34 Quick habits to add to your morning routine

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One of the most critical keys to success is starting each morning off on the right foot by setting a positive tone for the day.

Because your morning routine can have a ripple effect on the rest of your day, it’s important to find a system that feels natural for you and makes you feel good.

The trick here is knowing which success and health habits are best for you to get you off to a good start.

In this post, we’ll go over 71 morning routine ideas that can become a key part of your day — each only taking a few minutes to complete. By introducing new positive habits into your life, you can improve both your mental and physical wellbeing.

Obviously, you won’t be able to try all of them at once–instead, review this list and pick the habits that you’d like to try out, and when you find the ones that make the most sense for your needs, long-term goals, and schedule, you can incorporate them into your mornings.

Let’s get to it…

The Benefits of Following a Morning Routine

Before we jump into the habits, let’s take a moment and talk about the benefits of a morning routine.

For starters, people are the most productive when they wake up, and setting up a routine ensures that they maintain that level of productivity for longer periods of time.

Following a system first thing in the morning, means you’ll have more time to reflect in a quiet atmosphere (less hustle and bustle) and it gives you the opportunity to be organized for the rest of the day.

More importantly, this daily habit helps you create energy and the right “mindset” to tackle the challenges of a busy day.

Waking up early is a success habit that nearly all leaders follow, notes Sujan Patel in his blog post on the routines of fortune 500 leaders. Noting how early many high powered leaders start their work days.

The good news?

Everything in the following list can be accomplished in as little as five minutes. A morning routine does not necessarily mean you need to be up at 4:00 am. It only means you need to set aside a little bit of extra time every morning to wake up and focus on the activities that will help you grow as a person..

These quick routines mean you can stack one habit on top of another and complete a lot of important things in a single block of 30 minutes.

Simply look at the following list of 71 habits and focus on the ones that make the most sense for your busy lifestyle…

Career Morning Routine Ideas

1. Declutter Your Desktop

Required Time: 5 minutes

It is harder to stay focused when your surroundings are in chaos.

Spend the first 5 minutes of your workday clearing your work area. It mentally conditions you and helps you become more productive.

Clutter on your desk is a source of stress. It reminds you about other things that you need to do, taking away your focus from the task at hand. It is also a major time waster, if you constantly have to rummage through a stack of files to find what you need.

Here are some tips for effective decluttering:

  • Paperwork that you need for the day should be the only file(s) you have on your desk.
  • Put paperwork that you don’t need for the day into physical folders, filing cabinets, or drawers.
  • Delete temporary files that you no longer need from your computer.
  • Place files in appropriate folders, using a standard system for file labeling.

To learn more about this habit, here are 15 great books on decluttering and organizing your life.

2. Schedule Your Day

Required Time: 5 minutes

Without a schedule, it’s frighteningly easy to get to the end of the day and realize you’ve achieved nothing of importance.

Schedule your day and make a list of tasks you want to complete.

At the very least, you should make a list of the tasks you want to accomplish during the day and decide where your priorities lie.

Make a list of the tasks you want to complete by the end of the day. Try to be realistic about your efficiency instead of creating a lengthy list of tasks that will be impossible to complete.

Use the Eisenhower Decision Matrix to rate the importance of each task: 1 (important and urgent), 2 (important, but not urgent), 3 (not important, but urgent), or 4 (not important, not urgent).

The video below provides an overview on how to implement The Eisenhower Decision Matrix.

Also, here is a step-by-step process on how to schedule your day for maximum productivity.

3. Remove Distractions before Working

Required Time: 5 minutes

Many of us find it impossible to ignore notifications from our emails and social media. This is especially true if we are trying to work.

The thing is, if we are constantly interrupted by the pings, text alerts, and push notifications from different communication platforms, our productivity takes a nosedive.

To focus on the task at hand, close your email tab and make a personal ban on social media use during your working hours.

If you find it difficult to resist online distractions, there are several tools that can help block your access to them:

  • Cold Turkey – you choose the sites you wish to temporarily block in order to focus on work.
  • Freedom – this app lets you block time-draining website. You are prevented access to that distracting website for 8 hours at a time.
  • FocusWriter – If you are a writer and you find it a struggle to reach your daily word-count quota because of distracting sites, this this app is for you. It works by blocking out the items on your screen except for what you are currently writing.
  • StayFocusd – This Chrome extension restricts the duration of your access to time-sink sites. You set the limit of how much time you spend on a certain website, e.g., Facebook or Twitter. When the allotted time is used up, your access to that site is blocked for the day.

4. Chunk Down a Project (or Task) into Manageable Steps

Required Time: 4 minutes

Sometimes a project is so overwhelming that you simply don’t know where to get started. But if you set aside time during a stack to create a step-by-step plan, you can improve your productivity because you’ll know where to get started.

For each of your major projects, take a few minutes to chunk it down into simple-to-complete steps. By breaking a task into specific actions, you’ll have a better understanding of what needs to be done and how to schedule the work into your day.

5. Identify One Task to Delegate or Outsource

Required Time: 1 minute

In any career, there are tasks critical to the job while others take away precious time to do the critical work. Of course, you’d want to spend more time doing the high-value activities.

At the same time, these less-than-high-value tasks are also important. You need to simply identify which of the tasks you do daily are high-value ones and which ones take away your time from being more efficient on your job.

Then you can either delegate these time-consuming, less-crucial aspects of your work.

Make a running list of the tasks that you want to eliminate from your own to-do list. Develop the habit of adding one item on your list per day.

One quick way to do this is to pause for a few seconds before an activity and asking yourself, “Am I the only one who can complete this task?” If the answer is “no,” then the task goes to the list.

Once you have completed your list, then it’s time to delegate. One way of getting these tedious tasks off your hand is by outsourcing them. Here are some useful resources:

  • Virtual Staff Finder – Hire an experienced and dedicated Filipino virtual assistant to help increase your productivity
  • Angi – Helps you find a fully vetted contractor to do that home improvement project you’ve been putting off for moths.
  • Care.com – Create an account and find reliable caregivers for your child, fur babies, and elderly family members, as well as house sitters from services providers within your area.

6. Research One “Side Hustle”

Required Time: 5 minutes

A side hustle is another way to describe a part-time activity that could turn into a full-time income. But there are too many choices out there, which makes it hard to pick one and stick with it.

To research a side hustle, the best starting points are Nick Loper’s Side Hustle Nation and his book Buy Buttons. Both provide a great overview of the different income-generating opportunities and what you need to do to create a similar business.

Ask yourself a few key questions like:

  • Do I have time to work on this side hustle?
  • What equipment is required to get started?
  • How much money do I need to invest in it?
  • Does the type of business match my personality?
  • Can this business scale into a full-time income?

(If you prefer to listen to podcasts, here are the best business podcasts to help you learn about potential side hustles.)

7. Make One Business Connection

Required Time: 5 minutes

You’ve probably heard the expression, “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.” Well, it’s true for every area of life, but this is especially true when it comes to your career.

(Side note: One of the simplest ways to build up your business skills is to join over 1 million others and start your day with the latest news from Wall St. to Silicon Valley.  This newsletter is a 5-minute read that’s informative, witty and FREE!)

There are many ways to improve your business network. Here are four resources you can use to get started:

  • LinkedIn: The best social media site for making business connections and profiling your skills, knowledge, and areas of expertise.
  • Meetup: The preferred site for finding specific groups in the area and connecting with people who are interested in your career field.
  • Facebook Groups: One of the best resources for finding people who share a mutual interest. There are millions of groups here, so it’s not hard to find a few that specialize in your industry.

