An Almost Perfect Guide To Creating Your Morning Routine
If I can do 5 out of the 10 things I want to do in the morning I consider it a win.
I strive to achieve all 10 every day. But sometimes you just can’t.
And you might go through the same process I did. Feeling ambitious when you start and then lose all motivation to do a morning routine.
Or think you can be more productive using that one hour for work instead of maintaining your body’s health (we are going for quality vs quantity of time.)
After struggling to create one for the past couple years, I can show you a pretty damn good way to maximize your mornings so you don’t feel like crap.
I want to show you an almost guaranteed method of following your morning routine every single day so you can carve into the habits to build the life you dream (it’s only almost because 90% of you are going to fall on your face at one point as I did.)
That means I’m going to take you through the entire process from what it feels like in the beginning all the way into putting your morning routines into auto-pilot.
I’ll even show you the proper mindset you need to have if you want this to be a consistent part of your daily life forever.
But we always have to start with the basics. Don’t we?
What Is A Morning Routine?
So a morning routine is a bunch of habits in a certain order that you do every day when you wake up.
If you don’t think you have one. You probably do but it isn’t what you are going to think. It would look something like this:
- Wake up at 7 am
- Hit the snooze button and sleep in just 10 more minutes
- Groggily get out of bed and get ready for work.
Or maybe when you wake up late:
- Rush into your clothes
- Brush your teeth for 10 seconds
- Start speeding to work so you aren’t late.
Either way, we have habits built into us that doesn’t help us whatsoever. No intense gung-ho energy or determination to take on the world when you wake up.
And that sucks because everyone wants to feel great throughout the day so you can function at your optimal levels.
So the first step to creating that bottled energy in the morning is a morning routine!
But rather than the morning routine you are currently doing, you replace them with ones you enjoy and make you feel productive instead!
Simple right? Except the execution is another story.
Why You Need An Amazing Morning Routine
The moment you wake up defines the rest of your day. That’s why we need a morning routine that works towards the goal of feeling amazing in the morning.
If we feel great in the morning, chances are you will probably carry that on throughout the day.
There’s also a crap ton of physical and mental benefits depending on the habits that you choose.
That’s why the first step in creating your morning routine before you decide on your habits is defining what you want from it.
Do you want to be:
- More productive?
- Physically fit?
- Mentally sharp?
Do you want to have:
- More quality time?
- Better focus?
- A structured for success?
Depending on what exactly you want will determine the type of habits you will want to have.
If you wanted to be physically fit, it doesn’t make sense if you only read a fiction book and vice versa. Pick habits that align with the goals with you want.
Since if you don’t know what you want, then it doesn’t matter which habits you pick. Just like this quote from Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland.
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.Cheshire the Cat
This is your own personal routine. Do whatever feels good to you. If you know journaling is good for you but you hate writing, maybe find another way like a voice memo to record your thoughts.
Think outside the box. Of course, if you don’t know where to start you can always check out the habits I mention near the bottom of the article.
Creating Habits for your Morning Routine
This is the foundation for all morning routines (It’s also the hardest step.)
It’s also important to choose your habits wisely since you are going to be stuck with them until you solidify the habit (which takes around 30-90 days usually.) So make sure you enjoy it enough for its benefits to stick with it.
A habit consists of three parts:
- A cue (the moment you wake up)
- A routine (your actual habits)
- And a reward.
You can use apps like HabitRPG, Momentum, Habitica, etc. if you like to track your habits.
I like to use a trusty pen and paper. I tried many habit apps but they just didn’t jive with me.
When you are starting to prepare your morning your routine, you will want to change everything at once.
Don’t. Don’t make the same mistake I did multiple times. Even if you do it’s going to take a ton of willpower in the morning that you won’t feel like doing anything else for the rest of the day.
Sadly you have to ease into it. Start with meditating for 1 minute. Go outside for a walk instead of running. ACTUALLY wake up on time and get out of bed (Please don’t hit that snooze button.)
You will be forcing your body out of its comfort zone And you want that. It’s not supposed to feel great when you are doing it
You are probably doing it just to experience that amazing energy afterward you do whatever habit you choose. It’s a sort of price you need to pay to feel that lovely energy to work for that day.
I want you to make a commitment to yourself that you will stick to your morning routine no matter how you feel. Even if you fail. Just by having the intention to actually follow it will make it more likely that you actually not skip it.
That’s enough of my pep talk. So how do we create these habits?
You can either:
- Do the old school way
- Do Ant’s Personal Habit Stacking Technique
The old school way is picking only one habit and slowly incorporating it into your morning routine. It’s easy to focus on, you don’t have as many habits you have to maintain and that habit will solidify even further than when you do multiple habits at once. If you fail (and you will) it doesn’t hurt you that much.
