Create A Powerful (And Realistic) Morning Routine

Transform Your Life with Intentional Morning Rituals

Many people start the day with a blaring alarm clock (maybe hitting snooze a few times), a scroll through emails or social media, and a cup (or two…or three) of coffee. 

But here’s the thing – your morning sets the tone for your entire day. 

According to Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning: “How you wake up each day and your morning routine (or lack thereof) dramatically affects your levels of success in every single area of your life. Focused, productive, successful mornings generate focused, productive successful days — which inevitably create a successful life — in the same way that unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre mornings generate unfocused, unproductive and mediocre days, and ultimately a mediocre quality of life. By simply changing the way you wake up in the morning, you can transform any area of your life, faster than you ever thought possible”.

Benefits of an Intentional Morning Routine 

Having a daily morning routine isn’t about causing additional stress or adding more to your to-do list. It’s about incorporating practices that will help you rejuvenate, reset, and refocus for the day ahead. 

Some of the top benefits of a morning routine include: 

  • Improved mental health and wellbeing
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • More energy, focus, clarity, and confidence 
  • Greater productivity and success 
  • Increased feelings of purpose, connection and gratitude
  • Better time management 
  • Improved quality of work 

Whether or not you’re a “morning person”, incorporating intentional practices that promote self-care and wellness is essential to building the life you desire. By taking the time to fill your cup, you’re more likely to have the mental, emotional, and physical capacity you need for a productive, fulfilling day. 

Powerful Rituals for a Mindful Morning Routine 

Ready to create your own miracle morning? Read on for 10 realistic tips to build your ultimate morning routine.

Keep in mind that this list is in no specific order. Some of the practices will resonate, and some won’t. That’s ok. There’s no perfect equation for everyone. Experiment with different things and observe what works best for you. 

1. Clarify Your Why 

One of the most important steps to creating a powerful morning routine is to clarify WHY you want to do so in the first place. What aspects of your life do you want to shift or improve, and how will your morning routine support that shift? Maybe you want to be more successful at work, lose weight, have more time to connect with your family, or reconnect with your spiritual practice. Whatever it is, make sure your goal is something that truly lights you up.

Too often, we go through life on autopilot, losing sight of our values, dreams and aspirations. Clarifying your ‘why’ will create a sense of purpose and help you stay motivated, especially on those mornings where you’re feeling groggy or uninspired.

2. Start the Night Before

Best way to have a productive morning? Get a head start the night before. 

Planning your day the night before can help increase your morning productivity and reduce the need for important decision-making when your day begins. 

Many successful people spend their evenings getting ready for the following day because it frees up their mornings to get a jump on meaningful work. Try ending your evenings by writing down three things you want to accomplish the next day. 

Additional Evening Routine Tips:

  • Pick out your outfit or gym clothing.
  • Set the coffee maker.
  • Have young kids? Lay out their outfits, prepare breakfast and lunch, and pack their bags the night before.
  • Get off your electronics (yes, even your phone) at least an hour before bed (even better if you leave them outside your bedroom at night).
  • Create a consistent sleep routine and try to go to bed around the same time every night.

3. Avoid the Snooze Button and Stay Off Your Phone

How you wake up is equally as important as what comes afterwards.

Step 1: Avoid the snooze button. 

The unfortunate reality is that going back to sleep after your alarm goes off can actually increase your level of tiredness, since you aren’t able to fall back into a deep sleep. The more you snooze, the more unsettled your internal clock becomes. So make sure to get up when your first alarm goes off. 

If you have trouble rising with the first alarm, here’s a little hack: Simply count down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… then roll out of bed! This five-second rule will help train your brain and help break that pesky snoozing habit. 

Another option: Consider a more gentle alarm – like the Philips Wake-Up Light Coloured Sunrise Simulation or this Light Therapy Lamp. These alarms simulate the sunrise, help you wake more naturally, and are especially beneficial during the winter time.

Step 2: Avoid reaching for your phone!

Scrolling your phone first thing in the morning is the worst form of self-sabotage. As Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post says,  "A big part of my morning ritual is about what I don't do: when I wake up, I don't start the day by looking at my smartphone. Instead, once I'm awake, I take a minute to breathe deeply, be grateful, and set my intention for the day.”

Additional tips for a better wake-up: 

  • Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep. 
  • Set your alarm for the same time every day.
  • Set your alarm out of reach, either across the room or in a different room.

4. Take a Moment for Gratitude 

Practicing gratitude is a life-changing ritual, and can be especially powerful in the morning. By priming your brain with positive information at the very start of your day, you reprogram your mind to have a more upbeat world view. Gratitude makes you happier, more resilient, more likable, and can literally add years to your life. 

Try starting your day with this simple ritual: as soon as you open your eyes, think of three things that you’re grateful for.

Starting your morning on this positive note will carry you through the rest of your day and help you maintain good vibes. You’ll feel more ready and excited to hop out of bed and conquer each day.

5. Hydrate

After sleeping for (ideally) 7-8 hours, your body needs to rehydrate! Dehydration is one of the main causes of feeling tired and lacking energy, so it’s imperative that we drink plenty of water in the morning. Drinking water first thing also helps to fuel the brain, increase alertness, fight sickness, and jump-start your metabolism.

Tips for morning hydration:

  • Keep a glass of water next to your bed and drink it as soon as you wake up.
  • Add a pinch of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon to achieve optimum hydration, boost energy, and support your body with the right balance of electrolytes and minerals. 
  • Don’t go straight for the caffeine. Drink at least one glass of water before your first cup of coffee.

6. Clear Your Mind

When did you last truly spend time with yourself in the morning before rushing into your day? 