8. Review Your Goals

Required Time: 5 minutes

Everybody has goals. Whether they are big or small, we all have things that we want to accomplish. Sadly, the daily hustle and bustle of life can make us get off track.

You need to review your goals so that you can:

  • Create plans to reach those goals
  • Put your day in perspective
  • Know what’s important to accomplish

You can set goals for the day or the year, but you can’t just aimlessly wander around on a day-to-day basis. Make sure you use every minute for what it’s worth and accomplish what you set out for.

If you’d like to discover additional information on goal setting, then I suggest you check out the following articles:

9. Eat the Frog

We have talked about the concept of “eating the frog” in previous posts, and it’s a constructive thing to add to your morning routine.

In Brian Tracy’s book, Eat That Frog!, he suggests that the most productive way to start your day is to “eat that frog”, which is inspired by a Mark Twain quote:

“If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.”

The idea here is that if you get the hardest or most dreaded task out of the way first, you can move on to the less daunting things on your to-do list, knowing that you’ve already done that one thing that you would have probably wasted time making up excuses to avoid doing it later on.

Committing yourself to your hardest task right away will make your other obligations seem simple.

For me, this is returning phone calls. I often dread returning people’s calls at work because it usually feels like the communication could be done much more efficiently (and succinctly) through email.

However, many of my clients don’t use email, so we have to resort to talking on the phone. And, for some of my clients, I know I will literally waste time sitting at my desk, phone in hand, actively procrastinating, and  just. not. dialing.  

By getting these calls out of the way first thing in the morning, I rarely have anything left on my to-do list for the day that’s holding me back.

This advice is especially great for those who have some really difficult responsibilities to complete that require a lot of focus and brain power, but it works for dreaded tasks as well. 

10. Review Your Vision Board

You put time and effort into hosting the party, you’ve created your vision board, you’ve displayed it somewhere that’s easy for you to see, now it’s time to use it as you intended to.

By intentionally reviewing your vision board as part of your daily morning routine, you will prompt the Law of Attraction, bringing the people, opportunities, and resources into your life that you need in order to make progress toward reaching your goals.

Engaging in daily visualization practices will also help you recognize available resources that may have always been there, but have gone unnoticed.

Looking at your vision board in the morning will naturally motivate you to take actions that will move you closer to living your ideal life. And before you know it, you’ll be experiencing the payoffs of your hard work.

11. Read the Entire Newspaper

This sounds like a bit more than I could commit to doing, but some people swear by it. NFL Hall-of-Famer and founder of GoSmallBiz.com and Tarkenton Companies, Fran Tarkenton, has done this for decades.

Tarkenton reports that he reads an entire newspaper each morning–but not just his local newspaper– he reads a diverse selection to get different perspectives and viewpoints on everything going on in the world that may impact his life and business.

Furthermore, he says that he doesn’t leave any part out–even the sections that he finds to be boring–because he finds that learning new information is an essential part of his day.

Reading the entire newspaper can be beneficial because it offers information at levels of detail that TV sound bites or short headlines cannot adequately explain.

It affords readers a wide range of information regarding evolving news and puts it in context. It also goes into depth and tells readers things they didn’t even realize that they may have needed to know.

You could choose to ignore the newspaper (and perhaps stay ignorant), only read newspapers that confirm your existing biases, or find, read, and digest a diverse set of news in newspapers that are written by non-biased, dedicated professionals.

If you’re working on personal development, chances are you will choose the last option.

Finance Morning Routine Ideas

12. Review Your Personal Capital Account

Required Time: 2 minutes

If you want a solid look at your current financial situation, using a financial tool such as Personal Capital can help you.

This app helps you keep track of your investments with its syncing feature. It accurately lets you know your “net worth.”

Knowing the current state of your finances is useful when you’re making decisions about how to spend and invest your money.

13. Track Your Expenses (from the Day Before)

Required Time: 5 minutes

Get started by keeping all the receipts, credit card statements, and notes (in an emergency) for each expenditure.

Then, at the end of the day, jot down a description of the purchase and the amount. (This should be a daily habit because it’s easy to forgot those small purchases that you make throughout the day.)

From there, input this information into one of the following tools:

  • A notebook (yes, this is a low-tech approach, but some folks like having a string of notebooks that they can use to maintain their records).
  • A spreadsheet program, like Microsoft Excel.
  • A Cloud-based software program and app like Mint.

14. Review Your Budget

Required Time: 3 minutes

There are two budgeting habits that you can build. The first is the daily checkup that neatly fits into any regular stack. Here, you’ll look at your budget as a reminder of what you’re allowed to spend for each category.

Use these finance morning routine habits as part of your morning routine checklist for adults and help improve your budgeting skills.
When it comes to monitoring your budget, it’s important to have a quick daily check up and a weekly budget review.

The second habit is the weekly budget review. This thirty-minute routine is important because it gives you a complete picture of where you’re spending your money and if you’re sticking to the plan.

During this weekly analysis, look at each category and ask questions like:

  • “Are my expenditures under what I’ve allotted for that category?”
  • “Should I increase or decrease the cap for a particular category?”
  • “Is there a type of spending that I can completely eliminate?”
  • “Why did I purchase each item? Is it because it’s a need or a want?”
  • “Are there substitute habits or purchases that can minimize what I’m spending?”
  • “Can I find any additional ‘financial holes’ that can be plugged?”
  • “Is my money being spent on the things that truly matter to me?”
  • “What was the last item I regretted purchasing?”
  • “What’s holding me back from taking action?”
  • “How would my budget look without debt payments?”
  • “What’s my true hourly wage?”
  • “What can I do to increase my income?”
  • “If I died today, would my family be okay?”
  • “Am I setting a good example for my children?”
  • “Where do I want to be financially one year from now?”
  • “Do I have enough of an emergency fund?”
  • “How much am I spending (and saving) each month?”

Also, if you’d like to learn additional strategies beyond budgeting and tracking your expenses, be sure to check out these 26 good money habits.

15. Conserve Your Utilities

Required Time: 5 minutes

Turning off the lights and appliances in your home, office, or apartment can save you a significant amount of money when it comes to your monthly utilities. Not only is it simple to do, but it also helps the environment.

To supercharge your efforts, you can add a series of tiny actions into your daily routine:

  • Turn off lights whenever you leave a room.
  • Power down electronics when they’re not being used. (Many electronics will often go into “standby” mode that still uses some electricity.)
  • Open windows and use fans for cooling in the summertime, saving the air conditioning for those oppressively hot days.
  • Open the blinds and shades in the winter, which lets the sun shine in and warms your home without expending additional energy.
  • Match your pot size to the proper sized burner. Using a small pot or pan on a larger electric coil means you expend more energy to get the same result.
  • Use cold water to do loads of laundry. The results are nearly as good, but it costs about 40 cents less per load of laundry than washing clothes with hot water.
  • Turn off the water heater if you are going to leave your home for a few days. It takes an hour to get a water heater to reheat the water and saves quite a bit of energy over the days you are gone.

16. Pack a Meal, Snack, and Coffee

Required Time: 5 minutes

Preparing and packing the food items you consume every day is both a healthy choice and a wise financial decision.

Having a healthy morning routine means building morning routine habits that improve your life.
Packing your own lunch and coffee can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Author David Bach often talks about what he calls The Latte Factor, where a simple way to save money is to eliminate those small, recurring purchases that add up to a substantial amount of cash.

You can put his advice into action by preparing your, coffee (or tea), and a snack before leaving your home in the morning.

Check your kitchen for what you could bring as a snack or for lunch. Place it with your purse or car keys so you don’t forget it when you leave. Or make coffee at home and use a travel mug to take it with you.