Really the only downside is that you don’t do multiple habits which is a positive thing.
But we all want the fastest results. So after years of experimenting I created the Ant’s Habit Stacking Technique and decided to implement multiple habits in a specific order.
- You do multiple habits at once
- You set a pattern on what you actually want to do
- If you skip one then you will want to skip the rest
- You don’t solidify the habits as much as one habit
- If you fail it will be harder to continue t the routine the next day
Ant’s Habit Stacking Technique is really the fastest way I personally found to incorporate faster habits but it is a lot harder.
In retrospect with the number of times I have failed it might have been faster to stick with the old school method. But they both work so pick whatever floats your boat.
Plan Out Your Ideal Morning Routine
After you know what you want from your morning routine, we need the actually nitty gritty plans to make it actually happen.
And that means we need to know exactly what habits we need.
There’s no right way of going about a morning habit. One way to go about it is The Miracle Morning (non-affiliate) where Hal Elrod says if you want to start your morning you should start with 10 minutes for each part of SAVERS:
You can also pick and choose the habits I’m about to list you below. Or be inspired by some of famous people’s morning routines and imitate part of them.
It’s your routine. This blog post is just supposed to be a guiding post for your morning routines.
In the end it’s up to you to actually implement the morning routine.
So let’s get started shall we?
How to build your morning routine.
If you jump in cold turkey like I did then you will probably fail like me. (I took a hot shower the second day and continued on)
You want to start small. For example, if you wanted to start meditating you would start with 1 minute. The hard part is doing that consistently for the whole week.
Because your body is going to come up with excuses like “One minute of meditation won’t really help” and “I feel fine without meditating” and all sorts of crap. That’s what I went through.
Same thing with all these habits I listed above. It’s going to take time. The best part is around day 60 these habits start to become automatic where you can easily add another habit.
And on and on it goes.
Habits For Your Morning Routine
Getting your full amount of sleep
This means getting around 7-9 hours of sleep for most people.
My personal belief is that you should focus more on quality time than on quantity.
Here are some reasons why you should not skip on sleep:
And there’s also a boatload of other problems. Just don’t skip out on your sleep unless it’s absolutely necessary.
You are probably not drinking enough water. Most people aren’t drinking the 8 cups of water a day and THAT’S THE MINIMUM.
Drinking water can:
Drink some water. Drink more water. If you are worried about drinking too much water add a pinch of salt to make it easier to absorb into your body.
Use the bathroom and brush your teeth
I have to put this for the 1% who don’t practice basic hygiene.
Review your day
Looking to see what you do before you actually start your day is a pretty good habit so you don’t feel stressed out.
These habits are things I would personally recommend if you didn’t know what to do.
Wake up early
People function best at different times but try waking up early for a month and see how you feel about it.
The most common benefits I’ve seen are:
- It’s Quiet
- You have uninterrupted time to do some work
- It creates the feeling we have more control in our lives
If you want to get started I recommend
- Slowly incrementing your time by 15 minutes to sleep
- Have an evening routine
- Sleep in darkness
Or you could do what I do (which I don’t recommend) and feel like crap for two weeks trying to adjust your sleeping schedule 3 hours back while “waking up early”
I don’t do this anymore since I personally work best fasting in the morning. Or I eat a banana if I am REALLY hungry.
But some people just can’t have the energy to do a morning workout or energy throughout the day so make sure that your breakfast doesn’t make you sleepy (white carbs and sugar are usually the culprits.)
Get your hit of caffeine
People need their daily hit of caffeine just to function in the morning. I personally use green tea but people have reported that there is a meditative trance to manually grinding your coffee beans.
Give it a shot.
If you are trying to lose weight, it is pretty important to keep track of your daily weight and analyze weekly averages to see if you are trying to gain muscle mass or lose weight.
This is a great habit to practice especially with all the noise in our current world.
The main benefits I found when I am practicing meditation are:
- Increased focus
- Clear mind
- Controls your emotions
- Strengthens your brain
- Helps your immunity
- And a bunch of other stuff.
If you are into thinking of doing lucid dreaming then having a dream journal is a must since it is the first step to actually remembering what dreams you have.
Great for stretching your body making it nice and limber. You also get the benefits of having a clear mind.
See how your current life is and what your goals are and if you are actually making progress or if you need to do something.
Reflecting on your decisions and actions can go a long way into shaping your future.
Schedule Your Day
I personally like doing this at night but some people prefer doing it when they wake up. See what works for you.
- do some gardening
- Play the piano
- listen to music
- Walk your dog
Find a friend
If you can find a new friend in the morning every morning then I will be thoroughly impressed.
Talk to a stranger
It’s always nice to have a small talk with new people and new faces.
