Best Morning Routine – 9 Steps For A Better Day

morning routine sun


Life is chaotic, and our schedules are packed. Often times we find ourselves stressed throughout the day and just need a break. But there is one secret that I found in my life that, if accomplished, sets the precedent for a more productive and positive day. Even the busiest ones.

What is the secret? A good morning routine.

Never underestimate the power of a morning routine. The motions we go through immediately after we awake set the tone for the rest of our day. For good and for bad.

Believe it or not, each of us have a morning routine. Do you wake up late every morning and find yourself running around your house, gathering everything you need and yelling at everyone who gets in your way? That is your routine.

Or, do you wake up to an alarm clock with plenty of time before you need to arrive at your job? Do you drink coffee during that time, read the paper, meditate, or work out? That is your routine.

The question we must ask is not “do I have a routine?” but rather “is my current routine helpful and effective?” The difference between someone who wakes up late, frantically getting ready and someone who wakes up early with plenty of time is simply discipline.

Common sense, and even personal experience will tell us that the person who wakes up late and behind schedule will therefore have a lower quality day; one with less joy and patience. The person who wakes up early with plenty of time “get ready” will have a higher quality day.

My 9 Step Morning Routine

Duration – 1 hr

Over the years, I have assembled what I believe to be a very effective morning routine that ignites productivity and alertness during my day. My mindset is more positive and my entire outlook just seems better. The entire routine takes about an hour.

 This is what works for me, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all. Everyone is different. Therefore, this is not a step-by-step guide for YOUR morning routine. Think of it instead as a list of components that can be utilized and assembled in any way you see fit.

Here is my morning routine in order. Most of these steps are performed outside, depending on the weather and the season. I also have two young kids, so each step is usually interrupted by a child needing something. 

1. Wash Face / Shower

5 – 10 mins

morning routine sink

The first thing I do we I wake up is wash my face in the sink. Why? Because I’m too much of a coward to jump on the ice bath trend. And I don’t happen to have a home ice bath. Darn.

Washing my face, or showering if I didn’t the night before, helps shock my body and let my mind know it’s time to start the day.

While this is not a ground breaking discovery, it is definitely an effective aspect of my morning.


5 mins

morning routine water glass

Now it’s time to hydrate. With WATER! I aim for at least two cups.

After my two cups of water, now I can make my beloved cup of coffee to sip on for the remainder of my morning tasks. Sometimes I will even wait until a few more steps in my routine are completed before I indulge.

3. Meditate

10 mins

morning routine meditate

The thoughts I wake up with aren’t always the most positive. For that reason, I have found that I need to be intentional when it comes choosing my thoughts. Meditation seems to help clear my mind and allow me to start fresh.

For me, guided meditation is the best way to keep myself from ruminating on random intrusive thoughts. Luckily, as the saying goes, there is an app for that. The Calm app is my absolute favorite. Personally, I only use The Daily Calm portion of the app. It’s only 10 minutes long and is well worth the yearly fee I pay!

There are a plethora of other features that come with the app as well. Check the Calm App here for more information.

4. Yoga

10 mins

morning routine yoga

You should know that I’m not a very limber person. Quite honestly this step is more of a stretch/yoga hybrid, yet much needed in my life.

Between my current job and gym habits, I find myself sore most days. However, the days become more tolerable, dare I say enjoyable, if I stretch out my body in the morning. I am more mobile and awake throughout my workday and gym sessions.

The combination of meditation and yoga in my routine also helps keep me centered throughout my day and less on edge. I became a much more patient person.

5. Light Workout

10 mins

morning routine workout

The keyword here is light. I’m not looking to get swoll from this particular workout. This is just something to get the blood flowing.

Usually I do a few styles of crunches, push-ups, and body weight squats. The reps vary depending on the day. Every now and then I will use my 10 lb club for shoulder mobility and grip strength improvement.

I recently read a book entitled Spark by John J. Ratey, that spoke of the importance of morning exercise. Filled with scientific studies, the book basically shows that working out in the morning has many health benefits including improved brain function.

6. Yard work / Tidy Up

5 – 10 mins

morning routine yard

This is a rather broad title that encompasses many different tasks depending on the weather or the season.

For example:

During spring and summer, I will water my trees and flowers, pull weeds and tend to my pool. Its a small above-ground pool just in case you thought I had some fancy in-ground masterpiece.

If it happens to be raining, storming, or even winter, maybe I’ll sweep the back porch or skip the step altogether and add the extra time to another step. I give myself freedom to play around with my own routine.

7. Read / Journal

10 mins

personal book shelf

Reading happens to be one of my favorite hobbies. There is just something enjoyable about cracking open a book and getting lost in its pages.

Aside from it being a pleasure, reading also is a timeless way to stimulate the mind and absorb new information. I personally read non-fiction in the morning and save my fantasy novels for the evening.

8. Eat (Sometimes)

5 – 10 mins

morning routine breakfast

The age old axiom “ breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is about as outdated as the food pyramid, and that goofy paper clip that always tried to help me with Microsoft Word. So I don’t feel as though I need to eat breakfast every morning. Sometimes I’m hungry sometimes I’m not. Or sometimes I just need a light snack on the way to work. I mainly follow my body on this one.

9. Plan My Day

Now that I’ve gone through my morning routine, I can plan all the things I need to do. Sometimes I even combine this one with breakfast.

I examine everything that I need to do that day, during work and after work, and mentally prepare myself for each task. If I’m accurate in my assessment, very few things take me by surprise.

And that’s it!

After each step is complete, I’m completely awake, alert, and able to accomplish everything I need to accomplish. My mind is primed for success, and I’m ready to be the best me I can be!

Things to Remember 

Stay off social media during your morning routine. Worry about yourself before you start digging into someone else’s fake life online. This is a time for you. Not someone else (except for the people that live with you).

Exercise patience when dealing with interruptions. You’re not the only one that lives in the house. Unless you are. In that case, enjoy your freedom.

Nothing is set in stone. If something doesn’t work for you, or worked at one time and no longer does, stop doing it. Do the things that help you.

Are you inspired to form your own ideal morning routine? Let us know all about it in the comments!

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