If you get stuck, here are 56 healthy snack ideas that you can pack each morning.

17. Read a Personal Finance Article

Required Time: 5 minutes

You can never be overeducated, especially when it comes to personal finance. In fact, I recommend building a self-education habit where you read books, listen to podcasts, and scan personal finance articles.

If you don’t have time for these activities, then I’d recommend checking out at least one personal finance article a day.

Here are a few personal finance websites that I’d recommend checking out:

If you want a simple way to scan these websites, then you can sign up for a free Feedly account, add these sites to your feed, and look through it during a regular stack.

Also, we recommend checking out the free Morning Brew newsletter that’s full of great tips on business and investing. You can read the review here.

18. Look For Coupons

Whether you have plans for the day to go out and buy a household necessity or you’re shopping around for a good deal on something that you just want, you might as well use any available coupons to help save some money.

If you get the newspaper, look in there for coupons and sales–or just go online and see what you can find. Some helpful sites to visit to get the best coupons include:

Remember, if you come across a really good deal, but you don’t have a need for the item that’s on sale, don’t buy it. It can be tempting to take advantage of a great deal, but unless you need whatever you’re buying, you’re really just wasting money.

And, while you’re online…

19. Scan Your Local Buy/Sell Facebook Groups

A lot of cities have a “buy nothing” group for people who want to get rid of things (clothes, appliances, furniture, etc.) that are too nice to throw away, but they don’t want to go through the trouble of taking to a donation center.

These groups help promote a positive sense of community by allowing people to help others who live in their immediate area.

When my daughter started growing out of some of the more expensive baby items (such as her Pack ‘n Play, mamaRoo, and a TON of clothes) I put them on my local “buy nothing” Facebook page and these items were all out of my way within hours, as local moms jumped at the chance to obtain these necessities for free.

You will also be able to find garage sale sites on Facebook for your city where you can buy items at greatly discounted prices.

Browsing these Facebook pages on a daily basis can help you save major money in the long run, especially if you are in the market for a specific item that you expect is going to cost you a lot of money.

Healthy Morning Routine Ideas

20. Weigh Yourself Every Day

Required Time: 1 minute

I know, this isn’t something that you want to hear. But, weighing yourself on a regular basis can help you establish clear health and fitness goals.

Also, it’s important to know that your weight will fluctuate on a daily basis, so you don’t have to be bummed if your weight goes up for a day or two. Finally, be sure you weigh yourself at the same time for the most accurate results.

Watch the video below for more morning routine habits that you should focus on the first few hours of the day if you’re aiming to lose weight.

21. Check the Weather

Required Time: 1 minute

Many people have used weather as an excuse to not work out. Excuses like, “Oh, man! It’s too cold out. I can’t go running as planned.”

Checking the weather ahead of time allows you to execute that Plan B, especially when you intend to do some workout outdoors. If the weather does not permit certain exercise activities then you will be able to change plans accordingly.

You’d have accomplished your fitness goals and felt great about it.

Some ways you can still work out even with inclement weather include:

  • Going to the gym (it’s indoors!)
  • Spending the day window shopping at the mall (walking burns calories)
  • Well, with the right clothing, you can still do the outdoor workout you’ve planned. As famed British fellwalker and guidebook author-illustrator Alfred Wainwright put it, “There is no such thing as bad weather; only unsuitable clothing.

22. Practice Rebounding

Required Time: 3 minutes

Rebounding is a trendy new exercise routine that is changing how people start their day. You need a small trampoline (here’s one that I have personally used).

There are numerous benefits to rebounding:

  • Cleared sinuses
  • Toned muscles
  • Stronger lymphatic system
  • Increased creativity

One of the best things about rebounding is that it doesn’t take up a lot of space. Whether you live in an apartment or a home of your own, you can start rebounding right away.

Learn more about rebounding here: 51 Benefits Of Rebounding Exercise

23. Have a Glass of Warm Water with Lemon

Required Time: 2 minutes

Start your day by drinking a 16 ounce glass of warm lemon water. (Make sure your drinking water is clean and safe by using a quality water filter pitcher).

A healthy morning routine means building morning routine habits that improve your health.
Start your day by drinking a 16 ounce glass of lemon water to wake you up faster.

We’re not talking about putting in a whole lemon and juicing it. Instead it’s better to do just a few drops.

This habit helps you:

  • Wake up faster
  • Freshen your breath
  • Get large amounts of vitamins
  • Reduce the feeling of hunger
  • Aid your digestive system

This is a lot easier to do than it seems, and it’s a great way to start your day. All you need to do is pour some water into a glass and add a couple drops of lemon juice. Easy, right?

To learn more about this topic, we have a detailed step-by-step post on how to increase your daily water intake.

24. Take Daily Vitamins

Required Time: 2 minutes

Daily vitamins are a must for anyone, and you’ll feel better about your day if you take them on a consistent basis.

Vitamins are essential because they:

Vitamins can give your body the boost it needs to get started and help your mind stay focused throughout the day. Be sure to read the directions on specific vitamins so that you are taking them properly.

Learn more about the benefits of taking vitamins daily: Potential Benefits of Multivitamins.

And if you’re stuck, here are the best multivitamin options for women and the best ones for men.

25. Maintain a Food Journal

Required Time: 5 minutes

This is another aspect of your morning that you probably don’t want to do, but need to do if you want to lose weight.

Maintaining a food journal helps you see exactly what you’re putting into your body and how much you’re eating. You’d be surprised at just how much you consume in a given day.

Food journals are effective because they:

  • Make you responsible for what you eat
  • Give you a physical representation of your daily habits
  • Encourage you to avoid little “snacks”
  • Help you meet your health goals
  • Food journals might seem like a negative thing at first, but you’ll soon be able to take pride in recording what you eat.

To get started, here are 37 free food journal templates food journals.

26. Use the Coach.me App

Required Time: 5 minutes

The Coach.me app is a great tool for forming new habits. It’s like having a coach in your pocket, for better and worse. You’ll be held accountable for your activities and goals through Lift.do.

This app will help you:

  • Visualize your progress
  • Receive step-by-step coaching (on specific habits or goals)
  • Develop winning habits
  • Get encouragement from friends and strangers

Did I mention that Coach.me is free? It’s supported on both Apple’s Store and the Android store, so be sure to download it now and get back on track!

27. Let the Natural Light In

Required Time: 1 minute

Remember when your parents would come into your room and open the blinds? While it may not be fun to wake up to, natural light does help you get started on the right foot.

Natural light has a number of different advantages, including:

  • Aiding in mood and perception
  • Enabling the performance of tasks
  • Controlling the body’s Circadian system

This tip is only helpful if the sun is up, but it’s an essential one that you should turn into a regular habit. At the very least, it helps you lower your bills because you’re not using as much light during the day.

Use these morning routine habits as part of your morning routine checklist for adults.
Some natural light in the morning help you get started on the right foot.

Learn more about the benefit of natural light here: Benefits of Natural Light

28. Make an Antioxidant Smoothie

Required Time: 3 minutes

If you need a quick pick-me-up, you should try making an antioxidant smoothie. (Check out these green smoothie recipes!) They help you get the necessary nutrients and vitamins in a simple and tasty form.

My personal favorite consists of:

  • 1 cup of frozen berry mix (usually containing strawberries, cherries, pomegranate, raspberries, and blueberries)
  • 4 ounces of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 2 tbsp of milled flax

Just blend all of the ingredients (using a quality blender) together until they are smooth and take your smoothie on the go. Make it as thick or smooth as you want by adding or subtracting water. It tastes great and will satisfy even the pickiest in the family.

