My Morning Routine – Creating Positive Momentum for the Day

Are you someone who falls out of bed after hitting the snooze button a few too many times, scrambling to get out the door for work — you can’t be late again — as you forgo breakfast, feeling frazzled and frustrated? Or are you someone like me who enjoys the morning? I rise early enough to get organized and spend some time on self-care so I can have a successful and productive day.

A morning routine is just that: a routine performed each morning that enables us to take space and time for ourselves before the frenetic day unfolds, just as it supports those who run the household and are responsible for getting everyone off to school and work on time. 

No matter what kind of “morning person” you are, having a morning routine sets the right tone for the rest of the day, helps manage stress, and increases productivity. There are many benefits to having a morning routine, as well as countless ways to create one that fits your personality and lifestyle. 

What is a Morning Routine?

A morning routine is a set of activities or habits people regularly follow after getting up in the morning to help start their day on the right foot. Morning routines can differ significantly from person to person based on individual preferences, schedules, and priorities. The purpose of a morning routine is to set the tone for the day, boost productivity, and promote overall well-being.

A Simple Mug and Open Book - My Morning Routine - Gone Minimal
A Simple Mug and Open Book

A morning routine can consist of several different elements unique to each person but usually contains the following: 

  1. Movement – stretching, walking, working out, yoga, etc. 
  2. Fueling – providing the body with nourishing foods
  3. Spiritual Grounding – meditation, prayer, journaling. etc.
  4. Conscious Consumption – read a book or watch a YouTube video on a topic that’s educational, motivational, or inspirational (no mindless scrolling) 
  5. Organization – tidying up, performing chores that tend to pile up (like dishes or folding laundry) 
  6. Preparation and looking at the day ahead – using a calendar, filling out a to-do list, goal setting, and prepping meals 
  7. Getting outside – if possible 

A healthy morning routine will address all of the needs: physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional.

Benefits of a Morning Routine

There are many benefits of morning routines. By taking the time at the beginning of the day to engage in self-care, morning routines will increase productivity, decrease stress, and promote a state of well-being. Having a plan for the start of each day — and sticking to it — requires discipline, and as you continue to show up for yourself, you’ll gain confidence. There are so many benefits to having a morning routine, including:

  1. Higher energy levels
  2. Feeling in control of the day
  3. Increased focus
  4. Healthier – physically, mentally, spiritually 
  5. Increased productivity 
  6. Becoming more organized
  7. Decreased stress
  8. Increased confidence, happiness, and overall well-being
  9. Increased quality of sleep 
  10. Better relationships – with others and with self

Healthy Morning Routine

A healthy morning routine will address all of the needs: physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional. What is “healthy” will look different for everyone but will consist of the major things, like taking time to move the body, tuning into the spirit through meditation, prayer, and journaling, fueling the body with whole, nourishing foods, and carving out space for organizing and preparation. Including these major areas in the morning routine will promote a higher state of being, thus creating a healthier life. 

A Woman Writing Outside - My Morning Routine - Gone Minimal
A Woman Writing Outside

Morning Routine Characteristics

The morning routine will look different for everyone. Some people like to start the day sitting in the sunshine, reading a few pages of a book while sipping coffee. Others enjoy greeting the day with some stretches, green juice, and getting in a sweat-inducing workout. Some are so busy being parents or spouses that getting up early and getting the kitchen cleaned and the lunches packed is the best way to start the day. 

No matter who you are, what responsibilities you have, or where you need to be, a morning routine will be composed of characteristics that give the time to check in with oneself, get organized, and engage in self-care through food and exercise. 

Morning Routine Checklist

Still have no idea where to start? Here’s an example of a morning routine checklist that will leave you feeling productive, positive, and energized: (if you have kids, we created a unique checklist just for you, so keep reading!)

