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Realistic Morning Routines - What to Include & Where to Start

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

In my previous blog post, 4 Keys to a Realistic Morning Routine that Get Results, we laid the foundation for what makes a great routine but I didn’t get into the details - on purpose. That was meant to serve as your filter or litmus test for evaluating what to include. 

Now, we can dive into the details of what those activities can be. Below I’ve included some ideas for what to include, tips for how to stay consistent (and effective) as well as some examples from my own routines. This is not an all-inclusive list, merely a starting point to get you thinking about your own. I’ve tested, implemented, and iterated on all of these in one way or another (other than the cold shower - just could never do that one) over the past five years with varying levels of success.

Take what works, skip the others, and add your own. This is your time to design. Let's get started!

Waking up
Waking up

What to Include in Your Morning Routine

The choices are endless, so try something new, something fun, and something that helps you feel better to start the day. Here are 10 of the most common activities for effective morning routines.

  1. Stillness - meditation/mindfulness/prayer/visualization

  2. Mantra/affirmation/gratitude

  3. Walk/bike

  4. Yoga/stretch/foam roll

  5. Workout/exercise

  6. Read/listen to a podcast

  7. Study/personal development

  8. Journal

  9. Cold shower/bath

  10. Hydrate

Serving water
Serving water

Quick Tips for Consistent Morning Routines

There’s a lot of great (and not-so-great) advice out there. Here’s a short list of tips to help you get started and stay consistent with your routine.

  1. Don’t look at your phone or email

  2. Have a schedule (especially if it’s not daily) & mix it up regularly

  3. Schedule off days (recovery)

  4. Prioritize sleep

  5. Set expectations/boundaries for your start time at work

  6. Go to bed early and have your clothes ready the night before

  7. Have an accountability partner/coach /ask for help

  8. Include activities you enjoy

  9. Start simple and small then build

  10. Give yourself permission to have tough days, slow days or miss days

Reading and journaling
Reading and journaling

Morning Routine Examples to Get Started

Designing your routine starts with understanding your priorities, resources, and availability. What matters to you? What outcome are you after? What tools do you have or need? How much time can you consistently dedicate? Answer these questions and the structure will reveal itself.

Start simple and small, then build. Here are three sample routines you can use as a template (these all happen to be iterations of my own routines over the past 5 years):

Sample 1: 15 minutes

  1. Meditate - 5 minutes

  2. Stretch - 5 minutes

  3. Read/Journal - 5 minutes

Sample 2: 30 minutes

  1. Yoga/Stretch - 10 minutes

  2. Exercise/Cardio - 10 minutes

  3. Meditate - 10 minutes

Sample 3: 60 minutes

  1. Yoga/Stretch - 20 minutes

  2. Walk/Bike/Exercise - 20 minutes

  3. Journal/Read - 10 minutes

  4. Meditate - 10 minutes


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