An alternative to this idea is to prepare a green juice drink.  To learn more, check out this review where we talk about the Organifi, Athletic Greens, and Super Greens products.

29. Eat Other Nutritious Foods

Required Time: 5 minutes

Of course, you can’t just live off of smoothies for the rest of your life. There are plenty of other foods that you can have for breakfast that are really beneficial to your performance.

Some suggestions that I recommend are:

  • Having a small bowl of berries
  • Eating a breakfast bar
  • Sprinkling granola or nuts on yogurt
  • Putting an egg on a high-fiber English muffin

All of these options are healthy for you and you can mix things up to your liking. Never stick with the same thing because your body can get used to it. It pays to try new things! To get started, here are 61 healthy breakfast ideas to try in your mornings.

30. Have a Mint

Required Time: 2 minutes

Mints can do more than just freshen your breath. You can suck on an Altoid, chew some strong mint-flavored gum, brush your teeth with mint toothpaste, or dab some peppermint essential oil under your nostrils if you want; the choice is up to you.

The reason you want to do something with mint is because it:

  • Increases mental alertness
  • Is a natural stimulant
  • Helps with memory loss
  • Mint can be used in a number of different ways, and how you choose to use it will change what it does. It can be ingested (when directed) or applied to the skin for other benefits.

Here’s a great list of all the things mint can do for you: Health Benefits of Mint

31. Wear a Step-Tracking Device

Required Time: 1 minute

Wearing a step-tracking device can have an amazing impact on your physical fitness. If you’re not familiar with them, step trackers are small devices or watches that track your total steps and floors climbed every day.

At first glance, “putting on a step-tracking device” might seem like an inconsequential habit. But there are a surprising number of people who buy these devices and never wear them.

Use morning routine habits as the foundation for morning routine for success.
Wearing a step-tracking device is the crucial first step to building the exercise habit.

If you start each day by clipping on this device, you’ll take that crucial first step to building the exercise habit. And when you constantly wear this device, you’ll find reasons to get more movement throughout the day.

If you don’t have a step tracker, then feel free to check out the exhaustive review of the best pedometers to buy, which compares the pricing and features of the popular pedometers. (And if you’d like to get more steps, then learn how to start running.)

32. Complete a 7-Minute Workout

Required Time: 7 minutes

A great way to start or end your day is to use an app like 7 Minute Workout, which acts like a personal trainer that guides you through a 12-exercise total-body workout.

Just fire up the app and complete the recommend exercises. (You might have to buy a few pieces of equipment ahead of time to get the real value from this app.)

Also, you should consider upgrading to their “All the Things” level, which gives you a few different program options:

  • Arms
  • Cardio
  • Core
  • Pilates
  • Toning

If you alternate between these options with each stack, you’ll get a decent amount of exercise that’s better than what most people do during their day.

33. Exercise Your Brain

There are so many benefits to playing brain games, and doing so in the morning is the perfect way to fire up your brain and prepare yourself for the rest of the day.

Doing brain exercises isn’t just for the aging population, it’s important for people of any age to be intentional about keeping their brains sharp and active.

Research has shown that the key to long-term success when it comes to cognitive function is performing a wide variety of mental activities, so your brain is required to work in new ways.

Just like you want to engage and challenge more than one muscle when you’re exercising your body, you need to keep more than one part of your brain active so it stays sharp.

Playing brain games is a good primer for a life of continuous learning, as it will keep your brain used to embracing (and remembering) new information.

If you are on auto-pilot all day (which many people are), your brain won’t be challenged. Although it’s great to have muscle memory and cognitive memorization of some everyday tasks such as driving or checking out at the grocery store, your brain requires new tests in order to stay fit.

Playing a variety of brain games will help you maintain your cognitive health so you can work at your optimal level of performance.

34. Replace One Food Item

Every morning around 4:30, my 5-year-old calls out for me to bring her a cup of milk. And every morning when I go downstairs to get it, I eat something sweet before going back to bed. I’m not sure why I started doing this, but it never fails.

Because they’re so easily accessible, I usually grab a handful of M&Ms. This daily–yet also impulsive–snack could so easily be replaced by a handful of grapes, which would be equally as convenient, but a lot healthier.

Think about your morning eating habits. It can be hard to resist junk food when you’re tired, but making one substitution could lead to a big difference in the long-run.

A lot of foods have healthy alternatives–even if they don’t seem healthy. For example, if you put margarine on your toast in the morning, you may be surprised to learn that this is not exactly a healthy alternative for real butter.

Margarine is a highly processed product made from vegetable oil that includes trans fats, additives, emulsifiers, and colorants.

Butter, on the other hand, is simply made from cow’s milk. And, if you buy high-quality, grass-fed butter, not only does it taste better, but it’s actually lower in fat than margarine.

Plus, it contains a remarkable amount of nutrients, such as omega 3 fats, beta carotene, and vitamins B12, K, D, E, and C.

Perhaps best of all, high-quality butter contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is a fatty acid found in meat and dairy that has a variety of health benefits, and is often used as a weight loss supplement.

If you want to have really good butter, you can easily make it yourself. Just get some high-quality, organic cream and whip it. I prefer to do this in a food processor because you can just pour the cream in and press start and walk away, but you could also do this with a hand mixer.

Once the cream has turned into butter, you’re also left with fresh buttermilk that has separated from the cream. Eating real butter (in moderation, of course) doesn’t need to be avoided at the cost of consuming unnatural additives.

So you can make a substitution like this, which allows you to indulge in a more healthful way, or you could make a more obvious substitution (such as grapes for M&Ms).

If you feel like your morning breakfast is already a pretty solid choice, think about your meal and snack plans for the rest of the day and find somewhere else that you may be able to make a substitution. Here are some ideas:

  • Replace oil with applesauce when baking
  • Choose brown rice over white rice
  • Switch your regular pasta for multigrain pasta
  • Use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream
  • Use ground turkey instead of ground beef

35. Stretch

It’s actually instinctive for people (and other animals) to stretch upon waking up to help increase circulation and activate your muscles, which feels good for your entire body.

Especially if you sleep in the same position all night, your muscles will have a tendency to tighten up. Developing an intentional morning stretching routine can help:

  • Increase the flexibility in your muscles and joints
  • Improve circulation
  • Remove tension
  • Prevent stress

Your morning stretches increase your muscle and joint flexibility, making it much easier to perform everyday tasks. Additionally, increasing your flexibility helps improve your balance (and therefore reduces your risk of becoming injured) and lowers your chances of developing arthritis.

A morning stretching routine will also stimulate your circulation, which in turn gives your energy level a boost. It will also help you get rid of uncomfortable tension, which will help make you more productive as you move on with your day.

When you stretch in the morning, hold each stretch for about 30 seconds in order to remove tension and to give your muscles the time that they need to adequately stretch.

If you have a place on your body that’s really holding onto some tension, use a foam roller to try to work those knots out. After each stretch, relax completely and take a few deep breaths before moving onto the next stretch. Don’t forget to breathe normally during your stretches as well.

36. Take a Cold Shower

Start your day off strong and disciplined with a cold shower.

Engaging in “cold water immersion” first thing in the morning can help fire up every organ and nerve in your body. And, since most of us don’t have a pool in the backyard, taking an ice-cold shower is your second best option.

This practice actually has physiological benefits that will jerk your body into a state of alertness, such as increasing your heart and respiratory rate along with your blood pressure.

It will also help increase your metabolism because this radical change in temperature requires your body to work harder to maintain a stable temperature.

And, some good news for those of you who think the idea of getting into a cold shower as soon as you wake up sounds like probably the worst idea ever, a lot of the research that’s been done on the benefits of this practice suggests that the water doesn’t have to be cold for your entire shower in order to experience the positive effects.