  1. Wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day: Take note of how you’re feeling. Groggy? Cranky? Did you get enough sleep? Think about how you can get better sleep moving forward. 
  2. Spiritual Practice: meditate, pray, journal, positive affirmations & gratitude lists, Bible study, breathwork meditation. 
  3. Conscious Consumption: read a book, watch a YouTube video – content that adds value to your life, no mindless scrolling. 
  4. Get outside: go for a short walk, take your spiritual practice to the backyard, or drink your morning drink in the sun. 
  5. Exercise: stretch, run, yoga, weightlift, hike, dance around the living room. Take some time to get the blood pumping, the endorphins racing, and the sweat dripping. It’s good for you, we swear. 
  6. Eat breakfast: even if you’re not usually hungry, try eating something in the morning. Fueling the body early in the day prevents a mid/late afternoon burnout later. Make sure your plate is full of whole, nourishing foods, nothing highly processed. 
  7. Organize: tidy up, do those chores that haven’t been done in days, create a calm and peaceful home environment.
  8. Prepare: goal setting, to-do lists, fill out the calendar, meal prep, do things that your future self will thank you for, get a good look at what the day will bring. 
A Person Cutting Vegetables - My Morning Routine - Gone Minimal
A Person Cutting Vegetables

Morning Routine Ideas

Here are some ideas to incorporate into your morning routine: 

  1. Start the morning with a stretch
  2. Listen to a podcast
  3. Pick out an outfit for the day — long before you actually have to get ready
  4. Drink a glass of water before drinking anything else
  5. Go “earthing”: put your bare feet in the grass or dirt. The direct connection to the earth improves energy, productivity, and brain function!
  6. Put on an upbeat playlist while cooking breakfast and doing the dishes
  7. Journaling exercise: list five things you’re grateful for, five positive affirmations, and five prayers
  8. Make the bed and tidy up the room upon waking up
  9. Prepare for dinner: cut all the veggies, make the sauce, and cook the carbs (like boiling rice or roasting potatoes), so there’s not as much work to do later 
  10. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you love yourself, hug your body, and spend a few minutes expressing gratitude for yourself 
  11. Try not to use the phone, TV, or computer until the morning routine is complete 
  12. Read for 15 minutes 
  13. Spend time cuddling or playing with your kids
  14. Exercise. If you don’t have much time, try a simple 10-minute workout that you can do anywhere.
  15. Choose a room, set a timer for 10 minutes, and see how much cleaning you can get done
  16. Make an achievable to-do list: prioritize, move tasks that aren’t as important to the next day (or week), and don’t feel guilty about it! Be realistic about what can be accomplished in one day. Delegate if possible
  17. Walk your dog or play with your pet 
  18. Eat a fueling breakfast, and prepare the meals for the day
  19. Sit outside, and just breathe 

If you are pressed for time in the mornings, try this 10-minute YouTube video.

Morning Routine Tips

Be kind to your future self – start your morning routine the night before when you go to bed. Getting enough sleep is imperative to get up on time or early, especially when wanting to make time in the morning for a routine. If you wake up feeling refreshed, it’ll be easier to get out of bed. 

Experiment – creating a morning routine that works best for each person will take time. Determine how much time you have in the morning before going to work, getting the kids up, etc. Figure out how you’re spending your time now, and identify areas you’d like to improve. Try adding different things to the routine and keep up with it for a few days. You’ll be able to see what is and is not working quickly. Take note, and adjust from there. It might not work to do everything on the list, and that’s okay. Simply taking the time to have a morning routine will be beneficial in the long run.

If you like to watch or read the news – While it’s smart to be informed about what’s happening in the world, most news is negative, which directly impacts mood, outlook, and energy. Choose to tune into websites or channels that promote positive events or limit your intake. 

Get an accountability partner – If you’re in a relationship or have kids, get the whole family on board. It could be difficult to execute a morning routine if you’re being pulled in a million different directions. Try to find some common ground and make it fun and engaging. When it comes to changing habits and creating new ones, having support is vital for success. 

A Family Making Breakfast - My Morning Routine - Gone Minimal
A Family Making Breakfast

Best Morning Routines

The best morning routines emphasize mindfulness, self-love, and preparation. Giving yourself time to wake up and get settled in to yourself helps drive productivity and peace for the remainder of the day. 

