Morning routine establishes the tone for our days. Many people swear by a productive morning routine, and so do I. Here is my ultimate morning routine guide to help you start your morning right. All of the routines recommended in this post are budget-friendly, so you have no excuse not to try them!
1. Drink some water
After a good night of sleep, our body is in need of water. The easiest way to encourage myself to drink water as soon as I wake up the next day is to place a glass of water beside my bed every day. Your body and your skin will thank you for keeping yourself well-hydrated.
If you prefer to have some flavour, you may want to drink lemon water! Lemon is a good source of vitamin C, and it helps freshen your breath!
Every new day is a miracle. The fact that we are able to enjoy life, to experience emotions and to feel love for another day is certainly a reason for us to smile. It is a simple morning ritual that will brighten your day.
3. Freshen up
Many of us may feel groggy upon waking up, especially when we binge-watch Netflix till daybreak but still have to wake up the next morning at 7am. The all-too-familiar morning breaths are also urging us to pick up our mint toothpaste and freshen up.
Of course, freshening up is more than brushing your teeth. Wash your face, comb your hair, put on some good clothes, and get ready for the new day! If you are brave enough, you can also add in a cold shower.
4. Pamper yourself a little bit
A good dose of self-pampering introduces the feels-good vibe into your life as you start the day. If you subconsciously associate pampering with special spa treatments and all the things that cost an arm and a leg, think again. Pampering doesn’t have to be expensive. A body mist that smells heavenly, or a moisturizer that feels luxurious, can do the trick. All you need are some little luxuries.
5. Do some stretching
Do some morning stretches to kick-start your day. Even the simplest morning stretches will energize you, boost your confidence, and make you feel good. All you need is a small space and 5 minutes in the morning. If you are looking for some stretching ideas, head to Healthline to learn 7 different moves you can follow!
6. Drink coffee or tea
Many of us may feel like a morning is not complete without some caffeine in our system. This is totally okay. Studies have shown that moderate amounts of caffeine can have benefits for our health.
Making your own coffee or tea at home is much budget-friendlier than purchasing it from a coffee shop. However, if you like the latter and feel like it enhances your life, it is certainly a small luxury that you do not have to deny yourself!
7. Eat a good breakfast
A healthy morning routine to have is to eat a nutritious breakfast. If you are looking for some breakfast ideas, check out my recipes for sweet potato muffins, or homemade scones! Add an egg, a glass of milk and a fruit, and you have an amazing breakfast that will keep your energy levels up and provide enough nutrients till lunch time.
8. Chat with your family
Although it is nice to eat a nutritious breakfast, it is even better if you can enjoy the breakfast with others. Chatting with your family during breakfast can be a great bonding experience for all parties involved. Even if you can’t manage to share a meal together, I still recommend that you spend a few minutes chatting with your loved ones.
9. Tell your family you love them
Love is the universal language that binds us together, so let’s take the time to tell your family that you love them. Hugs and kisses are also recommended!
10. Text good morning to a friend
When’s the last time you texted a good old “good morning” to a friend? Give it a try. I am sure your friend will be delighted to receive your message!
11. Clear your physical space
If you are too tired to do it the night before (and I have to admit that I have done it more than once), then morning is the time to put your stuff away. It helps you get ready for the new day.
12. Listen to a podcast
Morning is a great time to broaden your horizon. While you are tidying up your space, why not listen to a podcast, like a TED Talk, in the mean time?
13. Read a few pages
If you happen to be an early riser or have some extra time in the morning, then reading a few pages of a book can be a great routine that makes your morning even more productive. If you have to commute to work by public transit, you can bring a book with you as well. It doesn’t have to always be a serious book exploring human nature or career advancement. Reading some funny stories can help set a happy tone for the day.
If you don’t have time to read a few pages of a book, reading something short and uplifting, like motivational quotes or a blog post from your favourite blogger, will work just as well!
14. Browse the news
Browsing the news, either on the newspaper or the internet, can give us a quick understanding of the major events happening around the world. News, no matter what form it comes in, keeps us connected to the world around us.
With the advent of the internet, there are countless sources of news nowadays. I recommend that you stick to credible sources like New York Times, BBC, and The Washington Post.
15. Check your emails
Checking email is another one of the morning habits I follow quite religiously. It helps me feel organized. I go through all the unread emails, quickly glance through them all, and delete all the ones I don’t need while flagging all the ones that require special attention. Organizing my emails gives me a small sense of accomplishment early in the day that encourages me to tackle more difficult tasks that come afterwards.
16. Check social media
In addition to checking my emails, I also like to check up on my various social channels to catch any news. I also get some direct messages on my various platforms, so I use the morning to respond to them.
17. Create/review your to-do list
Having a list of things to do helps set your goals for the day. It also helps your prioritize your day so you can get the important things done first. Morning is a great time to create your list, or to review it if you already created the list the night before. I love crossing off tasks as I finish them throughout the day, and I feel a genuine sense of accomplishment if I manage to finish everything before I go to bed.
18. Learn something new
I like to study in the morning before breakfast. Morning is the optimal time for me to learn, because I find myself understanding concepts much more easily, and remembering things more readily early in the morning. It may be due to a combination of a good night’s sleep and lack of distraction, because most of the world is still asleep. It is just me, my textbook, and my pen on paper scribbling.
19. Spend time on your hobby
Working on your hobby is also a great morning routine to have. If you are a blogger like me, you may want to wake up a bit earlier to work on that rough draft, send another email, or read about blogging tips. If you are into photography, you may want to spend the time learning how to improve your skills.