Just aim to spend between 30 seconds and 2 minutes in water that is about 68 degrees F (or 20 degrees C).

37. Avoid Your Smartphone

Research shows that about 80% of people who use a smartphone check it within 15 minutes of waking up. And, yes, there are many ways in which your smartphone can increase your productivity and even improve your quality of life–however, it can also lead to unnecessary stress and distractions.

You should be the commander of your smartphone, your smartphone should not be the commander of you.

People are starting to lose control over their smartphone use, which can quickly have a negative impact on your productivity and mental wellbeing.

If you immediately check your phone upon waking up, you overwhelm your brain with new messages, reminders, emails, and other stimuli that lead to stress and anxiety. This prevents you from having any time to start your day off in a calm way, and instead, makes you immediately feel rushed and anxious.

Additionally, by checking your smartphone first thing in the morning, you’re allowing other people’s needs, opinions, and requests to flood your mind.

Your own thoughts are dismissed and replaced with the thoughts of others. Rather than proactively starting your day by focusing on your own needs, you’re starting by reacting to the needs of others.

Instead of setting the tone to have a day full of distractions, use your morning for the other suggestions listed in this article to improve yourself, get closer to reaching your goals, and prepare for a day of success.

By actively avoiding your smartphone in the morning, you can train your brain to be satisfied with less stimulating (but much more beneficial) undertakings. 

38. Put on Your SPF

I’m sure you wear SPF at the beach to avoid getting sunburn, but putting on your sunscreen is an important part of any year-round morning routine because it is an effective preventive measure to avoid health issues down the road.

Even on cloudy days, you can soak up 80% of the sun’s damaging rays, so it’s best to put on sunscreen no matter what the forecast is. In fact, snow can even reflect up to 80% of ultraviolet rays, increasing your risk of developing sun damage.

Sunscreen blocks UV rays, which not only helps protect you from getting sunburn, but also reduces your risk of developing skin cancer, which is the most common cancer worldwide.

  • Every year, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the U.S. than all other types of cancers combined.
  • 1 in 5 Americans develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
  • Someone dies from skin cancer every 30 minutes in the U.S.
  • You double your risk of developing skin cancer later in life if you incur 5 or more sunburns.
  • About 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers are caused by exposure to UV rays.

Wearing sunscreen also helps protect your skin from premature aging, which includes discoloration, dark spots, wrinkles, sagging, and fine lines. It’s never too early in life to take preventative measures against sun damage, and the more careful you are, the better off you will be.

Using SPF 15 sunscreen every day can reduce your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40%, and lower your risk of melanoma by 50%. If you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors, bump it up to SPF 30.

Leisure Morning Routine Ideas

39. Practice Self-Education

Required Time: 5 minutes

In my book Novice to Expert, I talk about a lot of ways to efficiently learn new skills. Two of the strategies that I discuss are to schedule time for deliberate practice and to research what you need to learn.

Practice self-education and learning as your morning routine habits as the foundation for morning routine for success.
Practicing self-education 5 minutes a day can help you build a skill slowly but surely.

Odds are, five minutes isn’t enough time for deliberate practice—but it’s perfectly adequate for researching one skill-related topic or a challenge that you’re currently facing.

Practicing self-education is a perfect task for those longer breaks during the day, like on a drive, at lunchtime, or in the evening. This is the time when you can listen to podcasts, scan through blogs, or read books that focus on one specific, interest-related challenge.

And if you’d like a few resources that can help you learn anything, then I recommend checking out these platforms to learn any skill.

40. Watch an Inspiring Video

Required Time: 10 minutes

Motivation is fleeting. You might feel excited one moment but then experience a crash in emotion when something negative happens. One habit that can be used to “reset” your motivation is to watch an inspiring video.

You have a few options with watching inspirational videos.

TED Talks are inspiring lectures from the most visionary leaders of our time. They tend to be ten to twenty minutes in length, so you might need to commit to a longer habit, or watch a single video over a few days.

You can access these videos directly through the TED website, but they are also accessible on a mobile app (iTunes & Android) and through a video streaming service like Roku.

Here are our favorite TED Talk videos:

On stress management

If TED Talks aren’t your thing, then you can also find inspirational videos on Upworthy or your favorite YouTube channel.

I recommend limiting your viewing time. It’s far too easy to turn a five-minute break into several hours of passively watching videos. My suggestion: Stick to one video per break.

41. Add to Your “Soon List”

Required Time: 5 minutes

Make a list of twenty fun and enjoyable things you want in the next three months. This is not a goals list.

Instead, it’s a list of fun or even odd things you can enjoy by yourself or with others. The only requirement is that each item needs to be something that makes you happy.

The best daily routine for healthy life includes morning routine habits that empower the rest of your day.
Your “Soon List” is a list of twenty fun and enjoyable things you want in the next three months.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Sleep until noon on one of your off days.
  • Have a movie/game night with your family. (Here are some philosophical movies.)
  • See a play.
  • Go for a daylong hike.
  • Play baseball with your son.
  • Buy a new grill.
  • Enjoy a date night with your spouse, away from your kids.

Next, you have to make time to do these things. You’ll sleep in late one day. You’ll go buy that new grill. And you’ll schedule time to play baseball with your son.

It’s too easy to fall into the trap of spending your days working, running errands, and doing household chores. But if you keep an ongoing list of fun activities, then you’ll proactively create opportunities to enjoy life a little more.

42. Schedule It Into Your Day

Look for room in your day to actually do something on your ”soon” list. If you have an extra busy day, pick something small. But, if you don’t actually put these things on your agenda, they will always be activities that you hope to do “one day”.

Get a pedicure on your lunch break or tell your partner to meet you in the park with take-out for a picnic. Call to make reservations for a fancy date night. Whatever is on that list that you can fit into your day, do it.

43. Read a Summary of the World News

Required Time: 10 minutes

It is our responsibility to stay informed about what’s happening around the world. This doesn’t mean that we have to be geopolitical experts.

However, we should all be able to hold conversations about current social and world events. Our knowledge of what’s happening around the world helps us make the right decision when we vote, give our time for volunteering, or support charities.

The following websites that provide news from all over the world:

Develop the morning habit of reading news sources that are aggregate news from different sources and are politically neutral.

44. Learn a New Word

Required Time: 5 minutes

Expanding your vocabulary helps you in the following ways:

  • Increases your communication skills
  • Provides a good workout for your brain
  • Boosts your self-confidence in social situations

Committing to learning one word per day can be done in one of the following ways. Make sure to not just learn the definition but also how to pronounce it!

  • Set your homepage to Dictionary.com’s “Word of the Day.”
  • Download a mobile app that provides you with word-of-the-day feeds
  • Subscribe to Wordsmith’s A.Word.A.Day and get the featured word daily through your email.

Find opportunities to introduce the words you’ve learned in conversations. Regularly using the new words in actual conversations helps you retain what you’ve learned.

45. Add an Item to Your Bucket List

Required Time: 3 minutes

The concept of creating a “bucket list” was made popular when the 2007 movie called The Bucket List hit the big screen.

If you haven’t seen it yet, the story centers on two men with terminal cancer. They decided to leave the hospital together to accomplish the things they’ve ever wanted before they “kicked the bucket.”

You can apply this principle in your life. Think of the things you’ve put off in order to focus on career and relationships. Perhaps now is the time to begin accomplishing some of them.

First, you can make a list of the things you’d want for your life. You can add one item per day. Then make a plan on how you’ll accomplish them.

Need ideas for what to put in your own bucket list? You might also want to check out 553 ideas for your bucket list, courtesy of this post.

