In my previous blog post, 4 Keys to a Realistic Morning Routine that Get Results, we laid the foundation for what makes a great routine but I didn’t get into the details – on purpose. That was meant to serve as your filter or litmus test for evaluating what to include.
Now, we can dive into the details on what those activities can be. Below I’ve included some ideas for what to include, tips for how to stay consistent (and effective) as well as some examples from my own routines. This is not an all-inclusive list, merely a starting point to get you thinking about your own. I’ve tested, implemented and iterated on all of these in one way or another (other than the cold shower – just could never do that one) over the past five years with varying levels of success.
Take what works, skip the others and add your own. This is your time to design. Let’s get started!
What to Include in Your Morning Routine
The choices are endless, so try something new, something fun and something that helps you feel better to start the day. Here’s 10 of the most common activities for effective morning routines.
- Stillness – meditation / mindfulness / prayer / visualization
- Mantra / affirmation / gratitude
- Walk / bike
- Yoga / stretch / foam roll
- Workout / exercise
- Read / listen to a podcast
- Study / personal development
- Cold shower/bath
Quick Tips for Consistent Morning Routines
There’s a lot of great (and not so great) advice out there. Here’s a short list of tips to help you get started and stay consistent with your routine.
- Don’t look at your phone or email
- Have a schedule (especially if it’s not daily) & mix it up regularly
- Schedule off-days (recovery)
- Prioritize sleep
- Set expectations/boundaries for your start time at work
- Go to bed early and have your clothes ready the night before
- Have an accountability partner / coach / ask for help
- Include activities you enjoy
- Smart simple and small then build
- Give yourself permission to have tough days, slow days or miss days
Morning Routine Examples to Get Started
Designing your routine starts with understanding your priorities, resources and availability. What matters to you? What outcome are you after? What tools do you have or need? How much time can you consistently dedicate? Answer these questions and the structure will reveal itself.
Start simple and small, then build. Here’s three sample routines you can use as a template (these all happen to be iterations of my own routines over the past 5 years):
Sample 1: 15 minutes
- Meditate – 5 minutes
- Stretch – 5 minutes
- Read/Journal – 5 minutes
Sample 2: 30 minutes
- Yoga/Stretch – 10 minutes
- Exercise/Cardio – 10 minutes
- Meditate – 10 minutes
Sample 3: 60 minutes
- Yoga/Stretch – 20 minutes
- Walk/Bike/Exercise – 20 minutes
- Journal/Read – 10 minutes
- Meditate – 10 minutes