Last week we explained the importance of establishing a morning routine. This week we are sharing morning routine habits to get your day started right. I continue to test these routines daily.
Everybody is going to have their own goals for the morning and differing amounts of time available before responsibilities kick in. This post will share a 60-minute routine with some shortcuts to make it into a shorter 30-minute routine. We hope this post provides you with some improvement ideas and inspires you to either improve your current morning routine or begin a morning routine that gets your day started right.
Morning Routine Habits: Assumptions
Members of the Personal Kaizen community will have varying objectives and times available for a morning routine (although you can always decide to wake up earlier.) Here are the assumptions being used for this post:
- You have 30 or 60 minutes available for a morning routine before starting your day. Starting your day means focusing on kids or partner, leaving your house or apartment for work, sitting down in your home office, or otherwise ending time focused on your needs.
- Breakfast is included in these morning routines. If you don’t eat breakfast your morning routine can be much shorter.
- We are not including any cardio exercise in this routine. If you plan to exercise in the morning you will want to get your workout clothes out the night before so you are ready to go!
60-Minute Morning Routine
This is the routine I follow most days when I am working from the home office or don’t have a client meeting. Since I have kids, I often begin the day with this 60-minute routine and then help the rest of the family with breakfast and school prep.
Here is my current routine:
- Wake up on time. This is the key to a morning routine. Using these bedtime routine tips will help.
- Snooze or relax for 5-minutes in bed. Most experts say not to do this, but I enjoy a few minutes to wake up rather than jumping up as soon as my alarm goes off. The extra few minutes helps me relax and feel less stressed about the day. If you plan to spend 5 extra minutes in bed just set your alarm to go off 5-minutes earlier.
- Get up and make my bed. This is only a partial job since my spouse is still in bed, but takes me about 5-10-seconds.
- Put on some loose clothing and go to the bathroom.
- Drink a full glass of water while I make a pot of coffee. Note that I don’t drink the coffee until later in the morning, but like it to be made fresh. My spouse likes when I make it too!
- Stretch using my iPhone app. This routine takes about 6-7 minutes.
- Meditate for 3-5 minutes. I end my stretching routine on the floor and stay there to perform a simple breathing meditation. I typically relax enough to breathe in for a 6-count, hold for a 12 count, and exhale for a 12 count.
- Feed the pets. As much as I want to focus on myself before the rest of the family wakes up, we have a dog and cats that are all asking to be fed. This usually takes about 5-minutes. Sometimes I start my breakfast cooking first.
- Make breakfast. I enjoy eating a healthy breakfast every morning. Sometimes I make extra for others in my family. Please add a comment below with what you suggest eating or if you are looking for healthy suggestions. I often wake the rest of the family before I eat my breakfast.
- Eat breakfast and identify the priorities of the day. It usually take me 10-15 minutes to eat my breakfast. This is a great time to review the calendar and priorities of the day.
- Shave, shower, and brush my teeth. By this time, my spouse is awake and I can safely use the bathroom without waking her. I shave and shower, finishing with a cold shower.
- Dress for the day. I put on my clothing for the day, ready to go help the rest of the family or head to the office!
30-Minute Morning Routine
This is the routine I like to follow when I need to get out the door early to meet with clients. I often hop in the car right after this abbreviated routine:
- Get up and make my bed. No time to snooze in my 30-minute routine! I still take 10-seconds to make my side of the bed.
- Shave and shower. I need to get going quickly so take about 10-minutes to shave, shower , and put on my work outfit. I typically have my clothes ready and laid out the night before.
- Drink a full glass of water while I make a pot of coffee. The coffee I make will go into a travel mug for the car ride.
- Complete my three simple stretches. This routine takes about 1-2 minutes. I don’t meditate other than a few slow breathes during my stretching.
- Make breakfast. I usually prep a bowl of oatmeal or other healthy breakfast the night before. It only takes a few minutes to cook while I am stretching. It takes me about 10-minutes to eat. If it is really earlier I will skip breakfast and bring healthy snacks with me.
- Eat breakfast and feed the pets. I am getting out the door quickly so feed the pets while I eat my breakfast. I may also make some lunch and prep a coffee too.
- Brush my teeth. This is a good habit I won’t skip even if late!
- Pack my bag and prep my coffee. I wrap up my morning with packing up my computer before saying my good-byes to the family and heading out the door.
Additions and Alternative Routines
Here are some good habits to consider adding to your morning routine if you decide to make the time:
- A short exercise routine (that will raise your heart rate).
- Taking a walk (maybe with your dog).
- Daily journaling. The writing is great for your brain. Try focusing on gratitude.
- A longer stetching or meditation routine. Yoga is a nice combination of the two.
- Relax by reading a chapter in a book.
- Get some sunshine! Combine this with another part of your routine. It will lift your mood.
- Complete a puzzle. I consider this exercise for my brain. Try chess, sudoku, or a word puzzle.
- Spend 5-minutes to learn. This is an incredible hack that, if repeated as a habit, will allow you to develop a valuable new skill or ability.
Habits to Avoid in your Morning Routine
Work hard to exclude these items from your morning routine:
- Not getting out of bed. Get up on time to avoid issues.
- Varying your wake-up times. I have learned that one key to a great morning is sticking to a schedule. Don’t sleep in on the weekends – enjoy a longer morning routine instead. Now that I stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up time I find myself waking up a few minutes before my alarm on most mornings.
- Checking your email, replying to messages, social media, etc. Avoid your phone altogether!
- Watching television. This is another screen to avoid. Especially avoid watching any negative news. Enjoy the quite instead. Or, in my case, enjoy multiple pets staring at you.
- Drinking coffee or tea too early. Your body won’t benefit as much from caffeine in the first few hours of the morning. Drink water instead.
Get Your Day Started Right
We hope this post has motivated you to establish a few new morning routine habits. Feel free to ask questions or share some of your best habits with our community in the comments below.