I’m seriously in LOVE with my morning routine so I’d share it in a little more detail with you.
While I love doing this routine every morning, this post isn’t about trying to get you to do it too (unless, like me, you’re a fan of unnecessarily elaborate plans).
This post is just my way to share how I figured out what works best for me so that it might help you figure out the same.
I do this routine almost every morning, even if I need to be somewhere early. But I’m a morning person.
The point of this whole thing is figuring out what will work for you, so I’ll just say now that if you’re not a morning person try to set yourself up with a morning routine that will give you the best chance of succeeding. Make sure you only choose a few things and be proud of yourself when you do them. This is about you, not about comparing yourself to anyone else.
Focus on your strengths instead of trying to improve your weaknesses.
As you read through what I do, try to think about whether it gels with you or whether it doesn’t. Don’t do something just because I’m doing it! My morning routine gets me feeling productive (important) and awake (very important) and ideally yours will do the same. There are a thousand ways to end up with that result, so what you come up with doesn’t have to look anything like mine.
To help you create your perfect morning routine, I’ve created a free step-by-step guide to share the exact process I used to create my morning routine. The guide includes worksheets to help you plan your morning routine as well as a morning routine tracker.
Make sure to download the free guide to get started with your routine!
But having said all of that, here’s what I do every morning and why:
1. Wake Up
Ok, so I know that waking up is kind of assumed in all of this but I still think it’s super important to include this as the first step as often it can be the hardest.
Sometimes it’s a serious struggle to wake up on the first alarm instead of just thinking ‘5 more minutes’, hitting snooze and rolling back over into your warm, cosy bed. I’ve definitely been there.
But it is possible to train yourself to get up when you want to get up. Here are some things that have helped me.
- Only setting 1 alarm. I used to be a serial alarm-setter but my boyfriend, Steve, helped me realise that I will actually get better quality sleep (and more of it) if I just set one alarm and wake up when it goes off. I think it works best because you know there’s no back-up coming (though I do still set a couple of alarms if I have something super important on).
- Putting my alarm clock/phone on the other side of the room. I used do this because having to physically get up to turn off my alarm can be the difference between hitting snooze and starting the morning the way I’d like (I don’t do this any more though because now I almost always get up on the first alarm – but for ages I didn’t).
- If you’re using your phone as an alarm, change the name of the alarm so it’s something that will motivate you to get out of bed (sometimes I just put a lot of emojis in there).
2. Open the blinds & make the bed
Unless my boyfriend is still sleeping, I always make the bed and open the blinds as soon as I wake up. This is just a way to create another obstacle to me crawling back into bed (it’s definitely harder to go back to sleep after you’ve made the bed).
There may have been one or two times I’ve gone back to sleep on top of the made bed… but generally this works well for me.
3. Wash my face
The next thing I do after putting a few hurdles in place is washing my face. I use the Clean & Clear Morning Burst Facial Cleanser because the smell really wakes me up (this does leave my skin a little dry so I also moisturise after that).
Really, the point of this step is just to wake me up ever more (plus I’ve found that once I have washed my face I will rarely go back to bed).
4. Fill up my 1L water bottle
I love drinking water but if I’m studying or working all day I often forget to drink the recommended 8 glasses, so I guzzle 1 litre of water during this routine.
The final stage in waking myself up is doing some exercise. Most days I will do some other kind of workout later in the day so I really do this just to get my heart pumping (but if you wanted to do your workout for the day in your morning routine I think that’s a great idea!)
Until about a week ago I was doing different combos of squats, push-ups and abs but then I discovered Blogilates. I know I’m seriously late to the party with this one but for some reason, even though I’ve heard AMAZING things about it for the past year, I was really resistant to checking it out. The other day I was watching an Essie Button video on Youtube and she mentioned it so I finally checked it out and I’m so in love with Cassey and Blogilates. Here are the ones I’ve done (and loved) so far:
- The ULTIMATE Hot Body Workout for Flat Abs, Slimmer Inner Thighs, Perky Butt & Toned Arms (that’s quite a title)
- Extreme Abs Workout 2
- Perfect Legs Workout | POP Pilates
I’ve just been playing around with it for now and trying out whatever pops up on Youtube. If you have any favourite Blogilates workouts please let me know in the comments below!
6. The 5 Minute Journal
At this point I’m fully awake so it’s ok to start doing things that involve sitting down.
