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How to Start and Stick to a Morning Routine

Updated on July 12, 2013

What is their Morning Routine?

You can pretty much determine how a person's morning went just by watching them enter their workplace.

  • There is the frantic, already disheveled one, whose tie is crooked, hair is messy and is wearing two different colored socks!
  • There is Miss Calm, Cool and Collected. Not a hair out of place. Her clothing is neat, coordinated and not a wrinkle.
  • Here comes another one, racing in with a story about all the crazy things that have already happened to them that morning. You can see where this is going.
  • And, there is the one co-worker, already seated at his desk, coffee cup in hand, hard at work.

Do you see yourself in any of these? Do you see who you want to be like any of these?

How important is a Morning Routine?

We are all familiar with the expression, "I got up on the wrong side of the bed." It basically means that if my morning starts off badly, it generally sets the tone for the rest of the day. In this article we will talk about the various things you can do to make sure you get up on the right side of the bed everyday. You will learn how to design a morning routine that works for you and you will learn how to stick to it and make it a habit.

Having and sticking to a morning routine will get you on track and increase your likelihood of having a healthy, productive day!

The way you spend the first part of your day can and will impact the way the rest of your day will go. That should be motivation enough to make sure you spend it well.

We have all been told over and over that the early bird catches the worm.
We have all been told over and over that the early bird catches the worm. | Source

"Those that get up at five am rule the world."~Robin Sharma

It is true that many successful CEOs start their days very early. Most follow a daily routine and get more done before the average person has even awoken.

A Morning Routine is not just for Morning!

While rising early is often associated with establishing a morning routine, I do want to emphasize here that this article is focussing on establishing and following a morning routine, regardless of the actual time of day

Do you have an Established Morning Routine?

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Everyone already has a Morning Routine.

Even if you do not have the morning routine that you would like, you DO have a morning routine. It may vary a bit but most of us follow basically the same rituals day in and day out.

  • Get up, stretch
  • Go to the bathroom, wash up, brush teeth.
  • Start the coffee
  • Feed the pets

Most of us have our own way and order of doing things upon awakening. The trick is learning to add the additional things that we want to accomplish in the morning.


How to decide what you need for your Morning Routine

Things that have to be done
Things that should be done
Things to make my day more successful
Wash face, brush teeth, shower
make/eat breakfast
recite a mantra
make and drink coffee
start cooking dinner
feed cats, clean litter box
call mom
write/answer emails

Even American Psycho's need their Morning Routine

How do You establish a Morning Routine?

The first step is to make a list. Write down what you would like to accomplish with/from your morning routine. If you are looking for motivators, write that down. Maybe you want to start exercising or you want to establish a schedule to get through at-home work before you leave for an outside job. If you have children who need to be included in the routine, don't forget to account for them!

Your first draft list should look something like this:

  1. Mantra
  2. Exercise for half an hour.
  3. Write for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Eat breakfast
  5. call mom

....Checking it twice.

I recommend that you put them in order by convenience. Add those things that you have to do, like showering, ironing and caring for others. Try to figure out how much time you will need to dedicate to those chores. If they vary daily, choose the longest time it will take. It's much better to have extra time at the end of the routine than not enough. Be generous in your calculations. Don't forget to allow for unexpected things that could affect your schedule. Next, figure out how much time you will need to get to work/school/daycare.

Making a list....

Everybody's list will be different but this is just a starting point. In the next step, add the things that you should be doing and would like to be doing. For some, it will be as mundane as eating breakfast. For others, it could be catching up on last season's Game of Thrones. Once you have compiled the list, you will then need to priortize. Which things are most important to me? What can I absolutely not shorten or skip? When I have established that, I can begin to put them in order.

Mahatma Gandhi

"The mantra becomes one's staff of life and carries one through every ordeal. Each repitition has a new meaning carrying you nearer and nearer to G-d."

Morning Mantra

In the Jewish religion, one of the first prayers taught is the "Modeh Ani." It is recited every morning upon awakening and thanks G-d for the gift of a new day of life.

Some people recite a mantra every morning when they awaken. Others like to mentally run through their day and all the wonderful things that will be happening. Some people will listen to an inspiring song or poem. What ever it is you do, adding inspiration and motivation to your morning routine is a great way to wake up and get your day going.

The Advantages of having a Morning Routine

A morning mantra, prayer or affirmation is a great way to start to your day. It reroutes your thoughts, offers you direction and starts your day in a positive mode. Switch the "to-do" list that you have running in your head with something inspirational or motivational. Get in the habit of saying it upon awakening. Say it again before/during your crazy morning commute and once again as you begin your workday. You can say it as often as you choose and you will learn to incorporate it into your morning routine.

How to Write or Choose a Mantra.

After reading the book, The Secret, I decided I would benefit from reciting a morning mantra. It was, for me, more of a morning prayer. It has, since then, evolved and changed (several times over!) but it still holds the same purpose and importance in my life.

To learn how to organize your thoughts and write your own Mantra, you can check out my hub, How to Write a Morning Mantra.

Visualize Your Results.

How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as the competent, fulfilled person? Starting a new routine can be difficult. You have tools here to plan the routine. The next step is implementing it. The final step is maintaining it.

How can you make that happen?

The most critical step is in starting. Once you are motivated to start, you have completed half the battle! Next is staying with it. In the beginning, you may forget to leave yourself enough time or you may only do some of the things in your routine. You may struggle to get out of bed to do it when all you really want is just one half hour more to sleep.