The best morning routines have the following elements:

  1. Waking up early and at the same time each day 
  2. Movement and exercise 
  3. Spending time in nature or a peaceful environment 
  4. Self-reflection and spiritual practice 
  5. Fueling the body – drinking a glass of water first, eating nutrient-dense, whole foods 
  6. Preparation for the day

Types of Morning Routines for Workout

Getting movement in at the beginning of the day is a great way to relieve stress, clear the headspace, and boost positivity. Here are some ways to incorporate workouts into the morning routine:

Morning Stretch Routine

Stretching after laying in bed all night is beneficial to the body. It warms the body up, loosening any tight spots, and brings more oxygen to the brain, waking you up quicker and easier. 

Try using a foam roller to give a gentle massage first. If you’re new to stretching, here are some simple stretches that will get the energy flowing: 

  1. Neck stretches – move your head side to side, up and down, and roll your head each way. Hold each pose for a few seconds, and go slow on the head rolls. Take one hand and gently press your head to one side, so your ear is facing your shoulder. Repeat each exercise a few times.
  2. Shoulders – bracing your core, knees slightly bent, swing your arm around in a circle. alternate arms and alternate directions.
  3. Touch your toes – focusing on your breathing as you relax your back. Keep the knees slightly bent if mobility is limited.
  4. Child’s pose to upward facing down to the downward-facing dog – Hold each position for a few seconds before continuing to the next one. 

If following along with an instructor is easier, check out this helpful video by Madfit for a great way to start the day. 

Morning Workout Routine

Moving the body in the morning boosts energy levels and reduces stress. There are so many ways to work out — it doesn’t have to be going to the gym at 6 am. (Although, if that’s your preferred method of movement, we salute you!) Here are just a few ways to incorporate movement into your morning routine: 

  1. Walking – walking is an easy, low-impact exercise that has been scientifically proven to keep the weight off. This is a great option for generally sedentary people who don’t have a lot of time to spend being physically active, those new to fitness, or those who don’t want to commit to a gym. Walking can be done anywhere, anytime — outside, on the treadmill, or even via YouTube videos..
  2. Yoga – read the section below for our recommendations on the best morning yoga routines!
  3. Hiking, dancing, swimming – cardio will get the blood pumping and increase your energy
  4. Weight lifting – resistance training is key for muscular strength, improved balance, and flexibility and has been proven to prevent or reduce the chance of chronic conditions ranging from depression to heart disease. 

Don’t want to spend money at a gym? Try a 30-minute cardio and ab workout YouTube video by Sydney Cummings, or this Grow with Jo’s workout below to put a unique and fun twist on walking

Morning Yoga Routine

Yoga emphasizes the mind-body connection through mindfulness of breath as the body moves. In an article discussing the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase the quality of life, The Library of National Medicine stated that “Yogic practices enhance muscular strength and body flexibility, promote and improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, promote recovery from and treatment of addiction, reduce stress, depression, and chronic pain, improve sleep patterns, and enhance overall well-being and quality of life.”

Try signing up for a hot yoga class to really detox the system, or invite a couple of friends to do it in the park — having a buddy always helps with success! Or choose to stay at home, using the practice as part of your spiritual time, turning inward, and settling the mind. Try adding on a few minutes of meditation after you’re done.

Learn a 20-minute yoga routine for beginners in this helpful video by yoga expert Adriene.

Morning Routines for Families

Now, you might have read until this point thinking, “That all sounds great, but I have kids. I barely have enough time to shove a piece of toast down my throat in the mornings, let alone spend time journaling!” 

Don’t worry; we’ve got you. Whether you’re a busy parent managing the household or a student with a big workload, there is a morning routine that will work for everyone. Below are some ideas on morning routines for each person in the household. 

Morning Routine for Kids

There’s no arguing that being a parent is a full-time job, and part of that job entails getting the kids ready for the day and off to school in the morning. This time can be hectic and stressful, full of tears, fights, and sleepy heads who just won’t get out of bed, no matter how hard you try. This can be especially frustrating when you’re running late and have no time for yourself. Here are some tips and ideas for executing the perfect morning routine with kids. 