Habits I wouldn’t recommend
Puts you in a reactive mindset instead of creating focused time for yourself. You can always check your emails later. It won’t hurt to check in a couple of hours.
Hitting the snooze button
This is a pretty bad habit that many of us are guilty of doing. It is telling your body and setting the tone that it is okay to procrastinate on your activities which is a big no-no.
I’m sure you can find a better use of your time then television.
Playing Video Games
Yes they are fun. They can also be very addicting too.
Eating Junk Food
I think this is common sense but I still have to put it up here in case you start your day off with Hershey’s.
Checking social media
Some famous people like Mark Zuckerberg, Gary Vaynerchuck check social media when they wake up. I wouldn’t recommend it.
Mainly cause it again puts you in a reactive mindset. It also doesn’t make you happier and will probably make you feel worse seeing everyone having the time of their lives while you are just waking up where you feel like you are living a boring life (and feels incredibly terrible.)
My Personal Routine
If you want to copy my exact morning routine, then go ahead. I might change it in the future, or not.
But this is what I personally strive to do every morning to maximize my energy, productivity, and self-discipline.
Cause I have no discipline and like a newborn puppy attracted to every single bright object.
So I decided to do this intense morning routine and attempt to reach 5 out of 10 of them which I’ve been faithfully following for a while now.
- Set my alarm 10 minutes whatever time I desire
- Fix bed
- Use the bathroom and brush teeth
- Drink water and then set up lemon and tea into water
- Affirm Goals
- Jog for 30 minutes
- Cold Shower
- Review Day
Each one also has an important significance and I take the effort to actually do it every morning.
When I wake up I don’t check my phone. I turn off the alarm clock. And I force myself to get out of bed despite how warm my bed (or should I say floor cause I am sleeping on the floor currently).
Benefits I noticed:
- It feels less terrible than when you sleep in and then do all of the above
Fix Your Bed
This idea was taken from Naval Admiral William McRaven who says it’s good to fix your bed. To summarize his lengthy speech, he says:
- You accomplish the first task of the day
- It gives you a small sense of pride
- That one task is a domino effect for other finished tasks
- The little things in life matter
I don’t honestly feel any of those good things when I fix my bed. It’s more to reduce the nagging in my head of an undone chore.
The ironic part is I don’t sleep on a bed anymore. I actually sleep on the floor so all I do is attempt to cover a part of the floor with the bed. Kinda funny right?
Benefits I notice:
- Not much. It’s more to reduce the nagging in my head of an undone chore and for discipline.
Use The Bathroom And Brush My Teeth
“Nature calls” every time I wake up. So that’s why the other stuff only takes 5 seconds so I can rush to the bathroom to “alleviate my stress.”
And since I’m already in the bathroom, I’m too lazy to go to the kitchen and get some water and then go back to brush my teeth.
So I decided to brush my teeth and drink some water with some minty flavor.
Benefits I notice:
- Clears my body from impurities
- Makes me 20% more awake and less likely to go to bed
- No bad breath
Hydrate immediately with Water.
This is your wonder drug in the morning. All benefits and no negative effects. It wakes me up from a 2 to 4 on a scale of 1 to Superman.
I add green tea and a slice of lemon to my room-temperatured tap water and let it just stay there for my after exercise just to add some more nutrients.
Here are some of the benefits from lemon:
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Good source of Vitamin C
- Taste good
Benefits from green tea:
- Helps prevent cancer
- Prevent cardiovascular disease
- Contains antioxidants
- Cholesterol lowering effects
- Helps you live longer (*main reason why I add green tea*)
You get used to the bitterness after awhile if you want to do this. It also helps with me fasting since I don’t eat in the morning.
Benefits I personally notice:
- Wakes me up even more
If I’m feeling great then I will meditate for around ~15 minutes but usually I meditate for around ~3-5 minutes per day.
It’s also pretty damn hard to just sit there and do nothing if you haven’t done it before. So in a way I’m also training my disciplnie.
I used to use Calm but decided to take away electronics except an alarm clock for now and only use a stopwatch.
Benefits I personally noticed:
- Clearer Mind
- More Productive Day
- Less likely to bail on my workday
- Contemplate less on life when I’m working
This + Meditation = being on steroids for a clear mind.
I just use this to jot down whatever thoughts I have remaining from my meditation session. Literally anything. How I’m feeling, my thoughts on the future, what I want to eat, to how tired I am and don’t want to exercise today.
I also like to track habits by paper since I always forget to do it when I’m using an app.
This is basically “me time” to complain and empty my mind.
Benefits I noticed:
- Get’s whatever crap out of my head so I don’t think about it when I’m working.
I have decided to try this out again and decided to write out my goals after reading The Lazy Way To Riches by Joe Karbo.
