Every “successful” person touts their “thing” that they do every single morning that they claim was critical to their success. Sometimes it seems like there are so many “things” to include in a “successful” morning routine that it would take all day before you could check everything off.
And by that point, it’s time for your evening routine!
So what makes or breaks a successful morning routine? How do you know which things are the best to include? And most importantly, is it really possible to fit it all into a busy morning?
To me, the best, most meaningful morning routine is the one that sets me up for a healthy, productive, and satisfying day. Where I can come into the day clear headed, focused, and feeling prepared for anything that comes my way.
A meaningful morning routine looks different for every person. We all have different needs and personalities that allow for a lot of customization when choosing the activities to start our days.
Spoiler alert! There’s no guru out there with the perfect answer to this question.
Decide how you want to feel and what your day will look like and plan your mornings around that.
If it works for you, it’s a success!
Figuring Out What Works For You
So now that you have the freedom to build your own morning routine, how do you know what works?
There are certain activities that really do work for everyone in some form or fashion.
For example, meditation is a powerful inclusion to a morning routine, but you might mix it up. Try different styles or lengths of time.
Activities to consider for your morning routine include:
That might sound like a lot to pack into one morning. And I know you’re busy — that’s why you’re reading this article!
In my corporate job, I worked 10 hour days, had a 45 minute commute, and worked from home weeknights and weekends. I know how demanding it can be. My routine wasn’t perfect or the same thing ever day. But the discipline to wake up a little earlier, leave the technology off (as in no checking my email first thing like my colleagues), and take control of my mornings helped me keep my sanity.
So that leads me to my last point…
Too Busy For A Morning Routine?
Maybe you feel like you roll out of bed and the day is immediate chaos. All the more reason to invest in a morning routine for yourself. Get clear minded and grounded before the chaos hits.
But it’s true that if you tried to pack everything you could possibly do for a morning routine into every morning, you’d be at it all day.
You have a couple options.
#1. Just choose a few things that you really love and set your day up in the most meaningful way to you. Do those same few things every day and forget the rest.
#2. Mix it up! Just because it’s called a “routine” doesn’t mean it has to be exactly the same every day. Try different things each morning depending on how much time you make for it.
Personally, I like option #2. My days are each so different that my needs in the morning change from day to day.
In fact, I also prefer to consider it my “morning ritual” instead of “routine” because it reminds me that these activities are a meaningful start to my day and to be mindful in the act instead of going through the motions just to say I did it.
Investing In Mornings
You can have a meaningful morning routine in as little as 20-30 minutes every morning. It doesn’t have to be an hour or two to get the benefits.
And if you say that you don’t have half an hour to give to yourself before starting your day, you’re lying to yourself. Either get up a few minutes earlier or cut the distractions.
How much time are you spending on social media, the news, or watching tv? Do you need to define boundaries at work such that you aren’t checking your email before the sun comes up?
A morning routine is an investment because you get a return. And whether or not you choose particular activities or just roll into the day come-what-may, you’re getting a return on investment for your choices.
One path makes you more productive, focused, and feeling good while the other sets you up for feeling distracted, chaotic, and stressed.
Which ROI do you choose?