Start the morning routine the night before — pack lunches and pick out clothes. The time that goes into this in the morning can now be spent doing other things and will cut down on the stress of multitasking the woes of multiple mini-humans. 

A Woman and Girl in a Minimalist Home - My Morning Routine - Gone Minimal
A Woman and Girl in a Minimalist Home

Choose one item from the morning routine checklist above and commit to getting up early (before the kids are up) and doing that one thing. Maybe it’s drinking tea and journaling. Maybe it’s a workout. Maybe it’s folding the laundry and sitting on the bed for a few minutes doing breathwork. Whatever it is, prioritizing your well-being is vital to ensuring you have the energy to pour into your kids. 

Take into account your children’s ages, habits, and how the mornings usually go. What areas are you spending the most time on? Kids tend to be on their own schedule, but using time limits for the different morning sections will also help everyone be on time and less stressed. 

A morning routine for kids should have the following elements:

  1. Wake up (parents) early and do one thing off the morning routine checklist 
  2. Prepare breakfast 
  3. Wake kids up 
  4. Time for hair and teeth brushing, bed making, dressing 
  5. Take time to snuggle, or play a quick educational game 
  6. Eat breakfast 
  7. Have kids help with clean up and dishes
  8. Have kids ensure backpacks are packed and ready to go
  9. Take them to school, or the bus 
  10. If they are too young to go to school, put on an engaging but educational show, and use that time to do things for yourself to set the day up for success 

Morning Routine for Students

Kids who are a bit older, whether they are teenagers or living on their own during their college years will have a different type of routine than young children. 

A Person Holding  Simple Black Backpack - My Morning Routine - Gone Minimal
A Person Holding Simple Black Backpack

Teenagers are notorious for sleeping in until you absolutely have to go, the threat of being late to school hanging over everyone’s heads. Again, making sure that the lunches, clothes, and backpacks are ready the night before will help things run more smoothly in the morning. But expecting your teen to engage in all the family fun in the morning might not happen. You might just be happy to get them out of bed early enough to eat breakfast. 

As for students in charge of themselves, using a combination of the kid’s routine and the morning routine checklist will be ideal. Preparing for the day the night before will help alleviate stress and ensure students are on time for their classes. Spending time on self-care at the start of the day is also important because it will energize students and keep their mindset elevated, giving them the capacity needed to handle the packed day of learning ahead of them. 

Morning Routine for Parents

A parents’ morning routine can be divided into two parts: the first focuses on the kids, and the second is when the kids are dropped off at school. This routine will look different for every parent. 

A Man Making Coffee in a Minimalist Kitchen - My Morning Routine - Gone Minimal
A Man Making Coffee in a Minimalist Kitchen

If you’re a stay-at-home parent, you’ll have more flexibility in your morning routine. The first part of the morning might be dedicated to getting the kids out the door, but once they’re gone, you might be free to do the other things on the checklist — like working out, getting outside, and preparing for the day. 

If you have to work, it will be beneficial to get up early and do one thing on the checklist. If it works with your schedule, you might be able to find time after the kids have either been dropped off at school or have gone to school to try more things on the checklist. Maybe that’s sitting in the parking lot of your work for 10 minutes reading a book instead of immediately going inside. Maybe that’s stopping by a park and sitting on a bench. Find what works for you. 

School Morning Routine

Using time limits – an actual timer is super helpful – will keep kids on track and get them to school on time. 

  1. 6 am – Wake up (parents) early and do one thing off the morning routine checklist 
  2. 7 am – Prepare breakfast 
  3. 7:15 – am Wake kids up 
  4. 7:20-7:30 am – Time for hair and teeth brushing, bed making, dressing 
  5. 7:30-7:45 am – Take time to snuggle or play a quick educational game 
  6. 7:45-8:10 am – Eat breakfast 
  7. 8:10-8:25 am – Have kids help with clean up and dishes
  8. 8:25 am – Have kids ensure backpacks are packed and ready to go
  9. 8:30 am – Take them to school, or to the bus. 
Kids Eating Breakfast - My Morning Routine - Gone Minimal
Kids Eating Breakfast