I personally don’t believe in it but I have nothing to lose except 5 minutes every day and a lot to gain if it does work. So i’m doing it every day.
Apparently your brain cannot perceive the difference between imagination and reality and helps you guide this “disconnect” of your future self through your RAS (reticular activation system.)
So for example, if you never paid attention to how many road trucks are on the road, and then you buy a pickup truck. All of a sudden you are going to notice all the pikup trucks that pass by you when you are driving now.
Personal benefits I noticed:
- Nothing. But still gonna do it anyways.
I decided I like to do only running after reading my goals.
I decided that I like running the most for around 30 minutes out of all the exercise routines I have tried.
I have tried doing weights. I have tried doing calisthenics. But it is just too much and I feel exhausted when I get back home.
So running it is for me.
This is a wonder drug for the body. It sucks at the moment but feels amazing when you are done.
Persronal benefits I noticed:
- Toned sexy calves
- Become even more awake
- Have more energy throughout the day.
This is like exercising. It sucks thinking about it. It feels terrible when you are doing it. But you feel amazing afterwards.
Cold showers are the same way. I don’t enjoy them but they damn work in making me feel more awake and alert afterwards.
I also like to think it is going to be the worst thing I will do for the whole day. If I can handle being in a cold shower then I can handle writing. It’s like eating the frog in the morning.
And for those who say you should just live in a third world country, I have done it and it is a bit different here. In that case, they don’t have access to hot water and it is already hot and humid over there so a cold shower actually feels pleasant.
Here you are deciding to not take a hot shower which is quite hard to do when you can do it with one dial.
Of course if I want a hot shower I usually turn it to hot after the initial cold shower.
- Better hair
- Better skin condition
- Better mental discipline
- More energy
Review My Day
I create my list during my evening routine but go over what I need to actually focus on today.
Benefits I personally notice:
- Don’t have to waste 15-25 minutes planning on my day
- Get straight into work
Go into Caveman Time
Or “Deep Work.” Whatever you want to call it. This is pure focused time where I do not check emails and just focus on doing my most important thing which is usually writing or researching.
I used to do pomodoro’s and are wonderful if you have crappy discipline like me. But now I like to follow my energy levels and just work with a stopwatch and just take average breaks.
Because when I am in the flow and want to worrk for 2 hours, I don’t like being interrupted by the 50 minute mark for pomodoro’s. But I do use it for the evening when I really need to get some work done and I feel exhausted.
It’s freaking hard at first though since you just want to frantically check on your Gmail or do something that isn’t boring.
Benefits I noticed:
- Get a lot more work done than checking on social media
- Work on your attention span
Things I have tried but don’t include anymore
I tried doing this one and what happens is that I get sucked into the book and don’t do my other tasks. Or I just procrasinate and after reading my book I just go back to sleep.
It just doesn’t work for me at all.
This one hurts to skip. If I’m feeling real naughty I might just switch from a cold to a hot shower or if I’m feeling pretty crappy and just want a little think tank.
But yeah I found out I waste a lot of time just taking hot showers instead of just using it to relax and enjoy myself I take like 15-30 minutes and contemplate on my whole life.
It’s a lot environmentally friendly taking a cold shower for 1 minute instead.
Some Famous People’s Morning Routines
- Tries to wake up at 5 am
- Does some sort of exercise
- Has family time
- Has tea and breakfast
- Finishes up with social media
- Wake up and wash himself
- Think about today’s goals
- 10 minutes of meditation
- 15 minutes of exercise
- Makes bed
- Meditates 20 minutes
- Drinks tea
- Wakes up at 6 am.
- Social media
- Calls family
Frequently Asked Questions
What is your evening routine?
I actually made a post here. What most people don’t realize is having an evening routine sets you up for your morning routine which set you up for the day!
Do you not eat breakfast?
No. I actually feel a lot better adjusting my meal plan to just eat anytime right after 12pm.
What do you do during the Pomodoro breaks?
I do take breaks similar to Pomodoro breaks but I have breaken away from the strict time regimen of a pomodoro 5 minute break.
I either like to get something to drink, a bathroom break, or do a deep squat stretch.
I found that when I tried to do the minor tasks within 5 minutes it would go longer and I would lose my focus for my important stuff.
Do you plan your day?
I like to do it the night before where I schedule my most three important things to do list. I then schedule time into my calendar which I commit myself to following.
I can’t follow your morning routine exactly. What should I do?
That’s alright since everybody is different. It’s basically choosing and picking what works for you 🙂
What if I can’t follow my morning routine because I’m travelling?
Well follow it to the best you can! You can shorten it to your choosing so your morning routine would last 5 minutes compared to like 30 minutes.
I hope this guide helped you a bit into crafting your morning routine. Let me know in the comments which habits you wish to incorporate!