- Get in a few miles by running or biking through your neighborhood.
Starting your day with a workout ensures you put your mental and physical health first.
5. Play with the kids (or fur kids)
Play isn’t just for kids. It reduces stress and improves creativity in adults, too.
If you have children, a few minutes spent in play with them may be the best way to start your day. Shoot a few hoops or have a dance party to their favorite music.
Take your dog for a walk or toss a ball for them in the yard. Wake up the cat with his favorite toy and enjoy his attempts to pounce on it.
Are you on your own? Shoot those hoops anyway.
Now that you have some ideas for movement, let’s look at how to incorporate reflection into your morning routine.
Reflect and take care
While physical activity is an important way to take care of yourself, consider the benefits of self-care on your mental health, too. Taking a few minutes in the morning to reflect and set your intentions will improve your mood and outlook over time.
Journaling is a popular method of self-reflection. Some studies have found it offers physical and emotional health benefits.
And the great thing is that you only need a paper and pen or a laptop to get started. You can also establish ground rules, such as a time frame or number of pages to complete daily.
You may reflect on your thoughts and feelings or write according to your stream of consciousness without reservation.
With journaling, there are no editors or proofreaders. It’s only for you — so it can contain whatever you want.
Consider incorporating a gratitude practice into your journal. Noting what you’re thankful for will establish a more positive mindset as you prepare for the day.
Meditation can lead to improvements in your resilience and well-being over time. And one of the positive aspects of it is that you can start small. Even 5 to 10 minutes a day will bring increased focus and purpose to your days.
Find a space where you can sit quietly without distractions. It can be anywhere you like as long as the meditation session is sustained and purposeful.
Explore whether you prefer repeating a mantra or focusing on your breathing while meditating.
8. Be mindful
While mindfulness and meditation are often used interchangeably, there’s a clear distinction. Mindfulness is part of meditation, but you don’t have to start meditating to be mindful.
While meditation is a practice, mindfulness is a state of mind. When you are mindful, you take stock of your environment and reactions.
Practice mindfulness by incorporating your five senses. For example, sit outside in your backyard for a few minutes. Do you see flowers or your newly planted vegetable garden? Are birds singing? Are you sitting on a soft cushion or a hard surface? Can you smell the aroma of your cup of coffee?
Using your senses forces you into the moment itself. Start with mindfulness in the morning. Then, determine how best to implement a mindfulness practice at work.
9. Choose an affirmation
If you want to improve your mindset even more, consider adding a positive affirmation to your daily morning routine.
Affirmations are intended to help you change negative thought patterns over time. You can use an affirmation to address your self-esteem, mood, or attitude.
Affirmations are used with other practices, too. You can repeat an affirmation during meditation or while journaling, for instance.
There are numerous examples of positive affirmations to choose from, including “I am enough” or “I am grateful for all I have.” Find one that suits you.
10. Get creative
Did you know that engaging in a creative activity can enhance your well-being?
Let yourself get creative as part of your morning routine to reap these emotional benefits.
It may be making room for a hobby you enjoy, such as sketching, painting, or scrapbooking. Or it might be engaging in something new. Learn another language, find an intriguing recipe to try, or plan an herb garden.
Adding a preferred or favorite activity ensures you have time for yourself, especially during those hectic days.
You’ve moved. You’ve reflected. Now it’s time to plan.
Plan for the day
Preparing for the day ahead leaves you feeling more purposeful, intentional, and organized.
11. Make it intentional
As you look at your day, don’t just think of it as your to-do list. Set your intentions for the workplace, whether that means kicking off an important project or assigning team members new roles.
Then, turn to your personal life. What are your intentions for yourself, your loved ones, and your home?
Make your personal goals just as important as your work goals.
12. Review your schedule
Another option is to start with your schedule.
What are the goals you hope to achieve? Include them in your daily plan, along with any crucial to-dos.
Use Motion’s Intelligent Calendar to help you sort it out. This feature puts meetings, tasks, to-dos, and personal events into a customized schedule. It sends alerts if you’re overbooked and keeps you updated as you check items off. It even sends you encouraging notes to keep you motivated.
13. Identify your priorities
As you review your schedule, take a look at your priorities.
What is the number-one task on your list? Plan that first. Then, sort through the mid- and low-level tasks you’ll need to get to. Prioritization ensures you don’t end the day frustrated or overwhelmed by not getting to what you should.
Look into the different planners available. Some people prefer the paper and pen format, while others like the ease of daily planner apps.
14. Look ahead
What are you looking forward to?
Days packed with tasks and meetings can get overwhelming. Take a moment to identify some activities that bring you joy, and get them scheduled.
Plan a coffee date with a friend. Buy those tickets for that movie premiere. Book a vacation or plan a cozy staycation.
Reminding yourself of these anticipated activities can give you an immediate mood boost.
15. Eat a healthy breakfast
Make breakfast an essential part of your morning routine.
You might prefer eating the same breakfast every day. But if you want a little more variety, opt for a different meal every day of the week instead.
Whatever your preference, include foods that are high in protein. Eggs, almonds, and Greek yogurt can give you the energy to tackle the rest of your day.
2 morning routine ideas to get you started
Your morning routine should reflect your personal goals. Mix and match some movement, reflection, and planning ideas to ensure you have a meaningful morning.
Here’s one idea:
Roll out the yoga mat and complete some simple poses. Drink a glass of water as you prepare your morning tea. Identify three things you’re grateful for, and write them in your journal before pulling out your planner to review the day ahead.
Start your day with mindfulness as you brew your coffee. Savor the aroma and listen to the sounds coming from the machine. Slip on your shoes and enjoy your cup of coffee as you walk around the block. Once you’re back, pull out your calendar and prioritize your activities for the day.
Now, let’s discuss how to make your morning routine successful from the start.
Set yourself up for success
Establishing the ideal morning routine might not happen immediately. Use these tips to keep you on the right track:
A solid morning routine starts the night before.
Put out your workout clothes and accessories if you plan to work out first thing in the morning. Program the coffee maker to start brewing right when you wake up. Tidy your space so your journal, creative projects, and planners are ready.
If you’re prepared for your activities, you’ll be more likely to follow through on them.
Avoid the screens
Another key to a meaningful morning routine is to avoid screens. Increased screen time is associated with anxiety, depression, and brain fog, so don’t kick off the day this way.
If you set limits on your screens early, you’ll be more likely to stick to this healthy habit.
Decide how much time you’ll need
Map out your new routine to determine the time frames you’ll need for your morning activities.
Try to get up earlier than usual. Research shows that early risers are at a decreased risk of depression.
Revise and adapt as you go, as you may need more or less time, depending on your goals.
Decide how you’ll hold yourself accountable. Starting a new routine is similar to creating a good habit, which isn’t always easy.
Plan a reward for meeting your goals, such as a new journal or running shoes.
Before you know it, the benefits of the routine itself will be the reward.
Make Motion part of your morning routine
Morning routines may take time to establish, but they don’t have to be difficult.
From this list of morning routine ideas, which ones stand out? Which ones feel easy to implement? Start with one and build your routine from there.
Before you know it, you’ll have established a morning routine that sticks.
Contact Motion to get started with a risk-free trial today.