How to Set Up a Morning Routine

If your routine has been a little upset of late (what’s the point of putting on pants when you can’t leave the house, I hear you say), you’re certainly not alone. Millions of us across the globe are facing truly a surreal time that are testing our resilience, focus, productivity, and mental health. 

Global pandemic or no, setting up and sticking to a morning routine can help keep all this and more in check. Waking up to the same set of small habits each morning helps set the tone of the day, putting our time and our schedule back in our control and helping us to prioritise what’s important, ultimately leading to a more day filled with more intentionality, more energy and more productivity.  

Morning routines are particularly helpful in times of uncertainty and stress, which let’s be honest, we can pretty much all relate to at the moment! If you’re ready to give a morning routine a try, follow these simple steps to get started.

Start small 

Not even Wonder Woman or Superman would be able to stick to a complex 2-hour morning routine straight off the bat. When starting yours, start small. And we mean small. For the first week, just do one thing that takes a minute or less every morning as soon as you get up. (Check out some easy ideas below.)

Try habit stacking 

Habit stacking is an amazing life hack that helps establish a more involved routine when you’re ready to take the next step. It’s basically where you pair a new behaviour with another habit you already have in your arsenal, rather than trying to pin it to a specific time or location. 

Over a few weeks or months, just follow the simple template of “After I have xxxx, I will xxxx”, stacking new habits each few days or few weeks until you have a morning routine that feels just long enough for you. 

There is no hard and fast rule of how long or short the routine should be, what habits it should include, nor how many. It’s really going to come down to your preference, and what will fit into your life. 

Do what you love 

It takes a very special someone to launch themselves out of bed for something they don’t particularly enjoy. Starting the day with a bit of joy sets the right tone and leaves us better prepared to tackle the hassles that life will inevitably throw at us.

Whether it’s getting outside for a brisk walk, doing 10 minutes of a beloved hobby, or sitting quietly in your favourite chair with your morning coffee before the kids get up, make some of your very favourite things the very first cabs of the rank each day. 

Wake up earlier 

No time for a morning routine? Simply set your alarm a few minutes earlier. Trust us, starting the day more slowly and with more intentionality will feel so much better than racing to get yourself and/or your family out the door, after a few weeks you won’t even miss the snooze button. 

Some morning routine ideas (in no particular order)… 

  • Making your bed 
  • A simple stretch routine
  • Getting dressed 
  • Brushing your teeth / washing your face
  • Drinking a big glass of water
  • A quick meditation session
  • Brewing and drinking a herbal tea 
  • Remembering 3 things you’re grateful for 
  • Thinking of three things you hope to get done in the day
  • Reciting an affirmation 
  • Smiling! 
  • Taking the dog for a walk 
  • Giving your kids a big hug
  • Preparing a healthy breakfast for the family
  • Watering the plants 
  • Putting the dinner dishes away
  • Giving the cat a cuddle 
  • Listening to your favourite song
  • Watching a TED talk 
  • Reading 2 pages of your book 
  • Writing a to do list
  • Texting a loved one 

The best thing is, you are really only limited by your imagination!