One of the biggest game changers in my overall well-being is having a reliable morning routine that gives me time to ‘fill up my cup.’ Having a solid morning routine has a huge impact on how I set myself up for success for the day ahead.
Establishing a morning routine is proven to support and improve overall health and wellness. Some benefits of a morning routine include reducing stress, increasing happiness, and promoting productivity. Taking the time to ‘fill up your cup’ in the morning allows you to be the most supportive and fully present version of yourself for the people in your life and for your commitments and responsibilities throughout the day. Creating a morning routine is also a helpful way to begin implementing healthy habits to create more structure in your life.
When I was a teacher after college, I would wake up to a blaring alarm, get ready as fast as possible, and run out the door for work at the last minute. I constantly felt unprepared and rushed and was tired and grumpy before my workday even began. I’ve learned that taking time in the morning to do things I enjoy and that feel good allows me to be in the best mindset for the day ahead.
You may struggle with:
Getting enough sleep
Lacking motivation and accountability
Feeling rushed or hectic
Getting out of bed
Need for perfectionism
Not feeling prepared for the day
Not knowing where to begin
In order to create a morning routine that feels good, you need to break up with the current habits that aren’t serving you. Flip the script to focus on your habits being:
Rewarding: All habits serve you in different ways, so this process involves retraining your brain to focus on how rewarding a habit is and if it supports you in the long run.
Internally Driven: It’s also important to establish why you want to implement these habits. Asking yourself what will make you feel happy, fulfilled, and satisfied allows you to determine if an action is internally driven. When our habits are internally driven, we have intrinsic motivation (rather than external reasoning) which promotes sustainable change.
Prioritized: Creating a sustainable routine is all about how you want to best set yourself up for success by prioritizing your time and being forward-thinking.
When you break up with the current habits that aren’t serving you will learn that having a good routine is game-changing because they:
Create structure for your day
Help you prioritize what’s important and feels good
Reduce decision fatigue: When you have healthy habits established and create structure for your day you don’t have to work or think as hard
Set you up for success
Your morning routine is particularly important because even the first few minutes set the tone for the day ahead.
The best morning routine is one that suits you and your needs. My current morning routine has taken trial and error and practice to find out what works for me. I am currently working on adding in a phone-free 30 which looks like spending the first 30 minutes of my day without my phone or other technology.
My morning routine consists of:
Waking up naturally or using the Whoop alarm for gentle buzzing rather than a loud alarm
Putting my legs up on the wall and listening to a meditation to promote a gentle and motivating start to the day
Make the bed
Brush my teeth, do my skincare routine, and ice my face
Change out of my pj’s into clothes
Make breakfast and coffee
Review my calendar and to-do list for the day
Begin work at my desk
So, let’s think about creating a morning routine that sets YOU up for the best day ahead. In my coaching practice, my clients establish a wellness vision for their best selves. Imagine the best version of yourself that you are aspiring to be. What actions support this vision?
To figure out what your best self needs, ask yourself the following questions:
What fills up my cup?
What makes me happy?
What energizes me?
What makes me feel prepared to take on the day?
If you need support coming up with ideas, here are 30 habits to consider incorporating into your morning routine:
Take a walk
Review your calendar and to-do list for the day
Call a loved one
Read a book
Go for a run
Listen to a podcast
Make your bed
Spend time outside in sunshine
Start a skincare routine
Go to the gym or a workout class
Write out a to-do list for the day
Organize your workspace
Eat a nourishing breakfast
Clean/tidy your living space
Walk to a new or favorite coffee shop
Make a favorite cup of coffee or tea
Listen to your favorite music
Set your intention for the day
Call a loved one
Snuggle with your loved ones
Talk to yourself
Take your supplements/vitamins
Play a game (Duolingo, crossword, Wordle, sudoku)
Drink a full glass of water
Do breathing exercises
Take a shower
I encourage you to start small and ensure you make a goal for your morning routine that is attainable and realistic. I highly recommend that you write your routine down and create environmental supports to keep you accountable. Maybe you will set a reminder on your phone or post a sticky note on your mirror. Also, identify your support system and find an accountability buddy to help support you. For example, maybe you will plan to go for a walk with your roommate or meet your friend at a workout class. Look out for the November Grata Moment Newsletter for my free handout to help make your morning routine an enjoyable part of your day to set you up for success.
Remember that flexibility and giving yourself grace is just as important as consistency and maintaining your habits. For example, when you have a busy week or are traveling, rather than have an all-or-nothing mentality, instead choose a few non-negotiable habits that you hold onto no matter what. This could look like maintaining your daily skincare routine and having a nourishing breakfast.
Last but not least, there is no perfect, one size fits all morning routine. Rather than focus on what others think you ‘should’ be doing, focus on what feels good and works for you. Here's to creating a morning routine that makes you feel good and sets you up for success in the day ahead!