Ways to Insure that you will stick to your Morning Routine.

Don't be surprised to find yourself making up excuses, looking for rationale to get out of following your new routine. We are creatures of habit. Most of balk at change, even when the change will be better for us in the long run.

  • One trick to keep this from hindering your progress is to be forewarned and forearmed. Plan for the fact that it will take time to get used to it and some days will be more difficult.
  • Write a contract to Stick to your Morning Routine. This may seem a little silly but if you write a contract or statement about your intentions, you will be more likely to stick to it.
  • Phone a friend. If you tell someone you are going to do it, you will add accountability to the mix. When someone is "checking up" on us, we are much more likely to strive for results.


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    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you so much, Breanne! Welcome to my hub!

      I am definitely guilty of being on the lazy side recently. Thank you for stopping by, commenting and reminding me that I need to get back on track!

    • Breanne Ginsburg profile image

      Breanne Ginsburg 

      4 years ago

      This is a good article. I think so many of us try to follow a routine to make our lives healthier but because of being busy or just being lazy, we find excuses not to follow through. Good job.

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      You are so right, CraftytotheCore! Workplaces are usually really good at structure and time management. I am so focussed at work and wish I could bring more of that discipline home! Unfortunately, I am much closer to "grasping at time running away from me...." than I am at organization. I do have good intentions, though! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your experiences!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image


      5 years ago

      Structure and routine are so important. I have a child with Autism. He thrives with structure and routine.

      I grew up on a farm, so we always had a morning routine. But, as silly as it sounds, I learned a lot about time management as a teenager when I went to work for a retail store. Things had to get done in a certain order every day. Once the routine was down, I became very efficient.

      That's how I try to structure my day now even though I work from home. Without routine, I feel like I'm grasping at time running away from me and then I become unproductive.

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you awordlover! Good for you sticking to a routine and being flexible about it!

    • awordlover profile image


      5 years ago

      Routines are important for me in order to get anything accomplished. Sometimes it is an evening routine because of work scheduling but most of the time, it is a morning routine.

      Good hub with good advice.

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Deb! Welcome to my hub page! I appreciate your comments and votes!

    • profile image

      Deb Welch 

      5 years ago

      I plan each day with a list but - yet each day I am different so the whole list may not be accomplished. I need a Mantra. Thought the video was cool and corny too. Good Hub. Useful and Interesting. Thanks.

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you so much, lricwriter! Much appreciated!

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      5 years ago from West Virginia

      Btrbell, great information. Voted up, useful, awesome, shared on FB. A morning routine is important, certainly is for me. It helps with my time management and I stay on course. Well done, well written, and great advice.

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Good for you, Glimmer Twin Fan! I'm jealous! Your husband probably is, too!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      6 years ago

      My husband makes fun of me because I get up so early, but I have my routine and am ready for what the day brings me early on. Of course, with the summer, that routine gets more relaxed, but it really helps when one is trying to get a 10 year old out the door. Interesting hub.

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Hi Pamela! I know what you mean about visitors changing the shape of the day. Because of things like that, I strive harder to follow a routine earlier in the morning. I dom't like that frustrated feeling of not being able to get everything done! Thanks so much for stopping by, commenting and sending me angels! You have a wonderful weekend, as well!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Honestly, Jennifer, you should be proud of your hub stats! I, most definitely check for comments and scores more than once a day! Earnings? Not much in that department!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      6 years ago from sunny Florida

      I am a routine person within limits but keep it flexible. Often a visitor will come to stay with me and it changes my plans for the day. For that reason I keep my plans for the day loose enough that I can change them at a minutes notice.

      I am a morning person so I am up before the chickens and raring to go.

      Thanks for sharing this, Randi...

      Have a lovely weekend. Angels are on the way ps

    • profile image

      Jennifer Suchey 

      6 years ago

      Well I was mostly kidding about the hub stats ... mostly. ;) Certainly you should write for a broader audience. Thanks for the reply.

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Hey, Jennifer! Thanks for stopping by! Loke you, I am also not a routine person. That is why I need to use a structured routine now and then! To be honest, I didn't mention hubstats or earnings for 2 reasons: 1) It reallyisn't the first thing I do (but is accounted for vaugely in "write/answer e-mails") 2) I hope that my audience is broaser than only hubpages and don't want to limit my content.

      Thank you so much for catching those typos! Much appreciated!! :)

      Thank you also for the votes up! I am glad you enjoyed it! Great mantra, btw!

    • profile image

      Jennifer Suchey 

      6 years ago

      I am SO not a routine person! Well . . . I CAN be when I set my mind to it, but these days I don't have anything specific to keep me in line. I can basically do what I want, when I want. Not a bad life, eh? But also not as productive as I should be. Funny, when you mentioned the things many of us do first thing in the morning, you left out "Check hub stats and earnings!" Haha! That's first thing on my list, while lying in bed, with my iPhone usually. :D

      By the way, you had a few minor typos. You might want to read it over and look for them. Excellent hub, though, and very motivational. I will try to keep some of your tips in mind, and plan to read your mantra hub as well. My favorite mantra in regard to riding my road bike is "You are stronger than you think you are."

      Voted up and Useful!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Must be a girl thing! :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      All good suggestions for those who have trouble with routine, and I know quite a few people who fit in that category, including the lady I live with. :)


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