46. Learn a New Joke

Required Time: 5 minutes

Humor is the best way to break the ice. Learning a new joke benefits you in the following ways:

  • Is a great conversation starter
  • Helps someone feel at ease when you meet each other for the first time
  • Helps you think in a more creative way
  • Makes you healthy

Use a few minutes of your mornings developing your humorous side. You can do this by researching good jokes and collecting them for reviewing and practicing later.

Making someone else laugh is a great way to start a conversation. It is also a great way to strengthen relationships and establish new ones.

To learn more, here are 15 ideas you can use to become a funnier person.

Organizational Morning Routine Ideas

47. Fix Your Broken Windows

Required Time: 2 minutes

No, you don’t have any actual broken windows, but you probably have a number of small things that add to your stress levels if you don’t address them early on.

Some common broken windows include:

  • Unmade beds
  • Cluttered mail
  • Unsorted laundry
  • Messy kitchen
  • Trash that needs to be taken out

Most of these can be fixed in a matter of minutes, yet we allow ourselves to ignore them and let them sit in the back of our minds for the rest of the day. Take care of your broken windows and then you’ll see a dramatic decrease in your levels of stress.

48. Make Your Bed

Required Time: 3 minutes

In life, sometimes the smallest of actions can have a powerful impact on your daily success.

In a commencement speech at the University of Texas, US Navy Admiral William H. McCraven said the following to the graduating class:

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.

I won’t tell you “how to make your bed” because I’m sure this is a skill that we’ve all learned at some point in our lives. But if you get stuck, I recommend watching this video, courtesy of Howcast.

49. Put Away 3 Things

Required Time: 3 minutes

Clutter usually builds up over time because people don’t take a couple of seconds to put their belongings in appropriate places. If you commit to putting away 3 items first thing in the morning, you’ll have trained yourself to start the day with maximum productivity.

To support you in this habit, make sure that every item in your home, workplace, or car have a designated spot.

Then have an if-then protocol for items that you take out of their designated place. For example, if you need to carry an item up or down the stairs, you can leave it by the landing.

Each time you (or a member of your family) walk up (or down), you can grab the item and put it away in its designated place. Since you’re already making the trip, you might as well bring something with you.

You will never fall into the trap of being drowned in clutter if you practice this habit.

50. Follow a “Getting Out the Door” Routine

Required Time: 5 minutes

There are few things worse (from a psychological standpoint) than starting the day feeling rushed and disorganized. If you’re running around in the morning like a headless chicken, then these feelings will create unnecessary stress that can negatively impact your workday.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution. In the evening, compile all the items you’ll need for the next day and put them into a central location.

Then, when you wake up in the morning, every item you need will be in this predesignated spot waiting for you to leave. (Learn how to incorporate this in your evening routine.)

In the hour before going to bed, think of the items that you’ll need for the next day and then spend five minutes putting them together.

These can include:

  • Paperwork
  • Briefcase or backpack
  • Schoolbooks
  • Laptop or tablet
  • Personal items like your wallet, keys, purse, or cell phone
  • Lunch, snacks, water bottle, and travel mug
  • Gym clothes
  • Items for your children (toys, clothes, formula or stored breast milk)

Start by reviewing your calendar for the next day, then think about what you’ll need for each activity and appointment, and finally put these items in the same location where you put other items, like your wallet, purse, and car keys.

If you can commit to building this evening habit, then you’ll eliminate the stress that many feel in the morning as they get ready for work.

51. Identify your 3 MITs (Most Important Tasks)

Required Time: 5 minutes

The best way to structure your day is to focus on your most important tasks (MITs) before taking care of something else.

These MITs are items that have the biggest impact on your day’s productivity.

Applying the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 Rule, can help you identify daily tasks that help you achieve more during the day.

This eliminates the problem of task overscheduling that leaves you feeling like a failure when you don’t accomplish everything.

An app, such as Todoist, can help you organize these MITs.

52. Track Your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

Required Time: 5 minutes

In the business world, there is a concept known as “Key Performance Indicators” (a.k.a. KPIs). It is a system of measurement that managers use to let them know if a business is successful.

For personal use in developing an important habit, identifying and tracking your KPIs lets you know your progress over time.

Here are some examples of KPI tracking in your personal life:

  • Eating better – track what you’re eating every day with the help of a food log app
  • Writing – track your daily word count
  • Getting out of debt – tracking and analyzing your daily expenditures
  • Sales – log the number of people you’ve called and potential business connections you’ve made
  • Exercise – track what workouts you’ve completed, your strokes, or calories burned by using a general fitness or a specific app designed for a particular activity (e.g., a running app)

53. Do a “Once-Over” of the Fridge

Maintaining a clean refrigerator is an ongoing project that is best to keep up with on a regular basis. This is the type of thing that you can spend a few minutes on each day to avoid having to deal with a huge project later on.

Glance in the fridge each morning to see what leftovers are about to expire (and throw them into the freezer if possible so you can enjoy them in the future) and what needs to go in the trash.

Doing this will also allow you to keep track of what you’re running low on so you don’t have a last-minute egg emergency.

Clean up any spills or leaks that you notice before they solidify into a permanent mess (I know you’ve seen this happen). To reduce spills from happening in the first place, make sure all of your food is stored in proper containers with the lids secured. And avoid storing cups (of anything) in there.

If your fridge is starting to look a little cluttered (which it shouldn’t if you keep up with this routine), consider some common items that most people think need to be refrigerated but are actually safe to keep at room temperature, such as berries, avocadoes, and ketchup.

Also, follow a “one bottle at a time” rule to further cut down on clutter. This means that you keep only one bottle of open salad dressing, mayonnaise, mustard, etc. in the fridge at a time. Any unopened bottles can be kept in your pantry to help you save space.

Take a bit of time each morning to consider there’s “a place for everything and everything in its place”.

Keeping your refrigerator neat will help cut down on the time it takes you to find things and reduce food waste (because you won’t forget about that container of leftover Chinese food that’s hidden behind a gallon of milk and a head of lettuce).

54. Throw Something Away

It’s very stressful to live in a cluttered or chaotic environment. In fact, a study done by The Center On Everyday Lives and Families at UCLA found that people who maintain a cluttered home have above-average levels of cortisol (the stress hormone).

Trying to live or work in a cluttered area can prevent you from focusing on anything important, and leads to stress because it’s a visual reminder that your work is never finished.

By throwing something away every day (and not just that empty soda can), you can prevent messes from accumulating and keep your living space tidy.

Here are some great suggestions on books about decluttering and staying organized.

Just like keeping up with your refrigerator, getting rid of items in your house is something you can spend a few minutes a day on to prevent facing a large project down the road.

Having an excess of “things” in your home prohibits you from taking full advantage of your living space, and getting rid of things can actually be quite liberating.

If you’re like me, you have things around the house that you’re sick of looking at, but feel guilty about potentially throwing away or nervous that you “might need it for something one day”. Put these items aside, and anything that doesn’t cross your mind for a month either goes in the trash or gets donated.

If you have to, ask yourself why you’re holding onto a particular item. Does it make you happy? Do you feel obligated in some way to keep it?

Sure, it can be tough to donate your great-grandmother’s set of china, but doing so doesn’t equate to forgetting about the actual person or even letting go of old memories.

It just means that you’re providing someone else with an opportunity to be the proud owner of a china set that you thought was ugly anyway.

Adding this task to your morning routine will benefit your mental health while also freeing up space for new things that you actually appreciate and will use.

55. Get Rid of Loose Papers

Yesterday’s junk mail, that piece of paper that you used to jot down a phone number, an appointment reminder card…these are all things that quickly accumulate but can be eliminated pretty much immediately.