Various Morning Routines:

There are many ways to incorporate structure into each morning. It doesn’t have to be a whole checklist of steps but can focus on one specific area, such as skincare. Check out these various morning routines:

Morning Skin Care Routine

If taking care of your skin is a high priority; it’s important to have a routine that you can do in the mornings. This will leave you feeling refreshed and energized. There is a correct order for the use of the various products to use, and it can be overwhelming to start. Try this simple 7-step method to have healthy glowing skin:

  1. Cleanser 
  2. Toner 
  3. Antioxidant serum 
  4. Spot treatment 
  5. Eye cream 
  6. Moisturizer 
  7. SPF 

These morning routines will fuel your soul with productivity, drive, and passion for your life.

Simple Morning Routine

The great thing about a morning routine is it can be tailored and personalized for everyone. If the morning routine checklist looks daunting and more like a chore than a way to experience self-love and emotional freedom, try simplifying the morning routine. Take the aspects of the morning routine that promote simplicity, mindfulness, and peace and do only those things.

A simple morning routine could look like this: 

  1. Waking up, stretching, and getting outside. 
  2. Do some breathwork, pray, and journal while enjoying the sunrise, the sunshine, or even the rain. 
  3. Do some yoga or go for a walk. 
  4. Eat a simple, whole foods-based meal, not spending much time in the kitchen. 
  5. Avoid screen time and mindless consumption.
  6. Hold off on prepping, cleaning, organizing, and anything that requires more energy.
  7. Stay mindful and present, simply enjoying the start of the day.
A Woman Doing a Simple Stretch - My Morning Routine - Gone Minimal
A Woman Doing a Simple Stretch

Productive Morning Routines

There are morning routines fit for people who want to start the day off like a racehorse — sprinting straight out of the gate. These morning routines will fuel your soul with productivity, drive, and passion for your life. 

Morning Routines for Success

Here are some tips to create a morning routine that will set you up for success:

  1. Wake up early and wake up at the same time every day 
  2. Try not to use an alarm clock – where you can hit snooze a time or 10 – and try waking up with the sun. Allowing natural light into the room will help sync your body to nature’s rhythm of rising and setting. 
  3. Drink a glass of water and avoid caffeine or sugary beverages 
  4. Work out 
  5. Devote an hour each morning to bettering yourself by reading an educational book, journaling, meditating, etc. 
  6. Practice gratitude
  7. Eat a filling, healthy breakfast
  8. Look at the list of to-do’s made the night before. Be sure to sit down at the end of each day and update the list for the next day. 

Billionaire Morning Routines

The Billionaire Morning Routine is a routine created by Jim Kwik, a brain coach who teaches entrepreneurs, celebrities, and students alike on topics such as memory improvement, accelerated learning, and brain performance. When it comes to setting yourself up for success, productivity, energy, and cognitive function, he is the expert. Jim created this Billionaire Morning Routine that he claims “jumpstarts the brain and day for greater productivity and peace of mind.”

A Woman Simply Meditating - My Morning Routine - Gone Minimal - My Morning
A Woman Simply Meditating
  1. Record Your Dreams 
  2. Make the Bed 
  3. Drink Water (and take supplements)
  4. Breathwork Meditation (or just spend a few minutes focusing on your breathing) 
  5. Meditate 
  6. Move (for a couple of minutes to warm up and wake up the body)
  7. Take a cold shower 
  8. Make Tea (his favorite tea is a concoction of herbs proven to stimulate the brain and promote focus)
  9. Journal 
  10. The List: To Do, To Be, and To Feel
  11. Read for 20-30 minutes 
  12. Brain Smoothie (with the top ten brain foods)
  13. Brain Training (there are courses that he offers)
  14. Start the day with the most important, most difficult task 

Millionaire Morning Routines

Many successful people stress the importance of a morning routine. Starting the day with structure helps ignite the brain to perform in the midst of stress, promotes positivity, and improves productivity. Here are more tips for a millionaire morning routine: 

The Most Important Thing to do is Invest — in Yourself

By taking the time to check in mentally through meditation and journaling, a deeper relationship with the self will be formed. Pray, meditate, journal, write down positive affirmations, record goals and dreams, read something educational and motivational, visualization, and gratitude 

A Person Writing - My Morning Routine - Gone Minimal
A Person Writing

Invest in Yourself Physically

carving out space at the start of the day to check in with yourself physically is important. We’ve all been that person; you know, the one who’s stumbling out of bed, groggy and late from hitting the snooze button too many times, stressed and overwhelmed with all there is to accomplish, angry at ourselves for acting this way and wondering if we can ever create new habits.