Incorporating meditation and/or breathwork into your morning routine is a beautiful way to connect with your mind & body. By nurturing your ability to connect and lovingly witness the spaces within yourself, you’ll become more familiar with them and develop the ability to stay in that space throughout the rest of your day.

If you’re short on time, a meditation practice can be as simple as focusing on your breath for a few moments. It can even be incorporated into other practices, such as walking in nature, driving, or eating breakfast. Simply slow down, take a few deep breaths, and allow yourself to be present with the moment. 

If you have a little extra time, try meditating or practicing breathwork for at least 10 minutes, and work your way up from there. You can even use an app or guided practice from YouTube. Here are a few of my favorites:

7. Move Your Body

Regular exercise and mindful movement comes with tons of health benefits, including better mental health, improved mood, more energy, and increased brain function. 

By incorporating some form of movement into your morning routine, you can:

  • Gain mental clarity 
  • Improve attention span and productivity 
  • Feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and accomplished 
  • Boost your metabolism and energy levels 
  • Decrease depression, stress, and anxiety 
  • Feel more confident 
  • Lower your risk for certain diseases
  • Sleep better 
  • Live a longer, healthier life 

Whether it’s a walk in nature, yoga, pilates, running, strength training, dancing, or your favorite group fitness class – the goal is to find something that feels good for you and your body. By choosing a workout you actually enjoy, you are more likely to stick with it. 

If you don’t have a ton of time in the morning, even just a few minutes of stretching can have amazing benefits. It’s a great way to connect with your body, release tension, improve your posture, and improve your mood. 

Here are a few workouts you can add to your morning routine:

8. Journal With Your Favorite Morning Drink

One of my favorite morning rituals involves journaling with a cup of coffee or a heart-opening cacao. I use this time to reflect, express how I’m feeling, look ahead, and clarify what I want to create in my life. 

Whether you practice morning pages, list your goals and intentions, or write down positive affirmations – a morning journaling practice is a wonderful way to begin a new day with clarity and purpose. 

Here are a few journaling prompts you can use to transform your day:

  • Today I am grateful for…
  • Today I am excited to…
  • Right now I am feeling…
  • My main intention for today is…
  • Today I want to feel…
  • My ideal lifestyle is…

You can also consider and journal about the following questions:

  • What am I ready to release from my life?
  • What things in my life am I most proud of?
  • What personal qualities do I want to nourish and grow?
  • What goals do I want to prioritize?
  • How can I bring more peace and fulfillment into my life?

Consider adding things that stimulate the senses and create a more ritualistic feel – such as a candle, incense, or a warm, comforting beverage. 

9. Feed Your Mind

Starting your day with some form of learning can help bring a new perspective to your life and inspire you to think more creatively. 

Take some time in the morning to read a book, listen to a podcast, or practice a new skill. The key is to learn from the experts. One of the fastest ways to achieve what you want is to model successful people who have already achieved it.

No matter how busy you are, investing even ten minutes towards learning something new every day will help improve your personal and professional growth.

10. Keep It Simple

This is one of the most important aspects of a healthy, sustainable morning routine. Rather than trying to do everything right away (and then giving up), start small and work your way up. 

Use your morning routine as an opportunity to incorporate rituals that will elevate and enhance your life, and don’t judge or shame yourself for not being perfect. Some mornings life just gets in the way, and that’s totally ok. Take these moments as an opportunity to practice more self-love and compassion.

Making small, simple steps to improve each day will ultimately lead to higher productivity and happiness in the long run. Even if you just take one of these habits and add it into your daily routine, you’ll find yourself amazed with the results.

Bonus Practices 

Looking for a little extra inspiration? Here are 10 bonus practices to consider adding to your morning routine:

  • Make your bed
  • Hop in a cold plunge (or take a cold shower)
  • Practice self-care
  • Diffuse essential oils
  • Listen to your favorite music 
  • Call and chat with a loved one
  • Pray
  • Cuddle your pet
  • Water your plants
  • Make a nourishing breakfast

A Note On Breakfast…

I love a good nutritious breakfast. It helps balance my hormones and blood sugar, and gives me the energy I need for a productive day. I always try to eat a healthy meal with a mix of high-fiber carbs, healthy fats, and protein. Some of my favorites breakfasts include:

  • Avocado or hummus toast with mushrooms, spinach, and hemp hearts
  • Egg, tofu, or chickpea scramble with veggies and avocado
  • Protein oatmeal or overnight oats
  • Green protein smoothie 
  • Berry chia pudding 

P.S. – Coffee is NOT breakfast. Caffeine on an empty stomach raises cortisol, stresses the adrenals, and is hugely taxing for your hormones. Make sure to enjoy your coffee with, or after, a nourishing meal. 

Your body is unique, and so are your needs. Understanding how your body works, what food it needs, and how much food (energy) you need to power you through your day is key.

Crafting Your Own Morning Routine 

Your morning routine could be as quick as a few minutes – wake up, drink water, and meditate for 5 minutes – or as long as a few hours, including meditation, yoga, journaling, and a walk in nature. 

What matters, above all else, is that it is realistic and feels good for YOU. 

So sit down and take some time to truly reflect on what your ideal morning routine would look like. Ask yourself:

  • How can I connect with myself on a deeper level every day? 
  • What brings me the most joy? 
  • What practices will support me in reaching my goals?

Your optimal morning routine is about adding simple rituals you can sustain, to continue to grow and bring yourself closer to the person you know you’re meant to be. 

Ready to go? Try implementing at least one new ritual into your routine tomorrow morning!