Throw away scrap paper you’ve used and record the information in a more permanent place if necessary (like your calendar or your list of contacts in your phone). If you have coupons laying around, check the expiration date on them and toss any that you can no longer use.

Having loose papers around can make you feel extremely unorganized because it displays all the loose ends that you need to tie up.

You may want to designate a drawer or compartment as an “I’ll deal with this later” area. I do this for things such as invitations, bills (sometimes), and forms that come in the mail that I need to fill out for my daughter’s school.

Here is a 5-step process you can follow to keep all of your loose papers organized:

  1. Group together anything that requires a response (bills, invitations, etc.) and process the pile weekly
  2. Put any “official” paperwork into your filing cabinet (and you may want to scan a copy onto your computer first for safekeeping)
  3. Keep a stack of coupons you’ve gathered for things you’re going to buy no matter what (don’t keep that coupon for a bag of free cat food if you don’t have a cat…)
  4. Put any junk mail in the shredder
  5. Read any personal cards that you’ve received and stick them with your papers from step #1 to remind yourself to respond in a timely manner.

56. Jot Down Your Ideas

Sometimes my best ideas come to me when I’m laying in bed awake in the middle of the night. In the morning, when your mind is fresh, take a few minutes to write down any new ideas that have come to you or thoughts that you want to revisit in the future.

Pick one place to store your ideas, such as Evernote, so they aren’t scattered all over the place.

And, if you have a lot of things on your mind, consider doing a brain dump (not just of your ideas, but any thoughts, worries, or questions that are weighing on you as well) to clear your mind, so you can give your brain some room to process new things for the rest of the day.

I know that I have frequently had a great idea at night, didn’t write it down, and then was frustrated days later when I couldn’t remember what it was. Taking some time each morning to jot things down–either virtually or in a notebook— can help you avoid that sense of regret later on if you forget what you once thought was a “million-dollar” idea.

Relationships Morning Routine Ideas

57. Text an Encouraging Message

Required Time: 5 minutes

An encouraging text message sent to the people in your life is much more than that.

The messages are a way of keeping in touch with the people you love. It strengthens the bonds you have with each other.

You don’t need to text them anything earth-shattering or important. A simple, heart-felt message tells them that they are in your thoughts.

58. Start a Kettle of Tea

Required Time: 1 minute

Perhaps your spouse or partner loves a cup of tea (or coffee) in the morning.

Make it a habit to start a kettle for them first thing in the day. You’ll have time to complete other morning habits while the water boils. By the time it’s ready, you’d have done most of your morning routine and your partner will have a steaming cup waiting for him or her.

Remember that it’s the small things like this that help strengthen a relationship.

If you have time, check out our post on relationship goals for more ideas of how to strengthen the bond with your special someone.

59. Research a Fun Activity

Required Time: 5 minutes

Set aside time each week to come up with a few interesting events you can share with people in your life.

I recommend using a mix of nine resources to find fun events in your area.

  • Eventful is a great website for anyone who lives in or near a big city.
  • Narrow down your search to your local area, which can be found in region- or town-specific newspapers, magazines, and websites.
  • Simply go to Google and type in the name of your city or town, plus one of the following terms:
  • Event listings
  • Festivals
  • Cooking lessons
  • Softball leagues
  • Running clubs
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Concert venues
  • Mini-golf
Choose a several of these morning routine habits to build your morning routine template for adults.
Set aside time each week to come up with a few interesting events you can share with people in your life.
  • Map out a Walking Tour
  • Only In Your State has a massive collection of articles that feature interesting, state-specific attractions.
  • Try Geocaching.
  • Bulletin Board Flyers
  • Craigslist is a useful resource to find listings for fun activities, interest-specific groups, volunteering opportunities, local events, and classes.
  • Meetup.com is a great place to find groups based off your personal interests and make new friends as you enjoy one of your favorite activities.

60. Do Something That Makes You Happy

Required Time: 5 minutes

It is difficult to be happy in your relationships if you’re unhappy with yourself. Taking a few moments of “me” time in the morning (and during different times of the day) is essential to become grounded and centered.

Make clearing your mind every morning a part of your routine. Here are some ways you can do this:

  • Write in a journal (Here are some great ideas of what you can journal, or if you already have a bullet journal, here are some morning routine bullet journal examples.)
  • Have a cup of coffee or tea and allow your mind to just drift
  • Spend your 5 minutes outside, feeling the sunshine on your face
  • Play with your pet
  • Laugh a little while reading some jokes
  • Listen to your favorite song
  • Eat some chocolate
  • Read a few pages of your preferred fiction

61. Leave a Caring Note

Required Time: 3 minutes

Leaving a note for a loved one is something that goes a long way. You can brighten someone’s day. It’s a way of showing someone that you care about them because you went out of your way to pen the loving words.

All you need for the process are some Post-It notes, a pen, and your heartfelt message. It could be a quick note like “I love you,” or “Good luck with the presentation/project/test.”

Depending on your relationship with the person, you can leave this note on their pillow, in a lunchbox, on the desk, or backpack.

Don’t overthink the note-taking process. The important thing is you’re writing from the heart.

62. Touch Base With Your Partner

Miscommunication is something that can often lead to strife in a relationship, whether you and your partner both thought the other person was picking up the kids or you (honestly) forgot to mention that you just incurred a large expense of some sort.

In the morning, before your mind gets cluttered, touch base with your partner about any upcoming plans (or changes in plans), bills, important events, anything significant going on, or even something you need to vent about. This will help you stay present in each other’s busy lives and will prevent a potential lapse in communication.

63. Say “Good Morning”

Even more than waking up at the crack of dawn to go running, choosing other people before ourselves can require some serious willpower. Afterall, it’s a lot easier to do something that you know will end up benefiting you in some way than it is to put effort toward doing something that won’t offer any direct, visible benefits in return.

However, you can only lead a happy and successful life if you help lift up the people around you. If others are left behind or go unrecognized, there will be little joy in your victories–and certainly no one around to celebrate with you. 

Acknowledge the people who cross your everyday path, from the barista at the coffee shop to the receptionist in your office. Saying a genuine “good morning” is a great exercise to help design your day using a perspective involving more than just your own.

64. Cuddle With Your Kids

Whether it’s children or animals, take time in the morning to show love and affection toward those who are in your care.

A big part of your ultimate purpose of working so hard all week is probably so you can take care of your family, so don’t forget to take advantage of the time that you have to spend with them now.

There are a ton of benefits that can stem from hugging your kids every day. Research has shown that children start to benefit from being held from the moment they’re born.

In fact, even babies born prematurely who are cuddled as much as possible can experience an improvement in their vital signs (i.e. weight gain and reduced breathing complications), which can lead to a faster discharge from the hospital after birth.

Once your children are older, cuddling them on a regular basis not only helps them feel safe, but also works wonders on their future learning skills and ability to cope with stress in a healthy way by aiding in the growth and development of their hippocampus.

When it comes to the benefits that cuddling your children will offer you, the physical contact will prompt the release of oxytocin in your brain, which can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and reduces the everyday stress in your life that can negatively impact your mood.

And, if you need even more convincing than that, cuddling with your children helps both you and your child practice mindfulness by being completely present in the moment.

This will help your child develop empathy, as he or she will learn to recognize how you may be feeling that morning. This will show your children that showing love goes both ways and they can show love to you just as you do to them.

Spirituality Morning Routine Ideas

65. Meditate for 5 Minutes

Required Time: 5 minutes

Meditation is about maintaining focus on one thing (such as your breathing or the sounds of the ocean) and blocking out any other distractions.