Instead, warm up and wake up your physical self, connect the body to the mind and see the energy levels throughout the day skyrocket. Stretch, do breathwork meditation, drink water, limit caffeine, fuel the body with whole foods, exercise, move, and take a shower

Invest in Yourself by Preparing

Preparing for the day gets you organized and on track. You start the day with a plan, knowing what needs to be accomplished, with tasks prioritized and a focused mindset. To-do lists, calendar organizing, meal prep, cleaning, and organization 

SAVERS Morning Routines

Another Productive morning routine is called the SAVERS routine, created by Hal Elrod, author of “The Miracle Morning,” a book about productivity. SAVERS is an acronym for Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, Scribing, in which you spend 10 minutes each in the morning for a perfect first hour of the day. 

Silence: Meditation, prayer, or simply sitting in silence. Check out our article on Zen Meditation here.

Affirmations: positive affirmations are mantras that rewire the brain to believe in oneself and that anything is possible. Doing affirmations will change how you see yourself and the world around you.  

Visualization: spend time thinking about dreams and goals; visualize yourself reaching them, completing them, and how you’ll feel when you achieve them. Doing this practice also trains the brain to believe that you can do anything you set your mind to, even with limited experience, qualifications, or expertise. 

Exercise: again, it’s all about that mind-body connection. Take that time to connect with yourself physically, warming up the muscles and sending those endorphins shooting throughout the brain. 

Reading: invest in yourself mentally. Read an educational piece, a self-development book, or a spiritual book to transcend your soul to greater heights.

Scribing: also known as writing. It’s time to journal! Let your thoughts flow whether it be via paper and pen or virtually on a digital document.

Learn a 30-minute morning flow yoga routine in this helpful video by yoga expert Boho Beautiful.

Related Insights

What is the best morning routine?

Having a morning routine — and sticking to it — will ensure that you live your best life and be the best version of yourself. Engaging in self-care and organization produces greater levels of optimism, determination, and productivity. It lowers stress and chaos and sets the day up to be successful. 

The best morning routines incorporate elements of both the physical and mental world. Spending time on self-care through journaling, meditation, exercise, and eating a balanced meal promotes a state of well-being. Spending time looking at each day, planning ahead, and getting organized while also investing in oneself by reading and doing visualization puts you on the track to success. 

What should I include in my daily routine?

Things to include in your daily routine: 

  1. Get up early 
  2. Get outside
  3. Move the body
  4. Mindfulness & spiritual practice 
  5. Drink water, eat whole foods
  6. Limit screen time, read books that better yourself
  7. Plan Ahead

Activities That Real People Include In Their Morning Routine

The morning routine is no new thing, although there are more and more ways that people are getting creative with it. When polled on social media, most people did three main things: they spent time on mindfulness and self-care, got their bodies moving, and spent time getting organized.

When asked how participating in a morning routine made them feel, they said they felt more prepared to take on the day, had an increased sense of gratitude and belief in themselves, and were less stressed, negative, and frustrated. It’s clear that having a morning routine benefits the mind, body, and soul. 

Morning ActivityPercentage of People 
Exercise 38%
Mindfulness Practice63%
Prep & Plan50%
Get Outside25%
Read 38%
Activities That Real People Include in Their Morning Routines

Other Resources:

There’s no reason not to engage in a morning routine. With so many ways to create a routine that is uniquely yours, you’ll be reaping the benefits of a morning routine in no time. By taking the time for yourself first thing in the morning, you reduce stress and create habits that will lead to success. 

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