Of course, you need to be mindful of everybody around you, so if your hobby is playing drums, you may want to refrain from playing when everybody is still asleep. Unless, of course, that you have soundproofed your room!
20. Write morning pages
If you like writing, you may want to use the early morning to write a few pages. As a morning person myself, I find mornings to be the perfect time for all the creative juices in my head. Perhaps because I feel rejuvenated after a good sleep, I can come up with lots of new ideas for my stories or blog posts.
21. Review your finances
It doesn’t have to be a super long session in which you review your personal net worth to see when you can become a millionaire and calculate your personal budget. Just a quick check on your previous day’s expenses will suffice.
If you are interested in a getting a copy of the monthly expense tracker that I personally use, you can get it for FREE if you sign up for my mailing list!
22. Take care of plants
If you are a plant person, taking care of plants in the morning will bring a smile to your face. The vitality of the plants and the slight physical activities involved with watering and trimming the plants will leave you feel refreshed and ready to start the day.
23. Play with your pet
If you have a pet at home, your morning routine might include spending a few minutes in the morning playing with your pet. Even better, you can take your puppy out for a walk and get some fresh air and exercise in!
I understand that different people have different preferences. After all, the debate between night owls and morning birds are real! For me, I much prefer working out in the morning. If you are like me, who have difficulty motivating myself to work out after a full day of work, you may want to institute a routine of morning workout sessions in your life as well. I love following workout videos on YouTube, though I also like to mix things up a little and opt for a run or a brisk walk sometimes.
A solid workout helps increase blood flow. It warms you up and wakes you up!
25. Be close to nature
If you are lucky enough to be living close to a ravine or a forest, morning is a good time to be close to nature. Take a walk, get your blood flowing, and listen to the birds sing.
26. Listen to music
I love listening to music as I start my day. I oftentimes will choose the music to help me set the tone of my day. For example, if it is a lazy Sunday morning, then I will put on some soothing and relaxing music. If it is a busy Tuesday morning with a big presentation coming up, I may put on some more upbeat music to get me in the zone as quickly as possible.
The quietude and peacefulness of the early morning hours makes it perfect for meditation. Many successful people and high achievers use the morning to meditate. For example, Arianna Huffington, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, meditates for 20 to 30 minutes every morning.
This morning routine helps set a tone of calmness for your day, builds focus, and provides a general sense of well-being that will help you go through the rest of your day with more ease. Take a deep breath, and get ready for your day.
28. Positive affirmations for yourself
Motivating ourselves with positive reminders and statements in the morning can help us start our day on the right note.
Save some of your favourite quotes that motivate or inspire you as the background of your phone. This way, you will always be reminded of them every morning.
Many successful people also credit journalling as a tool to help facilitate their growth. Your journal can be a safe place to express yourself and document what you see, hear, and think.
My journal is an inspiration for my writing. When I feel like I am running out of ideas, I head to my journal and read about my past experiences. I can always find sparks there!
30. A routine of no morning routine (occasionally)
Okay, this one is only reserved for those lazy days, but hey, we all need some days of pure relaxation, don’t we? In this society where we are encouraged to move faster all the time, it is worthwhile to relax at least occasionally. Establish boundaries for yourself, and give yourself the much needed self-care by allowing yourself to sleep until you wake up naturally, to wear the most comfortable pyjamas, and to flip through magazines without aim.
How to develop your ideal morning routine
To develop morning routine that suits you the most, trial-and-error and persistence are the way to go. People’s preferences are different, and so people’s morning routine can look very different as well. You can start by incorporating one or two of the recommendations listed here into your life and see how you like them. If you find yourself liking them, great, keep them in as part of your regimen. If not, not a problem! Simply swap them out, and add a few more in! Sooner or later, you will have a solid morning routine that is perfect just for you.
Persistence is also key to establishing your perfect morning routine. Successful morning routines that bring stability and productivity to your life are not established overnight. It is only through daily practices that they can slowly but surely transform your life.
Establish a new habit loop
A habit loop has three parts: cue, routine, and reward. You will want to establish one if you want to make good use of your morning.
For example, your cue can be your alarm clock. Your routine can be any of the above recommendations, and your reward can be lower stress levels for the rest of the day and feeling a sense of accomplishment for yourself.
Of course, if you are truly determined to build a good habit, you need to promise yourself to go through every step of the cue and routine, and you need to make sure that the reward is something you value. You cannot hit snooze on your alarm and go back to bed. Get up and do what you tell yourself you need to do.
Try some habit tracking apps
If you are having some difficulty finding the rhythm to establish a good morning routine, you may want to try some apps that can help track your habits. Momentum Habit Tracker, Habitica and StickK are among the apps that you can try.
Getting your work done early in the day can help you feel accomplished and ready to start the day on the right foot.
Without spending much money, you can start your day right with these 30 morning routines. Curious to learn how to improve your productivity throughout the day? You may want to check out my secret to productivity – the Eisenhower Matrix.
How many of these morning routines have you already incorporated into your life, and how many will you try? What is your perfect morning routine? After all, only you know what your best morning routine should be.
Bella Wanana is a freelance writer. She is the owner of bellawanana.com, a personal finance and lifestyle blog. She loves sharing with her readers the best tips and tricks on personal finance and how to live a balanced but fulfilling life. She has been featured on sites like MSN.com, Reader’s Digest, The Financial Diet, Yahoo Finance, and GOBankingRates.