Meditation has been proven to have numerous benefits, including:

  • Less stress
  • More creativity
  • Better focus
  • Increased memory

Some people meditate for hours on end while others just take a few minutes out of their mornings. I suggest you start by meditating for a few minutes, so it fits into your morning routine. And if you like it, you can increase the length of time that you do it.

Learn how to meditate: How to Meditate: A Complete Guide for Beginners

66. Yoga for 10 Minutes

Required Time: 10 minutes

Still not buying into the idea of meditation? That’s okay, you can give yoga a try instead. Some of the core ideas are the same, but yoga has a more active approach then pure meditation.

Yoga is great for you because it can:

  • Increase your lung capacity
  • Help with memory
  • Lower the risk of heart disease
  • Relieve anxiety

Yoga has been practiced for years, and it’s not like other exercises that are just fads or trends. It’s easy to get started and can have a huge impact on how your body reacts for the rest of the day.

Check out the best yoga books to help you get started on the right foot.

67. Practice Deep Breathing

Required Time: 5 minutes

Deep breathing is a quick habit that takes less than five minutes to complete. It can be part of a regular stack or a single habit that you do whenever you feel stressed.

Simply follow this nine-step process to get started:

Step #1 – Schedule uninterrupted time where you ignore your cell phone or other types of technology.

Step #2 – Pick a specific time each day (or a specific stack) where you’ll practice deep breathing.

Step #3 – Set an alarm for a specific time (like three to five minutes).

Step #4 – Sit on a pillow on the floor, in a comfortable chair, or on your couch. Find a comfortable position with your feet on the floor, straighten your back, and rest your hands at your sides.

Step #5 – Inhale slowly through your nose until your lungs are filled to capacity.

Step #6 – After inhaling as much as possible, hold your breath for a full two seconds.

Step #7 – Slowly exhale, in a steady and even manner. If you desire, envision exhaling all your negative emotions.

Step #8 – Take a two-second pause.

Step #9 – Return to step 5 to repeat this cycle until the alarm signals the end of the session.

68. Shower Meditation

Required Time: 10 minutes

For most people, a shower is already a part of the morning routine. But when you add a quick meditation session to this ritual, you can focus on deep thinking and creating positive thoughts for the day.

The calming effect of warm water puts your mind on autopilot, which frees it up to come up with inspirational ideas. (There’s even research that shows we often get our best ideas while engaging in mindless tasks, like showering, driving, and doing chores.)

Shower meditation can easily be attached to your existing “getting ready” routine. This means you only need to add a few minutes to your shower time to get the full benefit of this habit.

Get started by letting the warm water of the shower wash over your body. Visualize all the stress, anxiety, and worries in your life as being tangible things sticking to your skin.

Next, visualize the water and soap scrubbing the stress off your body.

Third, envision all the metaphysical “dirt” of your body—your fears, regrets, anxiety, anger, and stress washing free and swirling down the drain. 

Finally, realize that you are clean, fresh, and ready to start your day free of distractions.

69. Drink a Calming Beverage (Like Tea)

Required Time: 5 minutes

Drinking a calming beverage, like a cup of hot tea, has both physical and mental benefits.

When it comes to your health, drinking tea (specifically green tea) has many detoxifying effects on the body. It has been shown to lower blood pressure, assist hydration (despite the caffeine), and reduce stress hormones.

When it comes to spirituality, a daily tea break gives you “me time,” which can be a few spare minutes to think on what has happened during the day and what you plan to do for the next few hours.

Learn how to start a morning routine using habit stacking and these morning routine habits.
Drinking a calming beverage, like a cup of hot tea, helps lower blood pressure, assist hydration, and reduce stress hormones.

Start a teakettle right after you wake up as part of your morning habit stack. You can also repeat this habit during the afternoon or at the end of your day.

While the water is boiling, focus on completing two to three tasks in your stack, and then enjoy a few minutes of reflection while you’re enjoying a cup of tea.

To get started, here are 30 types of herbal tea that you can try.

70. Practice Gratitude

Required Time: 10 minutes

Being grateful for what you have right now transforms you. It pulls you out from negativity and infuses joy into all areas of your life.

Gratitude is expressing your appreciation for what you currently have. You appreciate the people who are part of your life. It is also appreciating the good things that you have and are available to you.

One of the simplest ways to make gratitude into a morning habit is by daily writing in a gratitude journal. (Visit this post for over 100 prompts for your gratitude journal.)

An attitude of gratitude transforms you in the following ways:

  • Boosts your self-confidence
  • Improves the quality of your sleep
  • Helps you cope better with major life challenges
  • Strengthens your relationships, whether personal or romantic ones

If you want a simple way to get started with gratitude, then check out these top gratitude journal options.

71. Go For a Mindful Walk

There are many benefits of walking in general, but by adding mindfulness to this form of exercise, you’re taking it to an entirely new level. Mindful walking helps to recharge your thinking, increase your circulation, and reduce stress all at once.

This is definitely something that you can do mid-day (especially if you’re having a tough one), but if you already plan to go walking in the morning, going for a mindful walk is an added benefit to start your day off in a relaxed state.

Here’s some tips for mindful walking:

  • Wear some comfortable walking shoes (here are some good options for women and here are some recommendations for men)
  • Before you start, take a minute to stand still and be present in the moment–noticing your surroundings with all five of your senses. Take some slow, intentional breaths, feel the ground beneath you, notice the temperature outside, listen to the birds, etc.
  • Center your body by bending your knees just a bit and recognize your center of gravity. Make yourself aware of your balance and the distribution of your weight on each foot.
  • Start walking slowly (yet purposefully) as you use your muscles to propel your body forward. Notice the swing of your arms and legs and the placement of your feet as they hit the ground.
  • Recognize your breathing as you walk, and count your breaths–3 counts in through your nose and 3 counts out through your mouth.
  • When you’re finished, repeat the stillness exercise that you did before your walk by resting and taking note of how your body feels after your walk.

This will help you start your day free from tension, which can set the tone for the rest of the day–especially if you have a full schedule ahead of you.

Best Results = Habit Stacking

As you can see, there are a ton of ways you can create a personalized morning routine that will work for you.

The 71 unique small habits mentioned in this article can be added to any existing routine you have or help you start fresh with something new altogether. While you don’t have to do them all, I do suggest following a simple strategy that I call “habit stacking.”

With habit stacking, you create a process flow where you put everything in a logical order where you go from room to room and complete one task after another. (Example: Start the day by making your bed and opening the curtains.)

The idea here is to establish a routine where you complete a number of positive habits without even thinking about it. You can even write down this routine and follow it as a daily checklist every morning.

Find out all about Habit Stacking by clicking here.

Final Thoughts on Morning Routine Habits

By being intentional about how you start each day, you can be on your way to a happier, healthier life.

There is no suggestion that one small habit is more important than another. Rather, it’s up to you to find the ones that help set you up for success.

The hardest part of starting a morning routine is getting started.

My advice is to try some of these new routine ideas to see which ones feel right (or wrong!). Then settle on a handful of the habits listed in this article and start doing them regularly.

You can track your morning habits using an app like Todoist. These printable morning routine checklists and charts can also make your habit change easier.

After a few weeks, you will be able to recognize any of these morning routine ideas that aren’t especially beneficial for you and replace them with something else.

Keep experimenting with these different ideas until you find the ones that best fit your lifestyle.

Finally, if you want the perfect morning routine, then check out this seven-step process for creating a morning routine that will become a vital part of your daily life.)

morning routine list | morning routines of successful entrepreneurs | morning routine ideas

S.J. Scott

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