What’s your morning routine?
Do you have one—or better yet, do you have a productive one?
I used to have a pattern of things I would do every morning: hit snooze on my alarm several times, immediately hop on my phone and begin checking my messages, socials, etc., roll out of bed and make coffee, get ready, then leave for work.
It took me about a year of reading self-help books and listening to podcasts to recognize that this morning pattern was not producing the days I wanted to have—let alone the life I wanted to have.
You may be thinking, “What’s the big deal?” Or, “I don’t have time.” Or, “I’m not a morning person.”
Let me help you squash those excuses.
“What’s the big deal?”: the way you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. Your day to day routines direct the course of your life. Although we don’t have control over what happens to us in life, we do have control over the actions we take to respond to it—and a morning routine is one action we can initiate to prepare us for anything that comes our way.
“I don’t have time”: every person in this world has the same 24 hours in a day. If you can spend 1 hour scrolling Instagram, you can wake up 1 hour earlier to carry out a morning routine. And trust me, the latter is going to be way more worth that “time you don’t have”.
“I’m not a morning person”: You are what you say you are. Simple as that. I wasn’t a “morning person” either, until I made a vow to bettering myself and committing to a morning routine that eventually turned me into a morning-lover.
Over the course of the past two years I’ve developed a new and improved morning routine that gets me fired up and puts me in the right mindset for the day. It doesn’t matter if I’m at home or travelling, this morning routine is a must for me, not a “should”—therefore I make it happen.
The very first thing I do after I wake up (by the first alarm, no “snoozing”), is get out of bed and drink a full Klean Kateen serving of water (20 oz). Our bodies are comprised of 50-75% water. Starting your day off by feeding your body with its natural necessities is a great way to wake up your organs and service yourself.
After my water I roll out my yoga matt, sit cross-legged on the floor, and meditate. My meditation routine includes randomly choosing one of the many guided meditation videos I have saved in my YouTube library. They all range from 10-20 minutes.
Your brain is a muscle, you need to exercise it. Morning meditation is one of the best things you can do to develop a strong mindset that will get you through life…and trust me, it does get easier with practice!
While I’m still in a relaxed state from my meditation (and already on my yoga matt), I scroll through my YouTube library and choose a quick yoga flow ranging from 10-20 minutes. This practice allows me to foster a deep connection between my mind, body, and soul first thing in the morning.
Getting your body moving, stretching out your muscles, and building up your heart rate upon wakening is crucial to your body’s overall functioning throughout the rest of your day.
Once a week, I wake up an hour earlier and run a 5k (after my water, meditation, and yoga of course!)
Running is my cardio of choice, and I enjoy waking up before the sun and running on an outdoor fitness track beside the ocean where I live in Thailand. There’s nothing more propelling than the sight of the sunrise over the sea and a motivating podcast to get me through 3.2 miles.
Aside from this one day, my fitness routine takes place in the afternoons; so every other day I just skip right to the next step in my morning routine.
After getting nice and warmed up from my yoga sesh (or running sesh), I take a cold shower. This was really, really tough at first, but as with all things, it becomes easier with practice. It’s refreshing and wakes you up quicker than a cup of coffee will!
A cold shower has both physiological and mental benefits. The bottom line is this: taking a cold shower is uncomfortable. The more you train your mind to push past situations that it wants to resist, the more you will have control over your mind and your life.
*Check out Wim Hof for more on this
I always dedicate a portion of my morning to feeding my mind. Some days I read a chapter of the current book that I am on. Other times I read through a journal of inspirational quotes that I’ve collected/journal my own thoughts. Or I will throw on a podcast while I finish getting ready.
Flooding your brain with either of these tools is a guaranteed way to put your mind in a growth-state and generate a positive mindset for the rest of your day.
After I feed my mind, it’s time to feed my stomach. I do a 16/8 intermittent fast during the weekdays, so I am ready to eat by this time in the morning.
My go-to breakfast usually includes overnight oats or smoothie/yogurt bowls. This is also the time I have my morning coffee—black with cinnamon, a splash of coconut oil, or some kind of nut milk.
Not everyone is a breakfast person, and many people argue on its importance, but I’ve found this is what works for ME, my energy levels, and controlling my metabolism for the rest of the day.
Once I have taken care of my body, mind, and soul; I am ready to interact with the rest of the world. After ALL my morning routine is finished, I check my phone.
I absolutely love being social, connecting with people, and generating conversations—but I know that I cannot put my best foot forward in these interactions if I do not take care of myself first (the ol’ “you can’t pour from an empty cup thing” applies here).
When the first thing you do when you open your eyes is check your phone (texts, emails, social media), you are instantly flooded with things from your outer world. This immediately pulls you out of the present moment by causing your mind to think (or worry) about the day ahead. Everything on your phone can wait 30 minutes-1 hour after finishing your morning routine, I promise.
Your mind is at its most critical, vulnerable state in the morning. What it receives during this time determines its functioning throughout the rest of the day (you ever get bad news in your morning email that puts you in a permanent funk all day?) Therefore, it’s crucial that you cater to your mind, body, and soul upon the first hour of awakening.
It takes 21 days to make a habit. Which means figuring out and implementing a perfect morning routine can take months (even years) to do. After twenty-five years I have finally figured out a flow that works for me, but remember, what works for one person won’t always work for the next! It’s important to develop a morning routine that works for YOU, and one that changes as you develop and grow.
With all the things that are uncontrollable in this life, your actions are the one thing that are. Start your day off with ones that serve you.
I’ve created an eBook with “10 Tips for a Productive Morning Routine” + a Planner + a Tracker.
Use the link below to get your FREE eBook and start crushing your morning routine!