First up I do the 5 Minute Journal.
Basically, The 5 Minute Journal is an actual journal you can but I just write out the prompts in the pretty 365 journal I got from Kikki.k (like these).
Here are the prompts:
- I am grateful… (3 things)
- What would make today great? (3 things)
- I am… (2 things)
- 3 amazing things that happened today…
- What would have made today better?
As the name suggests, it takes only a few minutes to do this but it’s a great tool to help you spend your time the way you’d like to. Plus you will like your life SO much more if you practice being grateful for things on a regular basis (it is so easy to lose the big picture after all).
If you’re interested in trying this out I LOVED this podcast interview (called The Science of Gratitude and Simple Behavioral Change) with the creator of The 5 Minute Journal and highly recommend listening to it!
7. Read 10 pages of a book
I love this because 10 pages is hardly anything, so it’s not intimidating (like me, you might have that thing where if you can’t do something perfectly you don’t do it at all – this kind of habit is perfect for people like us).
If you’re not sure what to include in your morning routine – put this one in!
You might already know I LOVE the meditation app Headspace but if I don’t do this first thing I find it really hard to do it – so I worked it into my morning routine.
I love this app because it directly addresses all of the misconceptions I had about meditation (mainly that you have to be able to not think, which really isn’t what it’s about at all). I’ve finished the 30 day intro series and I’m now doing the 30 day series on improving focus. Once you’re past the intro series you can choose the length of your meditation (10, 15 or 20 minutes) so I’m doing 15 minute meditations at the moment.
Of course you don’t have to use the Headspace app, but if you’re just starting I highly recommend it!
9. Finish off that water
If any water is left in my water bottle I finish it off now.
10. Get dressed and do my makeup
Again, this seems obvious but it’s so important.
I’m sure you’ve done that thing where you just don’t get out of your pyjamas for a whole day. While it seems like a dream come true, whenever I decide to stay in my pyjamas I get absolutely nothing done. So even if I’m just having a day home I make sure I get dressed – it just changes the whole vibe of the day. (If I’m planning to workout later that day I get dressed in my workout gear so it immediately removes that obstacle and I know I’ll feel guilty if I change out of them without working out – it’s just another little trick to set yourself up to succeed).
Also I try to always have my outfit picked out the night before so I don’t have to make any decisions the next morning (which can seriously fatigue you, as you probably know when you’ve tried on 30 outfits and still don’t know what you’re going to wear).
The final (and best) part of my morning routine is breakfast – my favourite meal of the whole day! I’m often a little hungry when I wake up but the 1L of water always tides me over until breakfast.
I almost always have the same thing (porridge or muesli) and it really isn’t a struggle for me to have breakfast – it really is my favourite meal.
If you’re not a regular breakfast eater I know I don’t need to preach to you about why it’s important (you’ve heard it all before) but if you’d like to try some of the delicious food that the breakfast timeslot has to offer, it’s great to have it as a set part of your morning routine.
How to create your own routine
As I said at the beginning, this post isn’t about me trying to tell you that you should do my morning routine too. In fact, I don’t really recommend it. If you’re starting from scratch, it’s best to build up your routine. I didn’t just go from zero to this. Over time I added in one thing here and one thing there and it’s all piled on top of each other.
Focus on one or two things and do them every morning for a month. Then add another the next month, and another the next month. If you want to create a routine that you’ll actually keep doing, don’t try to do everything at once!
And if you want to find out exactly how I came up with the perfect morning routine for me, and how to create your own, make sure you download the free step-by-step guide! Just click the button below to get started:
Choose things you want to do, not what other people tell you to do or you feel you should. This whole morning routine thing really works best when you have your own reasons.
I think it’s SO good to make a morning routine that involves you making as few decisions as possible while you’re doing it. After playing around with your routine for a few weeks, choose an order that you’ll do things and stick with it. I always do my routine in the order I listed it so I don’t have to decide what I’m going to do next (plus it takes away temptation to skip something and also means that I never forget anything).
I choose the Blogilates workout I’m going to do the night before and leave Youtube open on my laptop. I know which book I’m going to read. I have my clothes picked out and have decided what I’m going to do with my hair. I know what I’m washing my face with.
And not having to make a lot of decisions first thing in the morning means you’ll have the capacity to make good decisions for the whole day (which means you won’t decide to skip the gym after work).